Disillusioned compromise of substitute care: A critical point for the ‘future’ in child welfare


  • Johanna Korpinen Tampere University
  • Tarja Pösö Tampere University


out-of-home care, anticipation, decision-making, disagreements, documents


The article examines how the future is anticipated and integrated in the statutory decision-making of care orders, and how disagreements between the social worker and the parents and/or child are portrayed when decisions about the future of the child are at stake. Despite the rights given to children (aged 12 or older) and parents to express their view and to have a say in the decision-making process in Finland, the analysis, based on care order documents, highlights only the scarce recording of substitute care, disagreement, and anticipation of the future. Future substitute care is indeed a difficult landscape for formal disputes in organisational settings when the ‘future’ is unknown. The term ‘disillusioned compromise’ is suggested to capture the problematic weak nature of the anticipation of the future.