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From Chaos to Normalization and Deconfinement: What did the Pandemic Unveil in Youth Residential Care
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal  (IF1.862),  Pub Date : 2022-01-22, DOI: 10.1007/s10560-021-00808-2
Carvalho, Helena M., Mota, Catarina P., Santos, Beatriz, Costa, Mónica, Matos, Paula M.

The conditions imposed by the Covid-19 outbreaks forced residential care (RC) facilities to experience new challenges and to adopt new practices. The aim of the current study is to analyze how RC facilities have experienced and managed confinement during the 1st wave of the pandemic. A thematic analysis of 20 semi-structured interviews were conducted with professionals responsible for managing crisis in RC facilities. The main implications of the confinement measures on RC dynamics and relations were organized in three major themes: Chaos, novelty and organization; reinventing normalization and deconfinement. The pandemic exposes the structural weaknesses of RC, namely mobility of human resources, scarcity of supportive networks, and fragilities in providing comprehensive and integrative care. These factors need to be considered when addressing risk/vulnerability and discussing best practices and policies on child/youth welfare domain. Future studies should explore representations of important key actors as youth, families and other professionals from youth care.