The Concept of ‘Family’ Among Norwegian Adolescents in Long-Term Foster Care
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In Norway, about 8,000 children live in foster homes (about 3.300 in age group 13–17). What does ‘family’ mean to these children? We explored the views and feelings about ‘family’ among 22 adolescents who are living in long-term foster care. Three patterns emerged. Most of the participants expressed confidence and adjustment in the foster home placement and felt bonded to both their foster family and to their birth family. Other adolescents expressed a strong sense of membership to their birth family but not to their foster family, and the remaining adolescents described a weak bond to birth family but a strong bond to their foster family. The main implications of the three patterns are discussed in the light of policy and practice.
KeywordsFamily Foster children Q-methodology Attachment Resilience
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