Opvoeden: Een privé- én publieke zaak | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 37, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652



In the run-up to the transformation of youth and family care, the ‘educative civil society’ (ECS) – the joint efforts of citizens in the upbringing of children and adolescents – has increasingly received attention. Many municipalities have embraced the ECS and translated into policy plans and practice initiatives. At the same time, there is criticisms: is it feasible to expect that all parents are willing to form childrearing networks? This article reports on a focus group study on parents’ willingness to involve others in the upbringing of their children. The results suggest that sharing childrearing responsibilities is a delicate issue that comes with conditions. At the same time, the results give rise to a nuancing of the antithesis ‘private worry vs. public issue’: parents believe that they do not have, nor insist on having, the monopoly on childrearing and emphasize the additional and compensatory value of secondary caregivers, both for their children and for themselves as primary caregivers. These nuances give nourishment to the debate on the feasibility and future development of the ECS.


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