Out-of-home care: Practice and research between head and tail


  • Erik J. Knorth Leiden University
  • James P. Anglin University of Victoria
  • Hans Grietens University of Leuven


out-of-home care, placement, decision-making process


Out-of-home care has a very high impact on children and their families. For this reason, careful preparation, planning and guidance for a stay in a foster family or residential care are necessary. The authors consider out-of-home care as a process with a start ('head') and finish ('tail'). These two phases in particular hold crucial moments of decision-making and professional support to clients. Attuning the 'head, body and tail' of out-of-home care to the needs of vulnerable children and families enhances the chances of positive outcomes. Research is presented that supports this central notion.

Author Biographies

Erik J. Knorth, Leiden University

Erik J. Knorth, PhD, Department of Education, Centre for Special Education and Child Care, Leiden University, the Netherlands.

James P. Anglin, University of Victoria

James P. Anglin, PhD, School of Child and Youth Care, University of Vitoria, Canada.

Hans Grietens, University of Leuven

Hans Grietens, PhD, Centre for Disability, Special Needs Education and Child Care, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium.