The Emotional and Other Barriers to Kinship Care in Denmark: A Case Study in Two Danish Municipalities

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Over the past 20 years, kinship care placement has been prioritised by governments in a number of Western countries, including Denmark, but unlike countries such as Australia and New Zealand, the Scandinavian countries, with the exception of Norway, have not signifcantly increased the number of such cases. The focus in this study is on feld worker behaviour, placement discourses and the link to good examples of kinship care. Our assumption is that both the number and quality of kinship care placements depend on the social workers, their managers and organisations, because kinship care has been given high political priority, and with regard to most of the kinship care placements in our study, the families themselves have taken the initiative. This case study identifes and discusses the practice of social workers, their behaviour in the feld, in order to address the challenges, values and discourses that may stand in the way of increasing the number of kinship care placements. We conclude that it is difcult for social workers to enter into the emotional space of families, and that special
discourses—for example, children in need of therapeutic care, or that kinship care families must live up to the same standards as professional foster families—mean that family network placements are not selected. Secondly, the fact that family networks are not systematically involved in the decision-making processes concerning placements means that they are deselected, since the matching process leaves no time for such involvement.
Original languageEnglish
Article number38
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)201-209
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • social work and social conditions


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