Contacts between Children Considered Neglected and Their Parents after Placement Outside Their Own Family in Czech Republic

Sabina Zdrahalová, Alice Gojova

Sabina Zdráhalová, is a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Studies, University of Ostrava and is engaged in research and practice in social work with families.

Alice Gojová is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the Faculty of Social Studies, University of Ostrava. Her research focuses mainly on the development of social inclusion tools, especially through family support and community work interventions.

OBJECTIVES: The main research objective is to determine how parents interpret the setup, support, and evaluation of regular face-to-face contacts with their child following placement in substitute care on the grounds of neglect. THEORETICAL BASE: The theoretical background is constituted by the findings on the importance of children’s need for contact with their own parents and neglect as a social construct. METHODS: The qualitative research consisted of in-depth interviews with actual parents selected using purposive criterion sampling. Data were processed using Grounded Theory analytic procedures. OUTCOMES: Research findings indicate that parents perceive setup and support of contact as a complicated and lengthy process that, particularly in the child’s adjustment phase, threatens parents’ mutual right to parenting and the children’s right to their care. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The research results provide social workers with suggestions for the quality setup, evaluation, and support of contact between children and their biological parents.

social work, substitute care, support for contact between parent and child placed in substitute care, child neglect

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