Polityka Społeczna (Social Policy) 2019/02

  • From the thematic editor of the number (1)
    The issue of "Social Policy", which we place in you, is entirely devoted to the subject of family foster care. For social policy, it is a particularly important area of action, because it concerns the safety of children and forms of social assistance offered to families in a crisis. The solutions applied, including substitute custody, should lead to averting the crisis situation, improving living conditions, limiting the marginalization, overcoming development and educational barriers. The subject is current because the system of foster care is currently undergoing a profound institutional reform. This requires, among other things, understanding the idea of substitute birth and high social commitment. The purpose of this issue is to pay special attention to the problems of the foster care system and its social effects from the perspective of social policy, sociology and pedagogy. The number begins with a presentation of basic legal and institutional regulations concerning the functioning of foster care and the social aspects of foster parenthood as a care and educational environment. At the end, we present two articles about foreign solutions in the field of family foster care. Both in the UK and in Germany, substitute custody is built around key values - the child's needs, his well-being and safety. It is implemented primarily by professional foster families, which have a strong position as an element in the support system. We hope that the texts presented in this issue of "Social Policy" will become an important voice in the discussion and will be an inspiration for new research and exchange of experiences.
  • Substitute family as a caring and educational environment - selected social and legal aspects (2-7)
    Family problems arising in the area of proper fulfillment of basic parental functions create the need to protect the upbringing of children in foster care environment. Foster families have for many years been a practiced form of providing care and education to abandoned or orphaned children. The current concern of parents for the child and its upbringing is the essence of the foster family, which - despite the changing social and economic conditions as well as legal regulations - is a lasting and valued form of care for children and young people. The article presents issues concerning the functioning of a foster family as a care and education environment, types of foster families, legal and organizational aspects of this form of care, benefits it receives, as well as its role and role in the system of foster care.
  • Dynamics of changes in foster care institutions in Poland (7-11)
    The article presents the main aspects of the transformation of foster care in Poland. The applied research approach, focused on the institutional aspects of system development, is inspired by the assumptions of the concept of development trajectories (path depen- dence). As a consequence, in each of the periods of analysis (II RP, PRL, III RP) special attention was paid to starting situation, which is the basis for the further development of the institution. The author notes that the dynamics of institution development in each of the analyzed periods was in many aspects similar: it consistently went from institutional to family forms of foster care.
  • The effects of changes in the foster care system in 2012-2017 (12-18)
    On the basis of nationwide statistical information, the effects of changes that took place in the system of foster care after the introduction of the act on supporting the family and the foster care system were analyzed. Reference was made to the most important assumptions of the Act: strengthening of work with family in the environment, limiting the number of children under the supervision of courts and placed in various forms of foster care and becoming independent of young adults.
  • Family functions in foster care research (19-23)
    The article presents the classification of family functions adequate to the situation of a child in foster care in reference to traditional classifications. Next, the results of previous empirical studies carried out on the basis of this theoretical proposal are presented. The tests consisted of quality interviews supplemented with a quantitative study. Research shows that biological parents are often not involved in childcare in practice. The biological family is involved to a small extent in correcting mistakes and building relationships, which is not consistent with the assumptions of the new custody system.
  • Foster families as a service: service narrative and its social consequences (23-28)
    The article deals with the problem of foster parenting understood as a social service oriented towards the person in the context of the "crisis of foster families" observed in developed countries. A trap of massification of substitute motherhood was indicated as a service addressed to all children, resulting from the adoption of a priori assumptions about the effectiveness and efficiency of this form of childcare. The article refers to the concept of children's services and children's spaces, and discusses the consequences of service narratives on the example of foster parenting in Poland.
  • Professionalization of family foster care - premises and barriers (29-34)
    The article is devoted to the issue of professionalization of foster carers. It presents the basic premises for the development of this direction of family reform and the barriers that this process encounters when referring to foreign and domestic experiences.
  • Make a difference; child in British foster care (34-39)
    The article is devoted to the British system of family foster care. The article discusses the main principles and values on which the foster care is based. National minimum standards have been presented, which cover many issues related to the implementation of foster care, including regarding the protection and promotion of the child's good, recruitment, training and support for foster parents as well as housing or financial requirements. Against the background of the described procedure of becoming a foster parent, statistics on foster families and children in care are presented.
  • Child safety above all else, or family foster care in Germany (39-43)
    The article is devoted to the foster care system in Germany in the field of family long-term care. In 2016, over 74 thousand. children were covered by foster care. Assistance in the form of foster care is associated with the consent to considerable involvement of institutions in private family life. The basic legal act is Book VIII (SGB VIII), which contains the rights, methods and principles of support for the subjective treatment of children. Attention is also drawn to other features of the German system, which determine the originality of the solutions used, eg conditioning the return of children to the parents, the choice of the manner and time of substitute care, the right to choose children according to the criteria indicated by the foster family, a relatively large number covered by children, long time and durability of foster care. The topic is illustrated with statistical information about the pupils and families of origin.

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