Home Sweet Home? Professionals' Understanding of 'Home' Within Residential Care for Unaccompanied Youths in Sweden.
Söderqvist, Åsa. Sjöblom, Yvonne. Bülow, Pia.
Published: November 2016
Child and Family Social Work
Vol. 21, No. 4 , p. 591-599
John Wiley & Sons
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
The number of unaccompanied minors arriving in Sweden continues to rise. The majority are placed in residential care units. This qualitative study aims to increase the understanding given by the professionals to the concept of ‘home’ within the framework of residential care for unaccompanied young people. Data are based on participatory observations at two residential care units, followed up by individual interviews with staff. The findings confirm that the concept of home has a complex meaning involving both objective aspects such as physical buildings, and more subjective components that can be seen as state of mind. The staff's desire to offer an ‘ordinary home’ fails because of the surveillance, their dominant positions and especially due to the legal restrictions that were not initially meant for this target group. Unaccompanied young people have to be considered based on their own specific needs in order to make it possible for society to offer the most suitable care. (Author abstract)
Sweden; Residential treatment; foster children; refugees; child placement; UNACCOMPANIED CHILDREN