Professional foster families in the reunification process—Polish experience

Jan P. Basiaga, Anna Róg, Beata Zięba‐Kołodziej - Child & Family Social Work


We researched the extent to which professional foster families fulfil their tasks to reintegrate families, what attitudes professional foster families assume towards the idea of reintegration, and to what extent and how professional foster families support a child separated from his or her family and parents in the process of reintegration.

The research examined case studies of a sample of 58 professional foster families functioning as emergency shelter families in the Province of Silesia.

The most Polish professional foster families assume a negative attitude towards reintegration. Moreover, some of the parents who participated in the research thought that most biological parents with difficulties should be deprived of their parental rights. The result of such attitudes is that foster parents make it difficult, in a variety of ways, for the biological parents to contact their child placed in foster care. Foster parents' full commitment to work related to restoring and maintaining emotional bonds between the children in foster care and their families is rarely noticeable. The foster families participating in the research were committed to an even lesser extent to the process of support for biological parents in developing their parental skills and attempts to have their child care rights restored.