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“In and Out of Foster Care'


Nov. 3-4, 2017


Laurence Ossipow HES/SO-HETS Gaelle Aeby, UniL


Gaëlle Aeby, UNIL, University of Manchester; Erdmute Alber, University of Bayreuth (subject to change) ; Arnaud Frauenfelder, HES·SO – HETS; Martin Goyette, ENAP, Québec, Canada ; Sabina Lorega, EHESS, SUPSI; Marianne Modak, HES·SO, EESP; Laurence Ossipow, HES·SO – HETS


Reconsidering the role of welfare states toward children, young adults, and their families is a key issue that raises questions about the goals of social institutions, the involvement of social workers, their everyday practices, the values they promote, and the scope of their action inside and outside their walls. It echoes the concerns raised in the new NRP on the complex relationship between assistance and coercion (see NRP 76: Out-of-home placement or foster care, either in a residential institution or in a foster family, is a measure aiming at child protection, only used when judged necessary as it often leads to disruption in the child trajectory and within family relationships. There are multiple actors involved in an out-of-home placement with different perspective and power position, for instance the various state agents in charge of carrying out the social measures, the underage and vulnerable recipients, or their distressed parents who have lost the custody of their offspring. Understanding the complex interplay of discourses and practices shed light on current public debates about (substitute) parenthood, social responsibility (in relation with the arbitrary boundaries of childhood and legal adulthood, and in the special case of juvenile delinquency), social inequalities, and citizenship. In that regard, an anthropological perspective in the field of social work brings a new perspective both at the theoretical and methodological levels. This module brings together researchers in Social sciences from Switzerland and abroad to provide insights on the implications of foster care from the perspective of the different actors, but also on other forms of parenthood, for instance with fosterage. It will also go beyond the period of the placement as early experiences have lasting consequences on individuals' life trajectories with the example of care leavers, and more broadly by tackling the issue of autonomy, and the transition to adulthood for young people lacking socioeconomic and relational resources. In addition to taking part in the discussion of the different presentation, PhD students will also have the opportunity to present their own research and get feedback from the experts and their peers.





Deadline for registration 03.11.2017
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