Vânia Pinto


Vânia is a DPhil student at the Rees Centre for Research in Fostering and Education, based in the Department of Education. She is supervised by Judy Sebba, Director of the Rees Centre and Nikki Luke, Research Fellow. Her research interests are: children and young people development, foster care, legislation, outcomes.


“Perspectives on assessing foster carers: A cross-country comparison of the factors that are associated with successful placements”

Vânia is currently looking for local authorities (ADCS approval has been granted, ref: RGE160425) and independent fostering agencies to participate in a research study to improve the understanding of the associations between foster carers’ attributes and placement success. The study will test out standardised measures which could be useful in future for the selection and training process of foster carers.

This research aims to achieve a deeper understanding of successful fostering, through analysing which types of foster carers’ attributes are associated with looked after children’s emotional, social and behavioural outcomes and potential for placement stability. It will look at the relationship between foster carers’ attributes and looked after children’s outcomes in England and in Portugal.

It is expected to involve a total of 325 foster carers in England along with their supervising social workers. Both will be asked to complete questionnaires about foster carers’ attributes and looked after children’s outcomes. A similar process will be followed in Portugal.

If you wish to be involved in this study or if you would like to receive further information please get in touch with Vania Pinto, through vania.pinto@education.ox.ac.uk

Selected Publications

Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., Benbenishty, R., Davidson-Arad, B., & Pinto, V. S. (in press). Professional Judgments and Decisions on Placement in Foster Care and Reunification in Portugal. European Journal of Social Work.

Delgado, 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.

Delgado, P., Carvalho, J., & Pinto, V. S. (2014). Crescer em família: a permanência no Acolhimento Familiar. Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria, 23(1), 123-150. DOI: 10.7179/PSRI_2014.23.06

Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2011). Criteria for the selection of foster families and monitoring of placements. Comparative study of the application of the Casey Foster Applicant Inventory-Applicant Version (CFAI-A). Children and Youth Services Review, 33(6), 1031-1038. DOI: S0190-7409(11)00016-8


Pinto, V. S. (2015). The voice of young people in care: Perspectives on successful foster placements. 8th International Foster Care Research Conference. Siegen: Foster Care Research Group.

Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2015). Protection system of children and young people at risk: Decisions in a context of risk and uncertainty. Child Maltreatment in Context: The first Haruv International Conference. Israel: Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Pinto, V. S., Delgado, P., & Carvalho, J. M. S. (2014). Contact in Foster Care in Porto: a study about patterns and outcomes. 13th European Scientific Association on Residential & Family Care for Children and Adolescents – EUSARF. Copenhagen:  SFI – The Danish National Centre for Social Research.

Carvalho, J. M. S., Delgado, P., & Pinto, V. S. (2013). Evolution of foster care in Portugal: Perspectives of foster children and carers. 7th International Foster Care Research Network Meeting – “Foster Care in Europe: What do we know about outcomes and evidence?”. Padova: Fondazione «Emanuela Zancan».


Factors associated with successful placements

Study by Vânia Pinto, doctoral student at the Rees Centre