Migrant Parent–Local Caregiver Relationships: the Glue that Binds Transnational Families Together

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Speaker : Dr. Bilisuma B. Dito (Assistant Professor at Maastricht University, the Netherlands )

Title : Migrant Parent–Local Caregiver Relationships: the Glue that Binds Transnational Families Together


The relationship between parents who migrate abroad and the caregivers of their children who stay behind has implications for the functioning of caregiving arrangements. This study examines the factors that contribute to this relationship between migrant parents and the caregivers of stayer children. An analysis of 614 Angolan, Nigerian and Ghanaian migrant parents in Ireland, Portugal and the Netherlands reveals that  migrant mother experience warmer relationships with caregivers than migrant fathers, though they also find caregivers more demanding than do fathers. Highly educated parents also tend to experience warm but demanding relationships with caregivers. By contrast, difficult transnational caregiving relationships occur when only one parent migrates and the other biological parent is the caregiver, in particular when the other parent is not the current partner. Results also show that irregular sending of remittances and longer stays by migrant parents in the host country are associated with difficult relationships.


Bilisuma Dito is an Assistant Professor of Globalization and Development in the Department of Society Studies, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University. Her research focuses on individual’s well-being in migratory and non-migratory contexts. She finds a lot of inspiration from engaging in interdisciplinary and mixed-methods research. She has published several peer reviewed articles on the well-being of African transnational families. She currently leads a project entitled ‘Only time will tell: the Long-term Well-being of Ghanaian Children of International Migrant Parents’. She is also the Project manager of ‘Wellbeing, Women, and Work in Ethiopia’ (3WE) research project (www.3we.nl).

  • When ?

Wednesday 15 February 2023 from 10 am till 11 am

  • Where ?

ULB - Campus du Solbosch

Institut de Sociologie (building S)

Room S15.215, 15th Floor

Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

44 avenue Jeanne - 1050 Bruxelles
Registration required https://forms.gle/FQMRa6KdLBusNhe56