A Study on the Birth Parent's Experience in the Process of Family Reunification for Children in Social Care

보호아동의 친가정 복귀 과정에서 친부모의 경험 연구

  • Received : 2011.11.04
  • Accepted : 2011.12.29
  • Published : 2012.02.29


Using grounded theory method, this study analyzed the in-depth interviews with 11 parents of institutionalized children in order to find out how the experience of the parents on the process of the children's family reunification. According to the results, it was 'leaving one's child' that composed causal conditions, and also it was 'sentenced life' and 'adapting to a life without child' that composed existing conditions. Thus, the contextual condition was found out as 'a belief of family' and 'a belief of child caring' and the mediation conditions were 'power to recover' and 'not being as one's intentions'. Also, reaction/interaction strategies turned out as 'preparing a basis of child-care', 'playing a parent', 'standing against being adapted' and 'adjusting as their children back to family'. Finally, the analysis showed 'burdens on caring', 'wanting to leave one' child again', 'having stronger family membership' and 'being hopeful in a future' as results. The specific levels of the process were found out as following 4 steps, as time goes by. 1)Fostering children at institutions: become harsh parents(or a harsh parent), 2)After fostering: rebuild collapsed family in order to take the children back, 3)Family reunification: become aboveboard to oneself, family and the world, 4)After family reunification: try to keep the family taking precautions against resending. While taking their children back, the parents turned out to experience long, unremitting tension. Reflecting results of the analysis above, and in order to promote sending institutionalized children back to their families this article suggests practical alternatives for parents who left their children in institutions.


Institutionalized children;Family reunification;Grounded theory method


Supported by : 한국연구재단