In Flanders, family foster care is increasingly the option of choice for children in need of out-of-home care. Foster care is however an assailable intervention as is shown by the high number of placement disruptions. Knowledge regarding breakdown in Flanders remains scant. This study aimed at investigating the incidence of placement breakdown in Flemish long-term foster care and exploring the association of breakdown with foster child, foster family and case characteristics. Case files of 309 Flemish foster children were analysed. After 6 years, 208 placements had terminated: 90 placements broke down and 118 placements ended positively. Foster child’s behavioural problems, conflicts between birth and foster parents and parenting problems of the foster parents were the main causes of placement disruption. Foster children with behavioural problems at admission, older foster children and foster children who denied treatment were more at risk of breakdown. Consideration of these factors is important in view of the appropriateness of family foster care placements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-220
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number2
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018

    Research areas

  • Behavioural problems, Breakdown, Foster care, Out-of-home care

ID: 35602825