Impactos e desafios da desinstitucionalização para as casas de acolhimento de grande dimensão
: estudo de caso num Centro de Acolhimento Temporário para crianças dos 0 aos 6 anos

  • Ana Filipa Amaro Afonso Marques (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The international guidelines on deinstitutionalisation for protection systems for children who are deprived of parental care recommend that the alternative care be provided in a family environment, thus requiring the elimination of largescale residential structures, given the negative impact of institutionalisation. In Portugal, the 2015 review of the Law for the Protection of At-Risk Children and Youths has incorporated said recommendations by defining a preference for Foster Care over Residential Home Care. Based on a Case Study on a Temporary Care Home for 60 children up to the age of six, this thesis studies the possible impacts of this change in the legislation, as well as the response of the Temporary Care Home in terms of its functioning. The current debate on the future of the institution is also described and characterised on the basis of non-exclusive options: Conservative (residential home care is maintained); Evolutive (an alternative response based on protection of the child at risk is developed, either in the form of Foster Care, a Family Support Centre or a Parental Counselling Centre); or Change-based (the home is closed and a new response that is in line with its large-scale structure, such as a crèche, is opened in its place). The data has shown conclusively that there were significant changes in the movement of children over the last six years, resulting namely in a significant reduction in the occupation rate of the Temporary Care Home, and that changes have been made to the spaces and to the modes of operations with a view to bringing the Temporary Care Home practices into line with the principles that guide the new paradigm. As far as the future is concerned, there is a noted preference for the Conservative option above, as well as major resistance to the Change-based one. There is a certain openness to the Evolutive option, albeit with reservations as to whether it should include Foster Care.
Date of Award13 Dec 2021
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorMarisa Tavares (Supervisor)


  • Deinstitutionalisation
  • Home care
  • Foster care
  • Temporary care home
  • Transformation processes


  • Mestrado em Economia Social

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