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Ian Sinclair

Following a first degree in philosophy and ancient history Ian Sinclair worked in secondary teaching, probation, social services, counselling and industrial and social research. He was director of research at the National Institute for Social Work from 1977 to 1989 when he became first Professor of Social Work and then (In 1996) co-director of the Social Work Research and Development Unit at the University of York where he is still an emeritus Professor. Since retirement in 2006 he has worked on a mixed randomised and observational evaluation of the English implementation of Multi-dimensional Treatment Foster Care and has provided consultancy to the Rees Centre at the University of Oxford. His ideas reflect this career, but also the influence of his late wife, a trained social worker, who also at times ran a residential unit, worked as a foster carer and took in homeless adults and young people. He has published books and articles on, among other things, foster care and residential care for young people and the operation of the English care system.

Carme Montserrat

Dr Carme Montserrat is deputy dean in the Faculty of Education and Psychology at the University of Girona (Spain). She is tenured professor at this Faculty since 2006 and also a researcher in the Research Team on Childhood, Adolescence, Children's rights and their Quality of Life (ERIDIqv) within the Research Institute on Quality of Life (IRQV) at the University. She has given teaching at the degrees of Psychology and Social Education, and also at different master's, post-degree and doctoral programs. She has also collaborated with the Science Education Institute at the University of Girona in the training of professors. She acquired her PhD in 2006 from the University of Girona, having previously worked in the welfare system in the city of Barcelona as well as being consultant with the Council of Europe. Her main areas of research are related to social services and children and adolescence in public care using quantitative and qualitative methodology. She has authored and co-authored some books and chapters, and has published several papers in prestigious national and international journals and as well as communications presented to national and international conferences.

She also participated in the EU 7FP focused on Young people leaving care and their pathways to education from 2008 to 2010 and in the Children's worlds, an international survey of children's well-being with 13 countries (2013-14). She did a research visit for 6 months in 2011 in the Social Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of York and for 3 months in 2012 in the Instituto de Psicologia de la Universidade Federal de Rio Grande do Sul in Porto Alegre (Brasil). She is a member of the International Association of Outcome-Based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children's Services (iaOBER).

Dra. Carme Montserrat Boada
Profesora en la Facultad de Educación y Psicología
Investigadora en el Instituto de Investigación sobre Calidad de Vida (IRQV)
Universitat de Girona
Plaça Sant Domènec, 9
17071 Girona (Spain)
+34 972418313

Robbie Gilligan

De-institutionalisation in child welfare in Ireland - what influenced the journey from institutions to family placement?

Professor Robbie Gilligan is Professor of Social Work and Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin, where he is also Associate Director (and co-founder) of the Children's Research Centre. He is a member of the Board of the European Scientific Association for Residential and Family Care for Children and Adolescents.

Robbie has been a social worker (in foster care and related fields), youth worker, foster carer and board member of residential care centres for children and young people. He has published widely on children and young people in care and other child - related topics, often with a particular focus on foster care practices and policy development

He is a member of the Editorial Boards of the journals: Child Abuse and Neglect, Child and Family Social Work, Children and Society, Child Indicators Research and International Journal of Child and Family Welfare.

Some recent publications include:

  • Laura Arnau Sabates, Robbie Gilligan (2015) What helps young care leavers to enter the world of work? Possible lessons learned from an exploratory study in Ireland and Catalonia, Children and Youth Services Review ,53, p185-191
  • Robbie Gilligan (2015) 'Children In Care - Global Perspectives On The Challenges Of Securing Their Wellbeing And Rights' pp127 - 139 in, editor Anne Smith, Enhancing Children's Rights: Connecting Research, Policy and Practice , Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Emily R. Munro and Robbie Gilligan, (2013) The 'Dance' of Kinship Care in England and Ireland: Navigating a course between regulation and relationships, Psychosocial Interventions , 22, 3, pp. 185 - 192
  • Robbie Gilligan, (2012) De-institutionalisation of services for children in state care in Ireland - A case study of international relevance', Rocenka textu zahranicních profesoru / The Annual of Texts by Foreign Guest Professors, pp. 129-141

Full list of publications available here.

Cinzia Canali

Cinzia Canali has a Degree in Statistics, University of Padua. Since 1992 she has been working as researcher at the Fondazione «E. Zancan» (Padova, Italy).

Area Evaluation and research: Since starting work at the Fondazione, she has been involved in projects related to evaluative research and evaluation of services, with particular attention to children and families services. Recent projects are: Risk for children (Ministry of Welfare and six regions, 2009-2010 and 2011-2012); Transatlantic Forum on Inclusive Early Years - Investing in the Development of Young Children and Low-Income Families (2013-2015); Assessing the outcomes for children living in poverty (Save the children, 2013); INTESYS: Together - Supporting vulnerable children through integrated early childhood services (2015-2018); Childhood, First - a national experimentation in Italy (2016-2018).

Area Social Exclusion: collaboration on the National report on poverty and social exclusion that is annually published by Il Mulino.

She is founding member and President of the International Association for Outcome-based Evaluation and Research on Family and Children's Services and she is involved in the coordination of its activities (research, annual activities, joint publications).

Recent Publications in English (chronological order):

  • Zeira A., Canali C., Vecchiato T. & Thoburn J. (2015). Services to prevent children coming unnecessarily into care: A cross-national perspective. "International Journal of Child and Family Welfare", 16(1/2) Special Issue, pp. 95-112.
  • Canali C., Geron D. (2015) Poverty and social exclusion in Italy and Europe, in Fernandez E., Zeira A., Vecchiato T., Canali C, eds, Theoretical and Empirical Insights into Child and Family Poverty: Cross National Perspectives, Springer Publishers: New York.
  • del Valle J.F., Canali C., Bravo A., Vecchiato T. (2013), Child protection in Italy and Spain: Influence of the family supported society, in Psychosocial Intervention 22 (2013) 227-37.
  • Canali C., Vecchiato T, edited by (2013), Foster care in Europe: what do we know about outcomes and evidence?, Fondazione E. Zancan, Padova.
  • Bezze M., Canali C., Geron D., Vecchiato T. (2013), Services for children: economic and professional resources, Padova, Fondazione Emanuela Zancan onlus and Compagnia di San Paolo.
  • Canali C., Maluccio A.N., Vecchiato T., Approaches to Evaluation in Services for Families and Children, in Maluccio A.N., Canali C., Vecchiato T., Lightburn A., Aldgate J., Rose W., eds (2011), Improving Outcomes for Children and Families. Findings and Using International Evidence, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London and Philadelphia.
  • Ezell M., Spath R., Zeira A., Canali C., Fernandez E., Thoburn J., Vecchiato T., An international classification system for child welfare programs, Children and Youth Services Review 33 (2011) 1847-1854.
  • Canali C., Vecchiato T., Mapping the life space of children living in multi-problem families, International Journal of Child & Family Welfare, vol. 13, n. 1-2/2010.
  • Canali C., Vecchiato T. (2010), How the analysis of need supports decisions for an appropriate foster care and how this could increase effectiveness, in Knorth E.J., Kalverboer M.E., Knot-Dickscheit (eds.), Inside Out. How Interventions in Child and Family Care Work, Garant Publishers, Antwerpen, pp. 264-267.
  • Contact: Cinzia Canali, Fondazione Emanuela Zancan, Via Vescovado 66 - 35141 Padova (Italy), Tel. 0039 049 663800 email:
Vânia Pinto

Different countries, different perspectives? A cross-country comparison of the factors that are associated with successful foster placements

Vânia Pinto is a PhD student in Education at the Rees Centre, Department of Education, University of Oxford, with research in the field of placement success.

She has a degree in Psychological Sciences and a master degree in Clinical Psychology, at ISPA - University Institute, in Portugal. Postgraduate programmes on "Protection of Minors", at the Faculty of Law - University of Coimbra, and on "Data Analysis in the Social Science", in ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon, both in Portugal. Worked for six years as clinical psychologist at a Charity - AMI, Assistência Médica Internacional.

She is a collaborator researcher at InEd-Center for Research and Innovation in Education, School of Education of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto.

Main areas of research: child protection systems, foster care, indicators of placement success.

Recent publications:

  • Delgado Ferreira, P., Carvalho, J.M.S., Pinto, V.S., & Martins, T. (2016). Decisão, risco e incerteza: Retirada ou reunificação de crianças e jovens em perigo? Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 28, xx-xx.
  • Bertão, A., Delgado, P., Carvalho, J., & Pinto, V. S., (2015). O contacto no acolhimento familiar de crianças e jovens. Uma avaliação atual. Revista de Psicologia da Criança e do Adolescente, 6(1), 193-209.
  • Delgado, P., Carvalho, J., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Crescer em família: a permanência no Acolhimento Familiar. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150.
Isabel Soares

Full Professor, School of Pychology, Research Center of Psychology, University of Minho, Portugal

PI of the Attachment Research Group with funded research projects on the effects of institutionalization and quality of care on child development

  • 2010/2013 - "Inhibited and indiscriminate attachment behaviors in institutionalized children: A multi-level comparision with autism and Williams syndrome." Grant PTDC/PSI-PCL/101506/2008
  • 2007/2009 - "Attachment and autonomic regulation: Development of 2.0 version of BioDreAMS and its application to a non-clinical group". Bial Foundation, Grant 13/06

International publications on the effects of institutionalization and quality of care on child development

  • Mesquita, A., Belsky, J., Li, Z., Baptista, J., Carvalho-Correia, E., Maciel, P. & Soares, I. (2015). Institutionalization and indiscriminate social behavior: Differential-susceptibility versus diathesis-stress models for the 5-HTTLPR and BDNF genotypes. Physiology and Behavior, 18; 152(Pt A): 85-91
  • Negrão M., Soares, I., Pereira, M., & Mesman, J. (2015). Maternal attachment representations in relation to emotional availability and discipline behavior. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/17405629.2015.1071254
  • Pinto, R., Soares, I., Carvalho-Correira E., & Mesquita A. (2015). Gene-Environment interaction in psychopathology throughout early childhood: A systematic review, Psychiatric Genetics, Dec; 5(6): 223-233.
  • Mesquita, A., Belsky, J., Crego, A., Fachada, I., Oliveira, P., Sampaio, A., Soares, I. (2015). Neural correlates of face familiarity in institutionally reared children with distinctive, atypical social behavior. Child Development, 86,4, 1262-1271.
  • Oliveira, P., Fearon, P., Belsky, J, Fachada, I., & Soares, I (2015). Quality of Institutional Care and Early Childhood Development. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 39, 2, 161-170, doi: 10.1177/0165025414552302
  • Baptista, J., Belsky, J., Marques, S., Silva, J., Oliveira, P., Mesquita, A., Martins, C., & Soares, I. (2014). The Interactive Effect of Maltreatment in the Family and Unstable Institutional Caregiving in Predicting Behavior Problems in Toddlers. Child Abuse and Neglect, 38, 2072-2079. Doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2014.10.015
  • Pereira, M., Negrão, M. Soares, I., & Mesman, J. (2014) Decreasing Harsh Discipline in Mothers at Risk for Maltreatment: A Randomized Control Trial. Infant Mental Health Journal. Doi: 10.1002/imhj.21464
  • Soares, I., Belsky, J., Oliveira, P., Silva, J., Marques, J., Baptista, J, & Martins (2014). Does early family risk and current quality of care predict indiscriminate behavior in institutionalized Portuguese children? Attachment and Human Development, 16, 2, 137-148. doi: 10.1080/14616734.2013.869237.
  • Negrão, M., Pereira, M., Soares, I., & Mesman, J (2014). Enhancing positive parent-child interactions and family functioning in a poverty sample: A randomized control trial. Attachment and Human Development, 16,4, 315-328
  • Pereira, M., Negrão, M., Soares, I., & Mesman, J. (2013). Predicting harsh Discipline in At-Risk Mothers: The Moderating Effect of Socioeconomic Deprivation Severity. Journal of Child and Family Studies, doi 10.1007/s10826-013-9883-2
  • Mesquita, A.R., Soares, I., Roisman, G.I., van IJzendoorn, M., Bakermans-Kranenburg, M., Luijk, M.P.C., Tiemeier, H. and Belsky, J., (2013). Predicting children's attachment behaviors from the interaction between oxytocin and glucocorticoid receptors polymorphisms. Psychiatry Research,
  • Soares, I., Belsky, J., Mesquita, A., Osório, A., & Sampaio, A. (2013). Why Do Only Some Institutionalized Children Become Indiscriminately Friendly? Insights from the Study of Williams Syndrome. Child Development Perspectives, 7, 3, 187-192.
  • Baptista, J., Belsky, J., Martins, C., Silva, J., Marques, S., Mesquita, A., & Soares, I. (2013). Social withdrawal behaviour in institutionalized toddlers: Individual, early family and institutional determinants. Infant Mental Health Journal, 34(6), 562-573. doi: 10.1002/imhj.21416.
  • Baptista, J., Soares, I. & Henriques. M. (2013) Recuperação desenvolvimental após a adoção: Características da criança e da família adotiva. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica 26, 2
  • Martins, C., Belsky, J., Marques, S., Baptista, J., Silva, J., Mesquita, A., Castro, F., Sousa, N., & Soares, I. (2012). Diverse Physical Growth Trajectories in Institutionalized Portuguese Children below age 3: Relation to Child, Family, and Institutional Factors. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38 (4): 438-448. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jss129
  • Oliveira, P., Soares, I. Martins, C., Silva, J., Marques, S., Baptista, J. & Lyons-Ruth, K. (2012), Attachment behavior in the Strange Situation among institutionalized toddlers and relations to pre-familial and institutional care. Infant Mental Health Journal, 33, 2, 187-196.
  • Pereira, M., Soares, I. & Dias, P. (2010). Desenvolvimento, psicopatologia e vinculação: Estudo exploratório com crianças em Centros de Acolhimento Temporário e suas cuidadoras. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica, 23, 2, 222-231.

National publications on the effects of institutionalization and quality of care on child development

  • Baptista, J., Mesquita, A., Soares, I. (2015). Desenvolvimento de crianças em acolhimento institucional e impacto da qualidade dos cuidados relacionais. Scientia Ivridica, Maio/Agosto, 64, 338, 215-248
  • Pereira, M., Negrão, M., & Soares, I. (2015). Intervenção parental na infância com base na teoria e investigação da vinculação: Video-feedback Intervention to promote Positive Parenting and Sensitive Discipline (VIPP-SD). In A.I.Pereira, A.R.Goes & L. Barros, (Eds.) Promoção da Parentalidade Positiva: Intervenções Psicológicas com pais de crianças e adolescentes. Lisboa: Coisas de Ler.
  • Baptista, J., Soares, I. & Henriques. M. (2012). O impacto da experiência da adoção no desenvolvimento da criança. Psicologia, 2: 63 - 79.
  • Soares, I., Silva, J., Marques, S., Baptista, J. & Oliveira, A. (2010). O impacto da institucionalização e da adopção no desenvolvimento da criança. In C. Machado (Ed.), Vitimologia: Das novas abordagens teóricas às novas práticas de intervenção. (pp.45-80). Braga: Psiquilibrios.
Maria Ducharne

Prof. Auxiliar da Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto
Investigadora responsável pelo GIIAA - Grupo de Investigação e Intervenção em Acolhimento e Adoção na Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto.

Licenciada, Mestre e Doutorada em Psicologia pela Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto.
Doutoramento em Psicologia, especialidade: Psicologia do Desenvolvimento.
Interesses científicos na área do Desenvolvimento humano, em especial pelas trajetórias de desenvolvimento de crianças que viveram adversidades precoces; a Família como contexto principal de desenvolvimento.

Regente da Unidade Curricular de Adoção e Institucionalização, do 4º ano do Mestrado Integrado em Psicologia
Coordenadora do Mestrado em Temas de Psicologia na área temática de Proteção e Direitos da Criança (2015-2017)
Orientadora de 3 doutoramentos terminados e 6 em curso, na área da Psicologia da Adoção e do Acolhimento de crianças e jovens.
Orientador de 43 mestrado em Psicologia concluídos e 17 em curso, na área da Psicologia do Desenvolvimento, Família e Adoção e do Acolhimento residencial de crianças e jovens.
Autora em colaboração do Plano de Formação para a Adoção, no âmbito de um Protocolo de cooperação específico estabelecido entre o ISS,IP e a FPCEUP.

Ultimas publicações:

  • Barbosa-Ducharne, M., & Soares, J. (2016). Process of adoption communication openness in adoptive families: Adopters' perspective. Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica /Psychology: Research and Review, 29(1), 1-9 DOI: 10.1186/s41155-016-0024-x. (
  • Barbosa-Ducharne, M., Ferreira, J., Soares, J., & Barroso, R. (2015). Parental perspectives on adoption communication within Portuguese adoptive families: children/adolescents. Family Science, 6 (1), 58-67. ISSN 1942-4620 (Print), 1942-4639 (Online)
  • Barbosa-Ducharne, M., Soares J., Ferreira, J., &, Barroso, R. (2015). Adoção: a voz de filhos, pais e avós. IPA: Investigação sobre o Processo de Adoção. Relatório preliminar de resultados. Versão digital (2ª ed.). Porto: GIIAA/FPCEUP.