A1 Journal article (refereed)
Caring in space : the boundaries between public and private spaces in Finnish adult foster care homes (2021)

Leinonen, E. (2021). Caring in space : the boundaries between public and private spaces in Finnish adult foster care homes. Ageing and Society, 41(5), 1184-1201. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X19001831

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsLeinonen, Emilia

Journal or seriesAgeing and Society



Publication year2021


Issue number5

Pages range1184-1201

PublisherCambridge University Press

Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessNot open

Publication channel open access

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68314


The purpose of this article is to explore a hybrid community-based form of care for older people called adult foster care. In the article, the nature of the foster care home as a place of care is explored from the foster carers’ point-of-view. It is based on an interview study of 12 foster carers. In this article, the theoretical frameworks from human geography and work–family research are combined in order to analyse the boundaries between private family-life and public work-life in the particular space of the foster care home. The research questions are: What kinds of public and private spaces exist in adult foster care homes? What kinds of boundaries separate (a) the public and private spaces and (b) the foster care home and the outside world? The findings suggest that foster care homes are very complex socio-spatial places of care, in which the questions of power (who can do what and when in a certain space), the re-organisation of home, and the division of private and public spaces all contest the idea of home as a mere ‘safe haven’ from the pressures of work life. Different boundaries and boundary management strategies enabled the foster carers to regard their place of living and working as their home, even though it had altered to a place of care of ‘strangers’.

Keywordshome carecaring for close relativesprivacypublicityboundariesworkfamily (phenomena)

Free keywordsadult foster care; Finland; public and private; boundaries; work and family

Contributing organizations

Related projects

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2021

JUFO rating2

Last updated on 2024-03-04 at 21:16