Citizens’ views in four jurisdictions on placement policies for maltreated children

Marit Skivenes (University of Bergen) and June Thoburn (University of East Anglia) (2017)
Child & Family Social Work

Citizens’ opinions on child protection public policy are a key dimension of the legitimacy of a political order. We have conducted a survey vignette on a representative sample of citizens (N = 4,003) in England, Finland, Norway, and California, USA. The findings show that citizens’ opinions are clearly in favour of adoption (75%) rather than long-term foster care (25%). Context may partly explain the findings, as the responses of the majority of Anglo-American respondents are in line with practice in their countries but for the Nordic respondents, there is a substantial discrepancy between citizens’ opinions and on-going child protection practices.