Children in out-of-home care placements: an Italian research study on outcomes and processes

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The study examined data about 8,438 children placed in out-of-home care by Child Protection Services in a region in the Northern Italy, during the time span of 2008-2012, to understand whether out-of-home placements have led to an effective improvement in their conditions. Starting from literature analysis and available data, a range of outcome and process typologies was developed in order to analyse data. In particular, five outcome types (in family, stable; out of family, stable; adopted; on-going placement; unknown) and six process types (evolving; regressive; oscillating; static out-of-home; uncertain at home; undetectable) were detected. Each types was divided into sub-types. Than each child was given a tags attuned to an outcome and a process type. Descriptive analysis about outcomes and processes was carried out. The types and sub-types used in the study seemed to be an useful instrument for analysing the children’s route outside their birth families. The importance of overcoming the observation of the situation at the end of intervention to adopt a perspective stance was confirmed. Implication for social work are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • child protection
  • family reunification
  • out-of-home placements
  • types of outcomes
  • types of processes


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