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Child Indicators Research

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 735–760 | Cite as

What Matters in for the Subjective Well-Being of Children in Care?

  • Joan Llosada-GistauEmail author
  • Ferran Casas
  • Carme Montserrat
Article

Abstract

Children’s subjective well-being (SWB) constitutes an important component in understanding their quality of life. However, little is known about children in public care regarding their perceptions and satisfaction with life. The purpose of this study is to explore differences in SWB between adolescents in residential care, kinship care and family foster care with no relatives. The study used data from care population in Catalonia (Spain) aged 12–14 years (N = 669): 397 adolescents in residential care, 251 adolescents in kinship care and 41 adolescents in non-kinship foster care. The questionnaire of the International Survey of Children’s Well-Being (ISCWeB) was adapted for children in care. It includes a psychometric scale on SWB, the Personal Well-Being Index-School Children (PWI-SC6). Multiple regressions have been used to explore which factors are related to children’s subjective well-being according to type of placement. Findings showed that adolescents living in kinship and non-kinship foster care reported better SWB in all life domains than those in residential care. On one hand, variables as gender and age and on the other hand, the agreement with their placement, satisfaction with the school, with their relationships with friends, and with their use of time and computer, may have an influence on their SWB. These findings highlight the need to address the participation of children any decision that affects their lives, the importance of supporting the education of children in care, and the importance of having friends and of their leisure time. Results are discussed in view of the value of practice and political implications.

Keywords

Children Subjective well-being Residential care Kinship care Non-kinship foster care 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to express our thanks to the children who have participated in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ERIDIQV. Institut de Recerca i Qualitat de Vida (IRQV)Universitat de GironaGironaSpain
  2. 2.Direcció General d’Atenció a la Infància i l’Adolescència (DGAIA), Departament de Treball, Afers socials i FamíliesGeneralitat de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain

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