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Is the Deinstitutionalisation of Alternative Care a ‘Wicked Problem’? A qualitative study exploring the perceptions of child welfare practitioners and policy actors in Thailand

This study examined deinstitutionalisation in Thailand. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a total of 27 child welfare practitioners and policy actors to explore their perceptions of Thai alternative care provision. Findings show that participants perceive deinstitutionalisation as a complex policy challenge. Some felt that the institutions were necessary in order to meet demand, while others felt that cultural barriers prevent a shift to family-based approaches, such as foster care. However, data suggest that it would be difficult to characterise deinstitutionalisation as a ‘wicked policy problem’ as participants were hopeful for change, citing increased family- strengthening policies alongside efforts to implement foster care.

Justin M Rogers, Victor Karunan
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Journal article - open access
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