Ecological approach to work with foster families in the USA and Europe



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.

General Information

Keywords: ecological approach; ecocultural theory; ambiguous loss theory; foster family; biological family; kinship care; social support

Journal rubric: Social Psychology

Article type: review article

For citation: Archakova T.O. Ecological approach to work with foster families in the USA and Europe [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2012. Vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 86–97. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tatyana O. Archakova, Psychologist and Methodologist, Charity Child Foundation “Victoria”, Charity Foundation “Volunteers to Help Orphans”, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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