More Safety for Children Living with Foster Families

New research project has been launched at Landshut University of Applied Sciences

According to the German Federal Statistical Office, some 190,000 children in Germany are currently living in homes, supervised residential accommodation or with foster families. Ideally, they should be able to develop and come to terms with traumatic events in their pasts in a protected environment, but that does not always happen. “Little research has been carried out into foster child support in Germany in relation to potential risks to children and adolescents” Professor Dr. Mechthild Wolff of Landshut University of Applied Sciences explains. Psychological and physical violence can be meted out even within foster families. ??

A research project entitled “Protection Concepts in Fulltime Care – Foster Families as Growing Up Places in Public Hands” has recently been launched, whose objective is to recognise such risk situations at an early stage and to implement countermeasures:  Landshut University of Applied Sciences is collaborating with the University of Hildesheim and the University Hospital Ulm in this joint research project. The partners are initially planning to set up a hotline that young people can call to report negative experiences. The project will receive funding worth 240,000 euro from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.??

The researchers are planning an intimate exchange of ideas with specialists, foster parents and young people in foster care situations. “In addition”, says Wolff, “we will research the explicit and implicit protection concepts already being applied in foster care situations and within the operational infrastructures of foster families". Under the auspices of Landshut University of Applied Sciences, the project team will then collaborate with key people within the relevant specialist political fields to develop recommendations for action based on their findings. Among other things, their findings will be incorporated into advanced training materials.