New video on NRP 76: Care placements of minors in border regions

Researchers in a team headed by Sandro Cattacin at the University of Geneva investigated the circumstances that led to authorities placing Swiss and Italian children in care in border regions in the mid-20th century.

Between 1940 and 1975, the Swiss authorities placed children from Switzerland and Italy in care in institutions on both sides of the border. Minors from both countries were forcibly placed in homes or with foster families, irrespective of their backgrounds. One reason for this was a lack of places in existing institutions in Ticino.

Sandro Cattacin’s research project investigated the processes and dynamics at this time which led to the two border cantons of Valais and Ticino taking these compulsory social measures. The project also covered the children of foreign seasonal workers. This meant it was possible to show that foreign children were also affected by compulsory social measures and placements.

Foreign minors were often the subject of multiple placements in care. If children were unable to adapt to the institutional context or foster family, the authorities often decided to move them to another location in the hope of better results.

To provide some insights into the findings of the NRP 76 research projects, NRP 76 has created a number of videos, including this one on the project by Sandro Cattacin and his team. The findings of NRP 76 are presented in three thematic volumes – the project on the placement of minors in care in border regions can be found in Volume 3 “Schicksale der Fremdplatzierung” [The fates of those placed in care]. The books are available in print and as e-books (open access).