Photo of Rikard Tordön

Rikard Tordön


I am a licensed psychologist and I defended my PhD-thesis in June 2020. My field of interest is children and youth in societal out-of-home care, primarily their mental health, exposure to abuse and their school performance. 

Youth in societal care

Has previously worked with children in care with interventions aimed at strengthening school performance -”Skolfam”. Now with a broader orientation, but same target group.

I am a PhD-student, have defended my thesis successfully, in June 2020, but not yet received my degree. My area of scientific interest concerns children and young persons in societal care: Foster care, residential care, state-run institutions and supported living. 

Children and young persons in societal care is a group in the welfare society exposed to higher prevalence of early adverse events and poorer prospects in long term as young adults for substance abuse, unemployment, poor health and educational attainment. Much is related to pre-care conditions shared with other children exposed to poor upbringing, but not taken in care. Above that, these children face additional problems related to transitions to new families, social networks, schools, and the bereavement from previous social relations, higher levels of worries of relatives and an unstable social existential situation. Even during care. 

There are interventions to support these children, but unfortunately poorly implemented to reach all that could benefit. The placement in a new family or a residential itself is not enough to compensate for the difficulties these children must cope with from before or during care. And, the interventions are not ideal, but needs to be constantly further developed. 

For me it is important to find rational and efficient ways to support children we remove from their parents. "We" - as in the society - have overtaken the responsibility for their upbringing and must perform better than what would have been if the children were left in their parent´s care. Failing to do so makes the intervention not justified ethically. 

I plan to start working at Barnafrid later 2020, but for now I am writing a popular version in Swedish of my thesis and work for Children´s Welfare Foundation.


  • Defended thesis “Health, Experienced Support and School Performance among Children in Out-of-home care” June 5th, 2020.
  • Initiated PhD-studies at Linköping University, 2016. 
  • National Coordinator for Skolfam 2013-2015 .
  • Clinical work in Child and Youth psychiatry clinic Linköping 2012-2013.
  • Project Skolfam in Norrköping 2008-2012.
  • Licensed Psychologist since 2009.



Rikard Tordön (2020) Health, Experienced Support and School Performance among Children in Out-of-home care
Rikard Tordön, Marie Bladh, Gunilla Sydsjö, Carl Göran Svedin (2020) Improved Intelligence, Literacy and Mathematic Skills Following School-Based Intervention for Children in Foster Care Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 11 Continue to DOI
Rikard Tordön, Marie Bladh, Carl Göran Svedin, Gunilla Sydsjö (2020) Challenging intellectual, behavioral and educational prerequisites for interventions aimed at school aged children in foster care. A compilation of Swedish test results Children and youth services review, Vol. 108, Article 104598 Continue to DOI


Rikard Tordön, Carl Göran Svedin, Cecilia Fredlund, Linda Jonsson, Gisela Pribe, Gunilla Sydsjö (2019) Background, experience of abuse, and mental health among adolescents in out-of-home care: a cross-sectional study of a Swedish high school national sample Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 73, p. 16-23 Continue to DOI


Rikard Tordön, Bo Vinnerljung, Ulla Axelsson (2014) Improving foster children´s school performance: a replication of the Helsingborgs study Adoption & Fostering: The Quarterly Journal of British Agencies for Adoption & Fostering, Vol. 38, p. 37-48 Continue to DOI