Examining child foster care from a developmental perspective: a case study from Croatia / Gordana Keresteš. - 27-40 str.
According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, State Parties should ensure alternative care for children who are unable to live with their biological parents. Foster care is one of the leading alternative care systems. It provides children unable to live with their biological parents a family context, rather than rearing in institutions. This paper analyzes the child foster care system in Croatia from the perspective of developmental science, in order to identify areas for improvement. It reviews international research findings on foster care, in order to identify possible mechanisms of change. It is argued that foster care staff and policymakers should be continuously trained and informed regarding the latest research in developmental science, in order to enhance children’s developmental outcomes. It is also pointed out that child foster care effects should be systematically evaluated, allowing this intervention to become evidence-based.