Ecological approach to work with foster families in the USA and Europe 1345
psychologist, charity foundation "Volunteers to help orphans", Moscow, Russia
The article provides the review of contemporary practice in using ecological approach to work with foster families: investigation of peculiarities of their functioning and provision of social and psychological support. The issues of social support and facilitation of communication between the three main stakeholders — biological families, foster families and social workers — are discussed at the exosystemic level. The mesosystemic level is represented with the analysis of the issues of kinship care and provision of continuity in a child's life in the context of non-kinship care. Chronosystem is described as dynamic changes at all the levels of functioning: from child welfare reforms to a child's ontogenetic development. Interrelations between the ecological approach and other topical theories are briefly described.
Keywords: ecological approach; ecocultural theory; ambiguous loss theory; foster family; biological family; kinship care; social support
Column: Social psychology
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