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Hosting Strangers: hospitality and family practices in fostering unaccompanied refugee and asylum seeking young people

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Child and Family Social Work
Issue number1
Volume18
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)5-14
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Refugee young people entering foster care face transitions as they settle into life in a new country and household. Drawing on findings from a study on foster care for refugee young people in England, this paper examines encounters and negotiations with the public worlds of the asylum system and foster care delivery within the intimate setting of the household and everyday domestic practices in foster care. The paper considers Derrida's neologism ‘hostipitality’ to explore challenges in hospitality in this context. The framework of ‘family practices’ is then applied to explore how foster carers and young people ‘did’ family in foster care. It was found that family practices were inhibited by tensions and challenges in the notion of ‘hospitality’, but family practices also offered opportunities to respond and promote young people's sense of belonging in the family in this environment. It concludes that hospitality at the threshold is necessary, but that the most successful foster care relationships were able to move through and beyond hospitality to relationships of family‐like intimacy.