Frederikke Jarlby

Department of social sciences, NORCE / Western University of Applied Sciences

Portrett av Frederikke Jarlby

Home and (dis)continuity: Foster care for unaccompanied refugee minors

Timeframe: October 2020 – September 2024


Critics claim that the cultural rights and needs of children with migrant backgrounds have not been sufficiently considered when they are placed in foster care (Fylkesnes et al., 2015; Hollekim et al., 2016). More knowledge on this topic is needed, especially when it comes to longitudinal foster care research in a Nordic context.


The project aims to better understand the needs of unaccompanied refugee minors living in foster care in Norway, especially with regards to how ‘home’ and ‘continuity in care’ are experienced, negotiated and constructed, and thereby contribute to discussions on how equitable and culturally sensitive services can be developed.

Research questions

  • How do young people and their foster carers experience and construct ‘home’?
  • How do young people and their foster carers negotiate ‘continuity in care’?
  • How do experiences of ‘home’ in foster care evolve over time?


Qualitative individual photo-elicitation interviews will be conducted with nine foster families, including unaccompanied refugee minors and their foster parents. Participants will be interviewed at two points in time with an interval of 6-8 months in between.


Continuity refers to stable care and adult relationships, as well as the child’s ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic background (UNCRC, 1989, Article 20). Homing can be understood as a continuous search for a sense of security, familiarity, and control (Boccagni, 2017).


Boccagni, P. (2017). Migration and the search for home: Mapping domestic space in migrants’ everyday lives. Springer.

Fylkesnes, M. K., Iversen, A. C., Bjørknes, R., & Nygren, L. (2015). Frykten for barnevernet-En undersøkelse av etniske minoritetsforeldres oppfatninger. Tidsskriftet Norges Barnevern, 92(02), 81-96.

Hollekim, R., Anderssen, N., & Daniel, M. (2016). Contemporary discourses on children and parenting in Norway: Norwegian Child Welfare Services meets immigrant families. Children and Youth Services Review, 60, 52-60.

UNCRC. (1989). Convention on the Rights of the Child. UN General Assembly

Contact information:

About the research project