The relationship between education and child welfare in Japanese children’s self-reliance support facilities
In comparison to the foster care system in western countries, in Japan most child protective care is conducted in facilities. This article examines the institutional changes necessary for the introduction of school education in children’s self-reliance support facilities (CSSF) and considers the relationship between the spheres of education and welfare from the narratives of the school teachers who conduct the education practices and the facility staff who conduct the welfare practices. By examining these issues, this paper seeks to identify the challenges in introducing school education to the CSSF and discuss how the spheres of education and welfare can work together to overcome them. Following the introduction of school education into the CSSF, study guidance in the facilities was taken out of the hands of the facility staff and was conducted by qualified teachers. From teacher and welfare staff narratives, this introduction of school education was seen as an ‘erosion by school education’ for child welfare. However, from the perspective of Goffman’s total institution approach, this erosion has gradually generated new practices that differ from the conventional perspectives of school education or welfare. Building off of this perspective, this article suggests that school education in the CSSF can allow the children to temporarily experience a pseudo-society separate from their life in the child welfare facility, and this can offer benefits for the child’s eventual social re-integration.