Project

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Experiencing Welfare - Encountering Coercion? Unaccompanied Minor Refugees in Institutional Care

English title Fürsorge erfahren - Zwang erleben? Unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge in institutioneller Betreuung
Applicant Rieker Peter
Number 177372
Funding scheme NRP 76 Welfare and coercion
Research institution Institut für Erziehungswissenschaft Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education
Start/End 01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022
Approved amount 528'285.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Education and learning sciences, subject-specific education
Social work

Keywords (5)

Institutional Care; Coercion; Professionals; Unaccompanied Minor Refugees; Welfare

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Das Projekt untersucht die Unterbringung und Betreuung unbegleiteter minderjähriger Flüchtlinge, wobei verschiedene historische Kontexte und verschiedene Betreuungsformen berücksichtigt werden, um der Wissenschaft, der Fachpraxis und der Politik Wissen zu vermitteln und Anregungen zu geben.
Lay summary
Zur Unterbringung und Betreuung unbegleiteter minderjähriger Flüchtlinge und zu darin angelegten Zwangsmomenten liegen, nicht nur für die Schweiz, kaum verlässliche Forschungsbefunde vor, sodass es diesbezüglich an empirisch abgesichertem Wissen fehlt – sowohl in Hinblick auf die aktuelle Situation als auch bezüglicher historischer Entwicklungen. Das Projekt untersucht daher die Unterbringung und Betreuung unbegleiteter minderjähriger Flüchtlinge, die durch a) asylrechtliche, asylpolitische und asylbürokratische Vorgaben, b) ethnische und kulturelle Fremdheitserfahrungen sowie c) Vorstellungen zu kindgerechtem Aufwachsen und Hilfebedürftigkeit mit Aspekten von Fürsorge als auch Zwang verbunden sein können. Die gegenwärtige Unterbringung und Betreuung wird ethnographisch, d.h. durch Beobachtungen und Interviews mit den Beteiligten, untersucht, wobei verschiedene Betreuungsformen (MNA-Zentren, Erwachsenenunterkünfte, Pflegefamilien) berücksichtigt werden; in historischer Perspektive wird sich das Projekt auf Dokumente zu ausgewählten Gruppen unbegleiteter Jugendlicher fokussieren, die zwischen 1947–1981 in die Schweiz geflohen sind. Beantwortet werden dabei verschiedene Fragen: Wie werden die jeweiligen Betreuungskontexte von den verschiedenen Akteuren erfahren und eingeschätzt? Wie wird der fürsorgerische Alltag durch die beteiligten Akteure gestaltet? Welchen Anforderungen müssen die beteiligten Akteure entsprechen? Auf diese Weise sollen der wissenschaftlichen Diskussion fundierte Erkenntnisse zur Verfügung gestellt und der Fachpraxis sowie der Politik Anregungen zur Weiterentwicklung gegeben werden.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 10.07.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dr. Eva Mey - ZHAW, Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
DJI-Fachgruppe "Angebote und Adressaten der Kinder- und Jugendhilfe" Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Rosenthal - Universität Göttingen Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Dr. Philipp Eigenmann, Universität Zürich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Prof. Dr. Mechthild Bereswill - Universität Kassel Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
3. Konferenz des Netzwerks Fluchtforschung Talk given at a conference „Wir sind keine Kinder mehr, sondern Erwachsene. Wir brauchen keine Ersatzeltern!“ Verhandlungsweisen sozialer Vulnerabilitätspositionierungen von MNA in der Schweiz 17.09.2020 Online, Switzerland Mörgen Rebecca;
Internationalen Konferenz der DGS-Biographieforschungssektion zu „Exile – Flight – Persecution“ Talk given at a conference Jugendliche mit Fluchterfahrungen: situative Vulnerabilitätserfahrungen als biographische Ressourcen? 28.11.2019 Göttingen, Germany Rieker Peter; Mörgen Rebecca;
10th International Foster Care Research Network Conference Talk given at a conference Doing Family? Unaccompanied Minor Refugees in Foster Families. 06.09.2019 Zürich, Switzerland Mörgen Rebecca;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Wahlthemenwoche „Flucht – eine Herausforderung für Soziale Arbeit“ Talk 02.07.2020 St. Gallen, Switzerland Mörgen Rebecca;


Abstract

In recent years, unaccompanied minor refugees (UMR) have been received in increasing numbers in Switzerland, whereas little is known so far about the chances and challenges of placing and caring for these children and adolescents in the Swiss context. Likewise, there are considerable gaps regarding the international state of research. Against this background, the proposed project intends to analyse the placement and care of these young refugees systematically and, most of all, to shed some light on the situations in the welfare process that may be determined by coercion. Three dimensions are focussed that are highly relevant in this context: - Aspects concerned with asylum law, asylum policy, and asylum bureaucracy, which characterize the lives of young refugees in Switzerland and, for the person concerned, may be associated with instances of coercion;- ethno-cultural aspects, which are present in the everyday lives of young refugees and may be connected with experiences of otherness and with demands for adaptation; - generational aspects, i.e. certain notions regarding growing up in a child-oriented manner and the need for help, that are not always adequate for the experiences and needs of young refugees. The focus of the proposed project is relevant to present times and is complemented by a historically oriented research part. With regard to the actual social practice of placing and caring for UMR, different contexts are included and analysed: Child and youth welfare homes and living groups, children’s village, foster families, refugee centres. The placement and care practices in these institutions are to be monitored by an ethnographic field approach, in order to be able to reconstruct the area of tension between welfare and coercion. This part of the analysis is supplemented with interviews with professionals, foster parents, and young refugees, in order to determine the subjective points of view of the individuals affected and their experiences and estimations regarding placement and care. In addition, questions concerning continuity, change, and developmental processes can be considered with the help of a longitudinal design. The historically oriented part of the study refers to the years 1947 to 1981 and, in a diachronic perspective, concentrates on placing and caring for select groups of UMR that entered Switzerland in the course of politically motivated refugee movements and were cared for in different contexts. These are children and adolescents from Hungary, Tibet, Czechoslovakia, and Indochina that were placed in homes, with foster families, and in a children’s village and for whom extensive documentation exists in various archives. The extraordinary knowledge potential of the proposed project is located in the involvement of different historical contexts, in the comparison of different care contexts and cantons, in the reconstruction of the subjective perspectives of the different persons involved, and in the longitudinal study design. Furthermore, the proposed project is closely connected to application-oriented questions, to the cooperation with practice partners, and to a transfer of results to the realm of professional practice. In doing so, the proposed project offers not only empirically sound knowledge to the persons responsible politically and to the professionals concerned with placement and care, but also the opportunity to introduce their own questions, to reflect upon their own practices, and to exchange views and ideas with colleagues from other institutions and contexts.
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