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Experiences of Emergency Foster Carers in Creating a Child-Safe Environment


Recently, a lot of attention has been paid to the implementation of child wel¬fare in Lithuania: in mid-2018 the reform of child protection was launched. As the result of these reforms, taking a child from parents became not only difficult, but as a last resort and only possible when, considering the child’s need for protection and the provision of temporary care and assistance given to the biological family, the situation remains unchanged or deteriorates. The modern concept of child care emphasises the priority of child care and family care; therefore, to help a child taken from an unsafe environment or left without parental care before returning him or her to a biological family or until permanent foster carers or adoptive parents are found, the emergency foster carers rush to help. Admitting a stranger, usually a child who has already been traumatised by life, into your home is a significant challenge, because it is the emergency foster carers on duty who are the first to experience aggressive or closed, problematic behaviour of the child. Given the number of children deprived of parental care, there is a lack of emergency foster carers who could take the children of families in a period of crisis into their families, The study was based on constructivist ontology and subjectivist interpretive epistemology. Six emergency foster carers with whom children had no kinship agreed to participate in the study. The aim of the study is to reveal the elements of a safe environment constructed by emergency foster carers when a child enters temporary care. During the child fostering process, the participants of the research try to create a physically and emotionally safe environment for children, providing a safe relationship and environment close to a family model in which the physiological needs of children are met, leisure time is organised, children are trained in various social skills, various specialists give support, and an unbroken relationship with the child’s biological family is assured.
Keywords: guardian on duty, child in foster care, care process.


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