This article presents the development, current status and contemporary challenges of foster care in Poland and Hungary. Both countries, due to their post-socialist tradition, are characterised by the experience of the development of institutionalised foster care during the socialist era, similar consequences of the socio-political transformation of the 1990s and a converging social policy context resulting from membership of the European Union structures for nearly 20 years. The perspective adopted is in line with the concept, which has been present in EU cohesion policy for many years, of child-friendly social services.
The scope of the analysis is an analysis of existing material consisting of the scientific literature on the subject in both countries, research reports and legal regulations on foster care. Based on these analyses, the article draws several conclusions: the development of foster care in both countries followed a similar pattern, and changes have only occurred in recent years due to the increasing role of organisations associated with the Christian Churches in Hungary; despite the undoubted positive importance of foster care, growing up in such a setting also has negative consequences, which are much greater and multidimensional in relation to institutional versus family foster care.