(CZ) Sociální postavení dětí vychovávaných od nejútlejšího dětství v dětských domovech
(EN) The Social Position of Children Brought up from Their Earliest Childhood in Children’s Homes
Autor / Author: Dunovský, J.
Klíčová slova / Key words:
As part of an extensive team research into the state of development of the children brought up from their birth or from their earliest childhood in our Children’s Homes, 21 children aged from 11 years and 8 months to 15 years and 8 months were interviewed and asked about their information of their basic personal and family data, about their relationship to their immediate surroundings, about their own assessment of their situation and the character of their placement in society. At the same time inquiry was made into the children’s attitudes to their situation. The control group was made up of 21 children of the same sex, age and IQ but living in normal families. Objective data about the children’s blood relations were obtained from their documentation and those about the children of the control group were obtained by interviewing their parents too. Complete information about the lives, fortunes and data of the children living in Children’s Homes was often very difficult to get hold of. Most children in Children’s Homes have both parents, all have at least one pare111. Apart from seven cases of formal interest none of these parents showed interest in their children. Two thirds parents showed no interest in their children at all, one third only formal interest. The average number of brothers and sisters per one child in the Children’s was 3,1 and for the most part these brothers and sisters also live in various Children’s Homes. In the control group there was 1.43 brother or sister par child. The children have lived on an average in 3—7 different institutions, altogether in 101 institutions. Ten children were committed to the care of an Institution by court, in case of eleven children the court made no decision at all as to their permanent residence in a Children’s Home. Only in the case of one child was the father deprived of his parental rights. The children’s answers to the inquiries have shown that less than one half of them know anything about the basic data regarding their parents and brother or sisters and only one quarter of them would be able to recognize their parents in the street. One half of the children had absolutely negative emotional relationship to members of their family, while the other half had some emotional ties mainly with brothers or sisters, which contrasts sharply with the control group of children living with their own families, who spoke up univocally for members of their family and for their parents in particular. This became especially apparent when they were to name the person they loved most. Two-thirds of the children from Children’s Homes were unable to name such a person at all (eleven didn’t know)!! Neither are the children sufficiently informed about their houseparents in the Children’s Homes and their relations to them are predominantly indifferent, to say the least. Their idea of »home« is contradictory, only in three cases did they connect this idea with their Children’s Home. The children’s answers and their mutual confrontations have shown that the children had no emotional background. In their relationships to their environment they show uncertainty and chaos, they do not know where they belong, with part of them longing for a dream-like ideal home with their own parents. Less than half of them can assess their situation in accordance with the reality, i. e. being children who have no one. This uncertainty as well as the ability to strike up quick but mostly superficial relationships is confirmed by their positive, one can say very positive relationship to the Child Psychiatry department where they were examined, which contrasts with what is generally known about the way children from normal families react to their stay in hospital. In confronting these results with the present state of our care for children in the Children’s Homes the inadequacy of this care was referred to together with the need for enforcing its reform on the basis of family principles for those children who have been deprived of their family, have not found a substitute and are obliged to live permanently in institutions. This reform must be carried out in accordance with the modern principles of the care for children living away from their own families and this care must be shared by all the authorities responsible for the child.
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