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Issues » 2018/3 - Critical Perspectives in Social Work »

Lucie Sodomková, Jan Šerek, Dana Juhová

Civic Attitudes and Participation of Adolescents Growing Up in Children’s Homes


OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to compare the level of civic participation and related psychological variables in adolescents growing up in children’s homes and a family environment. THEORETICAL BASE: Previous research studies suggest differences between young people growing up in a family environment and young people reared in institutional care in a number of variables. METHODS: A questionnaire survey was used to compare civic attitudes and participation among Czech adolescents aged 14 to 17 growing up in children’s homes (n = 96) and in a family environment (n = 1,959). The data was collected in 2014 and 2016. OUTCOMES: Contrary to our expectations, the results showed that young people reared in children’s homes and young people reared in family environment were similar in most of the examined variables. The minor differences were found in expected future participation, as institutionalized adolescents were less likely to assume their future involvement in civic life. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATION: Thus, although young people growing up in children’s homes seem to have similar potential as young people in family environment, their potential might be limited by fears of the future. It is advisable for social work practice to systematically address these fears.


civic participation, civic engagement, political participation, future civic participation, residential care, institutional care, children’s home

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