DOI: 10.1111/fare.12972 ISSN: 0197-6664

Foster parenting during the COVID‐19 pandemic: A qualitative analysis. Case of Poland

Marta Danecka, Józefa Matejek, Joanna Mirosław
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Education



This article aims to identify new risks for foster families and their institutional environment resulting from the COVID‐19 pandemic.


During the pandemic, the government in Poland introduced significant restrictions, including social isolation and closures of public institutions. It caused challenges in the foster care system where self‐care has been major issue.


In‐depth interviews were conducted with 45 people who were involved in the foster care system. Participants were recruited using a purposive approach and the snowball method. The interviews were analyzed using a six‐stage thematic analysis.


The functioning of the foster care system in response to the COVID‐19 pandemic evidenced some practices that challenged carers and children.


The foster care system, which is based on the deinstitutionalization paradigm, requires changes and procedural approaches that need to be put in place for the system to be able to adapt to a similar crisis.


This article suggests some social policy solutions to improve the quality of care and parenting services, and the conditions for foster families when institutions in the social environment are closed.

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