Intervention models in child protection: From family foster care to reunification or adoption and pos-adoption

In a responsible society to be attentive on how to assure the best interests of the child, for all children, require a constant improvement in the quality of the professional and non-professional practices. To define and knowing the best ways to answer the children needs, respecting their voice, their participation and their individuality is really a challenge. In Portugal the welfare system of the children protection faces the deinstitutionalization, and the re-emergence of the foster family care demands specialized interventions and the requalification of practices. This symposium aims to present intervention’ models developed to qualify the professionals’ practices in the domain of child protection. The presentation will follow the cycle of the intervention, since the assessment, training and follow the foster families, working with parents of children in family foster care for the reunification, and when this is not possible, to prepare the transition from the family foster care to adoptive family and, finally, to explore the openness of adoptive parents to pos-adoption intervention. These intervention models were informed by scientific and practice inputs, developed through a continuous dialogue between researchers and professionals, that guided the models’ definition, implementation, and evaluation. We conclude underlining that the child should be at the center of the intervention process, giving them developmentally adequate opportunities to act as a fully engaged agent.

Margarida Rangel Henriques

University of Porto. Portugal

Margarida Rangel Henriques is Psychologist, Researcher and Psychotherapist in the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Porto. She teaches at the bachelor and master level, as well as in the PhD Program. Since 2009, she is the head of the Psychology Intervention Centre for Children and Adolescents in the same Faculty, and where she founded the Adoption and Foster-Care Children Unit. The main interesting areas are narrative approaches, clinical intervention, adoption, foster care, and case-workers training life story and the construction of identity. She has had several research projects in the field, integrate different research teams and supervision pos-doc, PhDs and Master thesis in the field, provide an advanced knowledge in the field. It has developed intervention programs and work tools designed to work with children and adolescents who have suffered abuse, namely the construction of a life narrative with children. She is co-author of the National Plan for Adoption Candidates Training, and she did the training on it of all country. In the field of adoption work of assessment candidates, she was the responsible for the Portuguese validation of CUIDA, the Questionnaire for the Assessment of Adopters, Caregivers, Guardians and Mediators, available in the Hoegreffe, She is the first author of the publication of Program for Prepare Children for Adoption (PPCA), and she did the training of more than two hundred welfare care professionals across the country, promoted by the National Social Security Institute in Lisbon, Azores and Madeira. She integrates, since the foundation, the ProChild CoLab, Against Poverty and Exclusion, supervising and coordinating projects in the field of the child protection. She has a specialization in Systemic Family Therapy and in Narrative Therapy, and she has a long experience in the training and supervision of professionals in the field of child promotion and protection.




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