Understandings of biological kinship ties in social workers’ accounts: A cross-cultural study of out-of-home placements in Norway and France


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Qualitative Social Work;



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Although kinship has been the object of growing anthropological interest since the mid-1980s, few studies have concentrated on the cultural understandings of biological kinship ties in the context of out-of-home placements. Drawing on qualitative data from interviews with professionals in Norway and France, this article compares the meanings attributed to biological ties where children are in out-of-home placements. Applying theoretical perspectives from the new kinship studies, the analysis reveals that while a reference to biological ties underlies both the Norwegian and the French accounts, these biological ties are expressed differently. Moreover, these different understandings of biological ties impact on social work practice, for example in respect of parent–child contact. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for social work practice with children and families.


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  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/2681