Marzia Saglietti

"Containing Them: This is the Problem": Unaccompanied Minors and Residential Care Social Workers

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This paper represents a preliminary contribution in analyzing how through interviews some experts of Roman residential care facilities for children – managers of different communities hosting out-of-home children – discursively build the term 'unaccompanied minor', recently entered into social workers' vocabulary. Theoretical and methodological approach, based on Discursive Psychology, aim at analyzing interpretations about unaccompanied minors and their characteristics from social workers' standpoint. Principal aim of this study is finding the link between these representations and everyday life of group homes. Results show that representations on unaccompanied foreign minors are highly different from "standard" out-of-home children' ones and that they contribute in redefining group homes' organizational mandate, social workers daily practices, networking, and so on. Conclusions will provide with practical indications for welfare agencies, reflections on intercultural management of residential care and for closer examination of the issue.

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