Where is home? The lived experiences of Chinese children after their parents have been incarcerated
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AbstractThis study conducted in-depth interviews to explore the lived experiences of 17 Chinese children with incarcerated parents. These children were under the care of a charitable agency at the time of interview. Narratives of the children revealed a drifting journey that began with ‘feeling like an orphan’, helplessness and abandonment, then progressed to ambivalent dependence on the extended family as ‘extra burdens’, and finally reached to the destination of ‘lucky settlement’ in the charitable agency filled with complex feelings of uncertainty, gratitude and relief. This journey was situated in a cultural context with heavy reliance on informal support and family responsibilities, minimal role of government in child safety and protection, and lack of formal child welfare services. Implications for child welfare practice and policy in China, particularly as related to the well-being of children with incarcerated parents, included supporting the growth of charitable organisations, developing residential care programmes, and establishing a comprehensive formal support system with timely provision of services immediately after the parent is arrested.
All Author(s) ListXIA Lili, LAM Ching Man
Journal nameJournal of Social Work Practice
Detailed descriptiononline version on Oct 15, 2018
Year2018
ISSN0265-0533
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsChildren with incarcerated parent(s), residential service, child welfare in China, children's lived experiences

Last updated on 2020-28-03 at 01:52