AAU logo

Faculty of Social Sciences

Foster care

The area of foster care in Denmark

A team of researchers from the Department of Sociology and Social Work at AAU has made an extensive study about foster care in Denmark. The research has provided new knowledge about foster carers’ level of education, their working conditions, and settlement patterns.

The challenge

Since the 2000s, the number of children and teenagers in Denmark placed in foster families has increased. Over half of all children and teenagers in care are currently placed with foster families. For this reason, a team of researchers from the Department of Sociology and Social Work intend to attain more knowledge of the foster families and the children and teenagers in care.   


The science

The researchers have made a nation-wide questionnaire completed by 3.200 foster carers.

“Our research shows that a fifth of the foster carers are unsatisfied with the communication between them and the municipality. At the same time, it seems that not all foster carers are correctly prepared to take on the job as a foster carer. A fifth of them have not been required to take the initial foster carer course even though it is a condition if one wants to become a foster carer in Denmark. A third of the foster carers tell that they are never supervised” – Inge M. Bryderup, research leader, tells.     



The study has evoked the interest of politicians, professionals, interest groups and the like as it provides insight knowledge about the typical foster carer.

“The majority of the foster carers live in rural districts. An explanation for this tendency might be that, for a long time since the 1700s, it was tradition to place children in the countryside as cities were viewed as unhealthy. However, it can prove problematic when a parent wants to visit their child. Somewhat surprisingly, the study also shows that foster carers, overall, have higher levels of education compared to other people in the same age range. The majority have a medium-cycle higher education which is not the overall case for people of the ages between 40-69.”


 Inge Bryderup

 Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Work
 Phone: +45 99 40 81 27
 View AAU profile
 Research groups:
 FOSO - Social Work Research Unit