The authors organised a focus group with five adolescents who live in residental units in an institution and in a foster family, with the aim to identify positive and negative aspects of placement and residental care outside their family, and to estimate the degree of their participation. The subjects assessed their current extra-family care as positive, as an apeasement by the establishement of clearer boundaries, and as "better than home". In the process of placement, they missed better information and more detailed explanations about where they would be placed. Workers gained the respondents' trust when they presented both good and bad aspects of new placements. According to the subjects, they had few opportunities during the placement process to express their wishes and needs, and they felt rather like passive receivers of help. Within limits, however, most of them could participate in decision-making, for example, by consenting to leave their family, which they regarded as very important. What they considered positive in the actions of professional workers included the correspondence between their words and actions, their respect of agreements, information about placement, the effort they made, their standing up for the adolescent. In extra-family care, adolescents want as much autonomy as possible, room for individuality, and control over their own lives. In their opinion, they did not have enough opportunities for decision-making regarding their everyday activitiees;as they saw it, only those who have power in the group made decisions. Also, their proposals were not taken into consideration often enough. The help and support of their mentors meant the most for the subjects.In their words, good mentors are relaxed, trustworthy, and like their job. The adolescents draw strenght from their foreseen future independence, and from their expectations to achieve something.