The main objectives of the proposed study are to examine: 1. The Career Development Policy for Social Workers: how to encourage social workers to think more proactively about career development, 2. The career intentions of social workers and 3. To locate the factors that predict them by examining attitudes, norms and perceived perception at the employee level, According to the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen, 2002). the study suggests three main factors to predict the professional intentions of social workers: (a) attitudes towards the given behavior; (B) subjective norms of conduct; (C) Perception of behavior control
The sample will include about 600 social workers from different organizational sectors
The research tool is a closed questionnaire containing 72 items. The questionnaire is divided into six sub-questionnaires.
The study findings suggest that the main factor in predicting career patterns is perceived behavioral control and Receiving supervision
Perceived behavioral control may be a significant feature in the development of a career path in social workers and is probably a kind of attitude and norm in social workers.
And Receiving supervision is linked to a career without boundaries in a negative way, it means probably that receiving on-the-job supervision may make the employee feel less in control of career development.
Author: Lenka Holasová
Nowadays, ageing population is one of the main social risks. Due to increasing life expectancy, progress in medicine, and constantly improving living conditions, the provision of social services, especially adequate staffing (above all direct caregiver staffing), is becoming more and more important. There is a growing concern about how to provide care for the elderly (especially for persons with dementia) in institutions such as nursing homes, day care centres, mobile social care, and hospitals. Care teams (formal caregivers) must meet specific expectations from several sides: the elderly client themselves, the institution, and from the client’s family members. A considerable burden can emerge in such a situation, hindering the professional development of care team members and counteracting the quality of care. This profession is also often underpaid and associated with psychic as well as physical and social workload, all of which contribute to caregiver burden.
Learning about the formal caregiver burden and responding to the needs they have in the above-mentioned aspects may prevent the burnout syndrome, increased morbidity, turnover, and, at the same time, it has a preventive effect in other specific cases that may occur in such a demanding job. So far there are very few specific reliable and valid scales measuring burden in care team members. (Auer et al. 2015)
The theoretical part of this dissertation will provide a definition of formal caregiver burden according to the Czech legislation and scientific researchers. It will also provide a current summary of available tools and indicators for measuring the workload of formal caregivers. The thesis, in its theoretical part, will also serve to validate the Professional Care Team Burden scale, that has been validated to this day in Austria, where it was developed, (Auer et al. 2015) and in Turkey (Kalanlar, Kuru Alici 2020).
This dissertation thesis is conducted to introduce in Czechia the Professional Care Team Burden (PCTB) scale, which was developed to assess difficulties experienced by caregivers working in long‐term care, and to test its validity and reliability.
The empiric part of this dissertation thesis will be conducted with at least 300 formal caregivers working at nursing homes. The Caregiver Information Form (for demographic details about caregivers), the Perceived Stress scale, Areas of Worklife scale and the Professional Care Team Burden scale will be used to collect the data. The language and content validity, construct validity and reliability of the Czech version of the scale will be tested and discussed with academics and experts in social work and gerontology.
Author: Marie-Lou Libbrecht
The reintegration of offenders is an important social problem, with an increased investment in programs to support offenders in the reintegration process. From the academic disciplines of social work and sports sociology, four different knowledge gaps concerning the reintegration of prisoners become apparent:
1) A lack of knowledge on the perspective of offenders, an important element in the development of meaningful interventions.
2) A lack of knowledge on several life domains which can contribute to the re-integration of offenders, such as the domain of sports.
3) The lack of research outside of the criminological discipline, reducing the notion of reintegration to the prevention of recidivism.
4) A lack of knowledge in sports sociology to create new fundamental theoretical insights about how organized sports can both act as an inclusive space and as a vehicle for broader integration.
To address these gaps, I will research the following question: “what is the meaning of sports as a domain for reintegration of offenders, seen from a social work perspective”
The aim of the research is:
1. to investigate the working mechanisms of prison sport programs
2. how these mechanisms contribute to the moral, functional and expressive dimension of social reintegration of offenders
3. how I can theorize a program theory for sports as a life domain for the re-integration of offenders from a social work perspective
In this research I address these gaps from a social work theoretical perspective on social re-integration of offenders.
I will - in collaboration with ‘De Rode Antraciet’, the organization which coordinates sports and culture in prisons of Flanders - develop a multiple case study. In this case study I will use a realist approach where I analyze 5 sport programs in 5 different prisons. From this realist approach, the research project will be built upon four work packages (WP’s):
WP1: Refining the theoretical and methodological framework (4months)
I will conduct a systematic scoping literature review on a social work perspective on sport programs for reintegration of offenders.
WP2: Development of an initial program theory (32 months)
I will do participant observations and I will work with semi-structured qualitative interviews. Prisoners, ex-prisoners, sports monitors inside the prison, sports clubs/monitors outside the prison, prison mentors, assessors and justice assistants are included.
WP3: Validation of the initial program theory by focus groups (6months)
A focus group in each prison with all the relevant stakeholders will assess the initial program theory of each program at the end of each Multiple Case Study. In total five focus groups (N=5) will be organized per prison with a maximum of 12 people per group.
WP4: Conceptualization of a program theory on prison sports (6months)
With this research, I will develop an innovative program theory to contribute to social work theory and to policy and practice. Scientific research that will exposure us the meaning of sports as a tool for the social reintegration of prisoners.
Author: Karolína Drapáková
AIMS: The dissertation aims to show how the experience and evaluation of the usefulness of social work changes when using various activation and resocialization approaches in the inclusion of people in long-term material need in the environment of selected contact offices of the Labor Office in the Czech Republic. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: The research topic is important for initiating discussions on the effectiveness of the use of two activation dimensions - discipline and empowerment, which are encouraged by contemporary authors (eg Anderson, 2019). According to Gřundělová (2019; 9), both models, discipline and empowerment, are sometimes presented by the authors using normative terms, where a more negative meaning of the word indicates a propensity for the "discipline (workfare)" model. Examples are "demotivation and incentives" (Lødemel, Trickey, 2001), "carrot and stick" (van Berkel, Møller, Williams, 2002), or "positive and negative attitudes" (Hanesh, 1999). The mentioned models differ from each other mainly in the used strategies, approach to clients, in the way of assisting, or in the level of provided assistance. Although at first glance it may seem that the approaches are mutually exclusive, in practice these approaches are always combined to different degrees. A certain choice of approach for specific employees reflects their personality settings, raises several dilemmas and places considerable professional demands on employees (Nothdurfter, 2016). We assume that how line workers understand the currently used approaches influence their professional decisions and actions (Nothdurfter, 2016), which influences the perception and evaluation of the effectiveness of social work (Halvorsen, Jensen, 2004) and as a result affects clients' ability to get out of trouble. METHODS: To obtain the data needed to answer research questions, the main of which is: " What is the experience of clients and staff with procedures on the continuum of coercive and empowering approaches in activating and resocializing clients in long-term material need, what affects their choice, and how do they understand their usefulness?” it seems most appropriate to conduct semi-structured in-depth interviews with clients, social workers and heads of material deprivation departments at selected contact offices of the Labor Office in the Czech Republic. In semi-structured interviews, we will be inspired by elements of the biographical narrative method and participatory action research. RESULTS: The output of our work will be a contribution to understanding the current state of social work with a focus on activating and resocializing clients in the environment of material deprivation and finding out what the current form of assistance has an impact on clients. We believe that our findings could be the basis for the revision of methodological standards for the performance of social work, with recommendations for overcoming barriers in activation and resocialization, which will meet the requirements for the form of a professional standard by the latest knowledge and at the same time will be acceptable for the target group to serve. The output of the work should ideally be the beginning of discussions about the number of staff of social workers in the contact workplace of the Labor Office in the Czech Republic.
Author: Magdalena Opletalová
There is still much to learn about the possibilities of ending of homelessness. In the present mixed-methods study, there is first described the target group of homeless people and people at risk of homelessness in Czech republic including characteristics of the target group, their number, regional dimension, legislative surroundings and other factors influencing the disadvantage of the target group, threatening factors, society's attitudes and possibilities of support. The focus on this study is based on social workers in the field of supporting people in housing need, so the description of social work with the target group of homeless people and people at risk of homelessness follows (description of social work with homeless people, possibilities and limits of social work in the process of ending homelessness and description of the role of a social worker within this system) - exploratory method (extracting information from the statement of the monitored person himself) including information according social workers - their education and current possibilities of related accredited training courses. Main focus of this study is concerned on ethical dilemmas in social work with people in or at the risk of homelessness.
The qualitative part of this study is based on semistructural interviews with stakeholders (31) of an out group, according this part investigates/describes moral dilemmas faced by professionals working in care for the homeless and the need and interest of these social workers in ethical support. The quantitative part has not been realised yet, i tis gouing to be a questionnaire survey – 100 questionnaires – target group = social workers working already in the field of homelessness. The questionnaire will be created according to the results of the qualitative part and it will identify key competencies in social work with people facing homelessness and their level of need, the weak points in the context of the process of creating practical professional competencies of social workers and dilemmas facing by social workers and their coping strategies and need of support. This study will try to asnwer questions like What is the role of a social workers in working with clients in housing need?, What dilemmas do social workers face at the micro, meso and macro levels?, What situations do social workers consider ethically dilemmatic in housing support, how do they experience such situations and what strategies do they use to manage these situations? Where do they look for support for their decisions?, What do social workers consider in their profession as valuable and as a positive result of their work with the client?, How is it possible to improve the quality of work of social workers in supporting the clients of this target group through education? and hopefully will help to develop a better quality of the social services.
Author: Anna Raymaekers, Koen Hermans
The transition to adulthood is a turbulent life phase, during which support of friends and family is essential (Curry & Abrams, 2015). For young people who leave residential care this social network is often limited or missing (Gypen et al., 2017). International research has revealed that transitional programs can support these youth to transition to adulthood successfully (Heerde et al., 2018). However, in Flanders few well developed transitional programs are implemented. In this PhD research, a new transitional program supported by a digital application for young care leavers will be developed, implemented and evaluated. In the first phase of this research, we conducted a literature review on transitional programs, showing that social support is essential for positive outcomes including stable housing, education, employment, and mental health (Haggman-Laitila et al., 2019; Atkinson & Hyde, 2019). Hence, social workers could help youth establish a sustainable social network, but it is still unclear how such a network for young care leavers can be established in practice and why these networks contribute to positive outcomes on different life domains. Therefore, we are conducting a realist review to uncover the underlying mechanisms that make the involvement of the social network led to positive outcomes in such transitional programs. This realist review is still a work in progress and as mentioned, part of a broader PhD research. During the TiSSA PhD Act 2022, we would like to present some preliminary results of the realist review. Furthermore, we would like to present how we involved young care leavers through a participation process in this first phase of our PhD research.
Curry, S. R., & Abrams, L. S. (2015). Housing and Social Support for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care: State of the Research Literature and Directions for Future Inquiry: C & A. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(2), 143-153. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10560-014-0346-4
Gypen, L., Vanderfaeillie, J., De Maeyer, S., Belenger, L., & Van Holen, F. (2017). Outcomes of children who grew up in foster care: Systematic-review. Children and Youth Services Review, 76, 74-83. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.02.035
Heerde, J. A., Hemphill, S. A., & Scholes-Balog, K. E. (2018). The impact of transitional programmes on post-transition outcomes for youth leaving out-of-home care: a meta-analysis. Health Soc Care Community, 26(1), e15-e30. https://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.12348
Haggman-Laitila, A., Salokekkila, P., & Karki, S. (2019). Young People's Preparedness for Adult Life and Coping After Foster Care: A Systematic Review of Perceptions and Experiences in the Transition Period. Child & Youth Care Forum, 48(5), 633-661. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-019-09499-4
Atkinson, C., & Hyde, R. (2019). Care leavers’ views about transition: a literature review. Journal of Children's Services, 14(1), 42-58. https://doi.org/10.1108/jcs-05-2018-0013
Author: Bram Gootjes
This research focusses on ‘good social work’ related to the autonomy and freedom of its clients. With Roessler we believe autonomy to be a concretization of freedom (2010: 8) and in line with ethics of care, we understand autonomy as socially interdependent (Mackenzie 2008), within a specific context (Moser, Houtepen et al. 2007, Metselaar and Widdershoven 2019). To conceptualize this ‘freedom within social dependency’ we use the notion of ‘soziale Freiheit’ as theorized by the social philosopher: Axel Honneth (2011), in dialogue with other dominant philosophies of relational autonomy, such as the ethics of care (Gilligan 1982, Tronto 1993).
Aim of the project is to analyze what autonomy and freedom mean as an endeavor within ‘good social work’. We will explore how to develop an understanding of autonomy in which the social context and social freedom are decisive. The aim is to develop an understanding of autonomy that is more in line with the practice of providing assistance to citizens rather than patients or clients, in this case: homeless people without work. This can also benefit the training of social workers.
1. What views of "good work" do social workers themselves have in assisting people who are homeless and without work?
2. What understanding of autonomy does this emerge and how can the concept of social freedom help to develop that understanding of the practice of social work?
3. How can the developed concept be fitted into the practice of social work and social work education?
Within this research we choose for a methodological approach of Integrated Empirical Ethics (IEE) (Leget and Borry 2010) in which we believe the empirical as well as the normative to be fundamental interconnected (Pols 2015: 88). This is also called the practice approach (Pols 2021) or intra-normative approach (Pols 2006).
Author: Koen Gevaert
Social workers must often negotiate and make decisions concerning resource allocation on a micro-level, in the context of scarce resources. The scarcity creates a need for decision-making on prioritization: who should have priority to whom in receiving care, and why? Many social workers meet this problem every day.
These prioritization decisions are always accompanied by doubt and controversy. They are often perceived or labelled as ‘moral dilemmas’: situations in which people are enforced to choose between two equally undesirable options. Indeed, prioritization is a morally challenging task, as it urges professionals to actively decide who receives care and who doesn’t and hence, to actively refuse care when it is needed. The fact that one must prioritize actual, real-life cases adds a dilemmatic character: service user A is denied access to social services to provide service user B with necessary care, knowing that, in the here and now of everyday practice, there is no option not to decide. Decision-makers are often left with an uncomfortable feeling, sometimes described as the ‘moral residue’ of a dilemma, or as ‘moral distress’.
In this presentation, we discuss the findings from several research activities where the following two questions were the central thread: which kind of decision-making practice actually takes place when professionals use their discretion in these prioritization decisions, and how does this practice of prioritization relate to its social policy context?
We analyzed video-recordings of meetings where professionals decide about priority cases, and we collected in-depth interviews with these same professionals, probing at their lived experience with this decision-making process. We confront this empirical material with a thematic analysis of the policy and legislation documents that determine their decisions.
The policy and legislation documents rely on three normative assumptions: one should decide from a neutral position, one should decide based on a fair distribution of scarce resources, and one should decide by applying pre-defined formal criteria. The actual practice shows us the internal contradictions between these three assumptions. The decision-making process seems to be all but a neutral activity. This is confirmed by the analysis of the in-depth interviews. Professionals clearly take a stance by making their own interpretation and by bringing in other arguments than the legally imposed criteria. This practice can be understood as a hermeneutical activity.
The moral and political dimensions of this decision-making process pose an important challenge for social work practice and policy, in an era of permanently limited resources. We end the presentation by raising the question how prioritization could be theorized as a moral-political practice in its own right, instead of a technical-rational activity, and how such an approach would support professionals in developing a well-founded practice.
Author: Delphine Levrouw, Prof. Dr. Stijn Vandevelde and Prof. Dr. Rudi Roose
In residential youth care (RYC), supporting the quality of life (QoL) of children is a main priority. One of the key factors in providing good quality of care aimed at improving children’s QoL, in these services, is developing a positive living group climate (Avby, 2015; Bettelheim, 1967; Kok, 1984; Ter Horst, 1977; Van der Helm, 2011, 2019; Ward, 2004). From a human rights perspective, children have the right to grow up in “normal” circumstances. A positive living climate is also described as the main therapeutic factor in RYC (Triesschman, 1969). Furthermore, Ros and colleagues, (2013) showed that a positive living climate decreases the number of aggression incidents and separation, as well as absconding behaviour (Attar-Schwartz, 2013).
Yet, the development of a basic pedagogy seems to be under pressure, due to some evolutions, including de-institutionalisation; considering residential youth care as “a last resort” (Frensch & Cameron, 2002; Knorth et al., 2008; Boendermaker et al, 2013; Thoburn, 2016; Whittaker et al., 2016), a strong focus on “what works” (Boendermaker, Van Rooijen & Berg, 2013; Biesta, 2007) ;and managerial thinking (Clark and Newman, 1997; Mc. Lean, 2013), leading to high rates of administration and registration tasks as perceived by youth care and educators. Taking into account this context, the development of a positive living is a complex matter. Consequently, group workers are looking for guidance concerning how they can act professionally and what good professionalism means in the current establishment of a positive living climate.
The central focus in my research relates to how organisations define “a positive living climate” and how group workers in residential youth care perceive and construct their pedagogical work with young people.
My research initially was linked to a learning trajectory in Flanders, led by a youth care organization in Flanders (VOT, Ieper) . This project focused on the meaning and the implications of an approach involving the improvement of the living climate in residential youth care.
In a first work package, we investigated what could be learned from the project in improving the living climate in residential youth care. In a second work package, our research was focused on how respondents perceived a positive living group climate and which tensions they experienced in relation to the development of a basic pedagogy; In a third work package (that started in 2021) we will investigate how group workers give meaning to and shape the living group climate in relation to the development of a basic pedagogy.
Author: PhD Candidate: Dan Jezeel Orendain; UGent FPPW Promoter: Prof. dr. Ine Lietaert
Internal displacement is one of the most adversely impactful human mobility issues, but it remains underdiscussed. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are groups or individuals forced or obliged to flee their homes without crossing the country’s borders. Not the focus of international agencies or ‘of concern’ of other states, which is fueled by historical biases on international migration over internal migration, the experiences, and conditions of IDPs have been neglected. They remain less visible and underrepresented even in academia. This makes that the synergies of drivers, vulnerabilities, and risks leading up to exclusion of IDPs, is poorly understood.
Arguably, indigenous peoples (IPs) are at the bottom of this exclusion strata. Constituting 15% of the world’s extreme poor, IPs face higher vulnerabilities to crisis, displacement, and climate change impacts. This research focuses on the situation in the Philippines, where various drivers robbed IPs of their basic human rights wherein protection laws remain ineffective. Ironically, the country celebrates indigenous culture, yet IPs remain impoverished, demonized, and marginalized. We find this skewed duality of perceiving IPs as either a “threat” or a “cultural enrichment”. Yet research on their participation and in/exclusion from services, especially in urban spaces which are hotspots of massive internal displacement, is limited.
This research will examine the integration of internally displaced indigenous peoples (IDIPs) in host cities, by investigating mechanisms of exclusion, protection instruments, cultural identity renegotiation, and practices of belonging. It aims to unravel the current conditions of IDIPs in cities, establish recommendations towards IDIP-inclusive urbanization, and develop novel theoretical and analytical approaches towards indigenous studies. To reach this objective, we rely on insights from three research fields: forced migration/displacement, sustainable and inclusive urbanization, and social work. We come up with four specific research questions with proposed methodologies:
1. What is the current understanding, consideration, and inclusion of IPs in Southern Philippines, in terms of urban internal displacement? A systematic literature review (SLR) and content analysis will be conducted.
2. What are the drivers of displacement for IDIPs, including intertwines and interactions? To conduct key informant interviews (n=15) with urban poor and social work non-government organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs), key local offices.
3. How do the sociocultural-spatial conditions of the host city/community respond to the sociocultural-spatial needs of IDIPs? Starting with a policy coherence analysis, strengths, gaps, weaknesses. and opportunities will be extracted from policies, guidelines, laws, and institutional practices/strategies within the sociocultural-spatial framework.
4. Post-displacement, how do IDIPs renegotiate their cultural identity and feelings of belonging as they navigate the city? Two-pronged, 40 semi-structured interviews with IDIPs will be collected, added with data from at least two group discussions and two participatory workshops involve various stakeholders.
This will lead to a unique theoretical framework on IDIP-Inclusive, Responsive, and Adaptive Urbanization. Additionally, a theoretical article on the new analytical approach – sociocultural-spatial will be produced.
Author: Violeta Marković
Child labour, is one of the main areas where children's rights, defined by international documents and domestic laws, are grossly violated. In the context of migration, especially irregular and forced migration, the risk of children being exposed to child labour abuse is high, given that migration itself contains all those elements that are otherwise defined as risks of children being exposed to this type of abuse: poverty, irregular school attendance, parental unemployment, etc. Another important aspect for children who migrate alone is the fact that they do not have the direct support of family members on the journey, as a result of which they rely on people they meet on the road, smugglers, local intermediaries and employers to support both border crossings and earning money so they could continue their journey.
Objective and research questions
General objective of the research is to determine and systematize the characteristics of child labour and the experiences of unaccompanied and separated children with protection systems mandated to protect children from child labour on their journey from the country of origin to the Republic of Serbia.
Main research question is: What are the experiences of unaccompanied and separated children on the labour market and with social protection systems (institutional, non-governmental and informal) on their way from the country of origin to the RS?
Research uses a mixed research design, combining qualitative and quantitative research methods.
In the first phase, a quantitative approach to research will be used, through a questionnaire that will be created for the needs of this research. This part of the research will be done with 150 actors from different organisations and institutions.
In the second phase of the research, focus group and interview method will be used with professionals in charge of direct protection and intervention of unaccompanied and separated children in Serbia. Areas to be covered by FGs and interviews will be tailored to the organization / institution from which the participants come. At least 50 professionals will participate in FG and 10 key informants in the interviews.
The method of focus groups and semi-standardized interviews will be used with unaccompanied and separated children who are on the territory of the RS at the time of the research. The FG will be done with at least 50 unaccompanied children and youth.
In-depth interviews will be conducted with at least 10 unaccompanied and separated children and young people who were included in the labour market on their journey to Serbia or in Serbia.
In the process of planning FG and interviews with children, the researcher will form a team composed of unaccompanied and separated children and youth who will participate in the formation of interview and FG guides for working with children.
Author: Lucie Zackova
Background: Along with the development and professionalization of hospice and palliative care in the Czech Republic, there was an increasing need to monitor the quality of the provided service and care. A systematic tool to evaluate the quality of hospice care was not available in the Czech Republic.
Based on a review of international literature focused on quality assessment of care and by using a service provider´s involvement approach, a set of quality indicators and questionnaire survey for bereaved family caregivers were developed. The quality measurement tool was constructed to be used either by the community or by inpatient hospice care providers. The tool and its implementation were piloted over the period of 12 months in 5 hospices, 2 residential and 3 community services, operating in 4 regions.
Aim: My study aims to analyze the implementation process of the novel quality measurement tool with a special focus on the feasibility, content, and perception of the tool by the service providers.
Methods: To monitor and evaluate the implementation process I used the RE-AIM planning and evaluation framework. The RE-AIM consists of five dimensions: reach (R), effectiveness (E), adoption (A), implementation (I), and maintenance (M), which focus on the staff responsible for implementation and setting – hospice level. Reach is the absolute number and estimated representativeness of individuals who are willing to participate in the systematic quality measurement. Effectiveness is the impact of the implementation of the quality measurement tool on outcomes, including potential negative effects, and economical outcomes. Adoption is the absolute number and estimated representativeness of hospice settings that are willing to initiate the quality measurement. Implementation refers to the extent to which the quality measurement tool is implemented consistently across different settings. It also includes adaptations made and the cost of the intervention. Maintenance has indices at the individual level (long-term effectiveness) and setting-level (sustainability after original research funding is completed).
To saturate each dimension, I use the mixed methods approach. Qualitative data were collected from managers and staff members engaged in the implementation process. Two methods were used: semi-structured interviews and online workshops organized during the implementation. Quantitative data include i) the completed questionnaires for bereaved family caregivers and ii) forms for the quality indicators. I focus on the response rate and the correctness of the completed forms (especially the incidence of the missing values and “not able” to fill in the answer).
Preliminary results: The preliminary findings indicate that the quality measurement tool was quite well accepted by hospice providers. Concerning implementation, a workload connected with the tool did not cause any staff resistance. The design of the questionnaire and forms was assessed as user-friendly but most participants suggested changes in the form. The tool helped service providers to identify areas relevant for service improvement. As for the maintenance of the tool, the long-term effectiveness is perceived as undisputed, but the problems with funding after original research funding is finished are mentioned.
Author: UWIHANGANA Consolee
Rwandan society is characterized by a patriarchal social structure that underlies the unequal social power relations between men and women, as well as boys and girls. This was translated into men’s dominance and women’s subordination and gender inequalities were not seen as unfair, rather as respected social norm in ancient Rwanda (Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion- MIGEPROF, 2005; Bayisenge 2015; Uwihangana, 2014).
Cultural/indigenous practices and beliefs affect all the aspects of human lives. Some writers reflected on how gender identities, gender relations as well as gender roles affect/ are lived in the family. “Gender identities and gender relations are critical aspects of culture because they shape the way daily life is lived in the family, but also in the wider community and the workplace” (Hategekimana, 2011:25). For example, the cultural/indigenous belief that women naturally make peace and seek to resist and prevent violence has resonated particularly well in post-genocide Rwanda and has informed gender equality policy making (Uwineza and Pearson, 2009). Culture evolves; negative and discriminatory features are abandoned while positive features are preserved to inform future organization of a given society.
In ancient Rwanda, the husband was regarded as the sole breadwinner, especially because he was the one who generally got paid work but, both the man and woman contribute, and the work of the woman inside home is invaluable. This makes the role of the women in the family of a paramount importance for the well-being of the family. (Uwineza and Pearson, 2009:8; Bayisenge, 2015. Uwihangana, 2014).
Gender equality is now given increased attention and priority in Rwanda, the implementation of gender related policies and programs is on the rise. This has improved all spheres of women’s lives, especially in decision-making processes and the socio-economic wellbeing of the family (MIGEPROF, 2005; Brown and Uvuza, 2006; Hategekimana, 2011). Rwanda is renowned for upholding women’s rights, gender equality and promoting opportunities for both men and women. Nevertheless, there are still severe problems troubling the family which may hamper sustainable socio-economic development (Kagaba, 2015, Uwihangana, 2014).
The aim of the project is to assess how indigenous practices can inform contemporary gender equality policies for sustainable outcomes for the family and the research questions are the following:(1) What is known in the research concerning gender equality in East African countries in general and in Rwanda in particular, and its impacts on the family?
(2) How can indigenous practices inform contemporary gender equality policies? (3) How do women and men understand the traditional and contemporary roles of men and woman in the family, following gender equality policies? (4) How do men perceive their involvement in the promotion of gender equality policies in Rwanda?
For data collection, this qualitative study will rely on individual interviews and Focus Group discussions with ordinary citizens men and women as well as interviews with government authorities in charge of gender equality and family promotion. Four scientific papers will be published in scientific journals.
Author: Céline Cannaert
Although our twenty-first century society is characterized by a wide range of complex and diverse family structures, the dominant discourse in policy, research and practice still thinks of a family in terms of the nuclear biological family. In this vein, definitions of parenthood are mainly restricted to the classic image of the Western middle-class family where biological, social and legal parenthood coincide. Foster care is a challenging case to question this dominant idea of parenthood given its complicated nature and the ambition to realize ‘shared parenthood’ in order to meet the child's right to parents and family. However, within the existing body of (inter)national foster care research, shared parenthood is mainly defined as a procedural and divided concept and ‘each perspective’ of the various actors in foster care involved is always studied ‘separately’. In this regard, ground-breaking research in foster care towards a shared and multi-perspective way of parenthood is a pressing and urgent matter. This research project aims to contribute to the international body of theoretical and empirical knowledge about shared parenthood by (1) theorizing the conceptualization of shared parenthood from a ‘family resemblance’ and holistic approach and (2) empirically examining the different ways in which all various actors in voluntary foster care trajectories involved negotiate, perceive and fulfil their (parenting) role in the long-term. The process of shared parenthood, and how this is specifically shaped in practice, will be investigated by an intensive and long-term form of qualitative research.
WP I: Mapping shared parenthood
Mapping the (inter)national conceptualization of (shared) parenthood (1) in general and (2) within foster care.
WPII: Care trajectories in multiperspectivism
For each case (n=10), open in-depth interviews (3x) will be held with the foster child, the foster carers, the parents and the foster care counselor at least every six months over a period of one year and a half. During the interviews we also use drawing methods.
RQ Interview 1, 2 & 3: “How was/is the adjustment to the new family situation going?”, “How do they process the shared foster care situation?”, “How does the sharing of the upbringing of/as a foster child work?”.
10 cases x 4 participants x 3 interviews = 120 interviews
Shortly after the interviews, I’ll join a gathering of the various actors. Those observations consist of following the follow-up at structured meetings of agreements (1x) and the interim short conversations with the various actors at unexpected moments (2x bring or pick-up time). The observations form the basis for further interviews.
RQ: “How do the various actors experience and discuss shared parenthood?”.
10 cases x 3 observations = 30 observations
Throughout the entire process, I also analyze at least two personal files (agreement note & action plan).
RQ: “How is shared parenting in specific foster care cases documented?"
WP III: towards a conceptual framework
This analysis should provide insight into the underlying theoretical assumptions and will lead to the identification of important long-term insights in shared parenthood from a multi-perspective view.
Author: Alzbeta Matochova
How to care meaningfully?
This project aims to address the urgent topic of informal long-term care. Several research activities have recently been published in this area, which we want to follow up on. Our inspiration for this project grows from several sources. Firstly, today's society is facing an ageing population. The United Nations states that in 2017 there were more than 962 million in the world's 60- year-olds and older, meaning that since 1980 their number (382 million) has more than doubled. Forecasts up to 2050 are expected to double further. The ageing process is furthest in Europe and North America. In 2050, it is expected that in Europe the generation of people aged 60 and over will reach 35%, in North America 28% (UN 2017). This topic poses demanding challenges for our care system. Social work is a field that should offer solutions to these current issues. Secondly, the author is from a family where her mother and mother-in-law have long taken care of their parents. Therefore, the author was able to see up close how necessary, touching and challenging such care can be. We believe that there is a lack of a closer view focusing on the situation of informal carers. The Czech Republic is a country where the family is seen as the primary bearer of responsibility for the care of ageing parents. At the same time, it is evident that the state's social services that would support the family in fulfilling this role, do not currently have sufficient capacity. Publications are often focusing on caregivers burdens, solving related ambivalences and difficulties in fulfilling caring and working roles.
We want to focus on finding caregivers´ strategies for coping with difficult care situations. What do they see as the benefits of care? What do they find meaningful?
We use a qualitative research strategy. We design as our research tool in-depth unstructured individual interviews with tutorials. The target group is informal carers caring for a person requiring care at least in the second degree of needs. The way of selection will be the snowball method. The methodological procedure of data processing will be the grounded theory according to Strauss and Corbin (1990). Ii will allow us to create a theoretical framework arising from the caregivers´ narratives.
The aim of the research is a better understanding of the life situation of informal carers. What are the key sources of caring motivation? What do caregivers get strength from? Can a deeper understanding of the benefits of care help to reduce the perceived care burden? Where and how do caregivers look for positive content in their situation? What is the involvement of other actors in a caring network? What other aspects of support contribute to perceiving the usefulness of care?
In today's world, the importance of family carers is increasing along with the ageing process. We see their willingness to care for their loved ones as very valuable. We hope to help search for the optimal form of care through these questions.
Author: Klara-Marie Niermann
"Critical Social Work" is understood here as a specific order of knowledge. The traces of the formation of this knowledge order are reflected in texts and are reconstructed as semantic structures in order to answer the research question. It is not the subjective sense that an empathetic subject places in the text as an "author" that is in the interest of the investigation; rather, the analysis reconstructs the meaning of the knowledge order as a network of meanings. Accordingly, the texts studied are understood to be part of an ensemble of discursive manufacturing practices.
Methodologically, the project thus concludes Michel Foucault's discourse theory, as well as a post-constructivist perspective on scientific observation in the context of the research process and the observability of the "given" (object construction).
The analytical tools of the study are heuristics based on operations that take place in discursive practices: Argumentation analysis, metaphor analysis, as well as the analysis of differences allow the discourse figures to become visible, which are used in the discourse to construct objects, subjects, topics, realities - the ways of observing and “making” the theory of the "critical social work".
It is becoming apparent that, contrary to what the term "critical social work" suggests, there is no one discourse. Rather, the term "critical social work" is used to describe a broad spectrum of very different theoretical approaches.
The following is an exemplary list of findings: The discourse contribution "Critical Social Work 3.0" by Heiko Kleve is characterised, contrary to the "new" (“3.0”) theoretical perspective introduced on the surface of the text, by an implicit introduction of an ideal of a social work profession. This ideal operates under the label "Critical Social Work 3.0". The semantic connection to established theoretical projects suggests that the perspective cited here is theory-based. The discourse contribution thus has a professional-political function. The arguments of "critical social work" are not developed further, explained, but a normative argument is set against them, namely that of the "normative function" of social work, its "ethical and methodological professionalism of autonomy and self-promotion", which in the analysis carried out here presents itself as an unfounded postulate, or as a firming/label for the argument of "demand creates supply" that is actually set.
In another part of the corpus examined in the context of the dissertation project, a completely different topoi is found under "critical social work" than in Heiko Kleve's: in the analysis of the discourse contribution by Catrin Heite and Timo Plümecke ("Critique of Critique or the Dative is the Genitive's Death"), it is worked out that the discourse contribution of interest here stakes out the conditions of possibility of "critique" in the sense of a theoretical activity and, as a consequence, implicitly designs an ontology of critique. In a first step, the field of discourse positions contributing to the production of theory in critical social work is identified. The latter are then subjected to an analysis of their epistemological presuppositions and implications.
The discursive formations crystallised in the analysis, which produce the reality of the examined discourse position, design critique as a materialist epiphenomenon, i.e. as a product of human consciousness. The fundamental rejection of idealist conceptions of representationality in a reflexive connection to post-structuralist theoretical perspectives negates in its consequence an examination of the conditions of possibility of intelligible representationality as following the options for critique produced by the article and thus also disregards the consequences of the positivism controversy for the cultural, social and educational sciences.
Critique, as it is conceived here, is a political activity that is non-conformist and oppositional to theoretical perspectives rationalised as hegemonic. Critical activities tend to have a combative character in the rationalisation of this discourse position.
The study is still in the research phase, so the sampling has not yet been completed. So far, very interesting findings have been made about the logics and rationalities of the discourse contributions that lie "beneath" the surface of the text. A plurality of methological and epistemological perspectives on "reality", "society", "addressees" and "professionals" is becoming visible. The "order of the discourse" thus reveals a diversity and hegemoniality and holds some surprises of theoretical perpsectives that are labelled "critical" on the surface.
Author: Monika Čajko Eibicht, Walter Lorenz
In my doctoral research, I study the concept of reflection in health and social work higher education. It has been noted that the value of reflective practice is often more rhetoric than it is transformed into details about how educators "can help beginning professionals develop the skills of reflective practice and acquire initial experiences" (Russell, 2005, p. 199; Van Beveren, 2018). My goal is to explore how reflection is currently used by Czech educators of health and social work students in higher professional education and how it is perceived and interpreted.
I will use the Q methodology to explore the educators' subjective perception of reflection and its interpretation. It combines the quantitative and qualitative approaches, applying "statistical analysis to the qualitative study of human subjectivity such as attitudes, beliefs, feelings and opinions" (Ellingsen et al., 2009, p. 395). According to these authors, it is an effective method for "obtaining data from small samples, offering respondents a concise and valid way of expressing their viewpoints with minimal researcher interference" (p. 395). It also enables the researchers to explore "the subjective dimension of any issue towards which different points-of-view can be expressed" (Stenner et al., 2008, p. 212). The literature describes several steps in implementing the Q methodology: 1) Identifying a concourse on the topic of interest, 2) Developing a representative set of statements (Q sample), 3) Specifying the respondents for the study (P-set) and conditions of instructions, 4) Administering the Q sort (rank ordering of statements), and 5) Factor analyzing and interpretation (Ellingsen et al., 2009). In my presentation, I will address the theory of the Q methodology and report on my research progress in answering how educators of nu and social work students perceive and interpret reflection?
First, I will focus on establishing the Q concourse of reflection in the context of higher nurse and social work education. The concourse is the collection of various statements people express about the researched topic, including their opinions, arguments, beliefs, viewpoints etc., written in ordinary language. According to Watts and Stenner (2005), the Q set can be elicited from many different sources, such as the academic literature, popular texts, TV programs, formal interviews or informal discussions via pilot studies. From these, approximately 40 statements are chosen. To identify the concourse on reflection in my research, I am using the academic literature, semi-structured interviews with educators, and findings from our study on reflectivity among master students of management and supervision in health and social organization (Čajko Eibicht et al., 2021 in review). I would like to report on the first step of the Q methodology during the PHDACT.
Author: Nina Flack
Since the 1970s family-analogous forms of care have established themselves as an important form of residential care in Germany but have been barely considered in research. Therefore, the dissertation project is dedicated to this setting through ethnographic field research.
The most important criterion of family-analogous forms of care is that pedagogically qualified caregivers live together in one household with young people to offer intensive education and care. As a result, the professionals' private lives overlap significantly with their pedagogically work. Living together raises questions about the necessary balance between publicity and privacy, closeness and distance, which must be constantly reflected. The caregivers are usually not involved in team structures, so there are expert advisors to support their reflection on the various issues of balance. The scientific literature on family-analogous form of care still has some gaps. As an aside, researchers mention that the support of expert advisors is important, but until today there is no knowledge what exactly expert advice means and how their work is implemented in practice. The importance of regular counseling meetings to enable the caregivers to reflect on their daily routine is mostly highlighted, but researchers do not go beyond this notice. The aspect that a clear task description is missing and that there is no standardized qualification for expert advisors illustrates once again the urgency that this desideratum must be the object of comprehensive research.
For the dissertation project, the Situational Analysis by Adele Clarke is chosen, which is based on the Grounded Theory of Glaser and Strauss. One of Clarke's most important extensions for the project is its reference to Anselm Strauss' concept of Social Worlds and Arenas. This concept as a basis allows both a theoretical approach and methodological discussion of the object of research: expert advice. With its help, it is possible to find out which Social Worlds expert advisors have to deal with and how responsibilities and activities are negotiated in Social Arenas.
At the beginning of the dissertation project, interviews were conducted with expert advisors, who were then ethnographically observed. The first analysis of the data shows that expert advisors take up a larger part in the everyday routine of caregivers than the conducting of regular counseling meetings. Furthermore, the expert advisors have contact with other actors in the system of residential care, such as staff at the youth welfare office and the child parents. Initial findings suggest that expert advisors take such a large part in pedagogical practice that they can even influence the course of children's cases through certain actions, such as intensive discussions and the initiative of additional help. This aspect has not been addressed in research at all, so the dissertation project explores an important new focus. However, it still remains unclear, which tasks expert advisors have to fulfill and what different actors in the system of residential care specifically understand by expert advice. Therefore, further field visits are planned in the next months.
Author: Pavel Hulec
“Who decides?” is one of the essential questions in every strand of social-scientific inquiry including the research in the area of social work. This is especially true in the case of state-appointed auditors and inspectors, whose evaluation can affect the registration, funding, even the everyday operation of social service organizations. In the last few years, the researcher’s attention increasingly turned to the analysis of the impact of the state institutions on the social work practice. In new European democracies remains the relation the state and social work to this day rather a marginal topic, it is still a terra incognita for researchers and practitioners alike. In the brief history of “modern” Czech social service legislation and mandatory quality standards, the governmental social service inspectorate gained a reputation for being an unpredictable black box. Social workers see the inspectors often as bogeymen uncoupled from the actual social work and drivers of continuing bureaucratization of the social services. This environment of distrust increases the relevance of questions like “who are the inspectors?”, “what are the main principles of social service inspections?”, or “how the broader socio-political context affects the operations of the inspectorate?”. This proposal (and the research it is based on) aims to provide an answer and so open inspectoral black box.
The sociology of French author Pierre Bourdieu provides an excellent set of concepts to examine questions above. Bourdieu offers instruments to analyze complex social phenomena and their internal mechanisms. We can describe the Czech social services as a particular interconnected field with its own rules and regularities. The field is inhabited by a set of agents endowed with different forms of capital (e. g. money, education, prestige and so on), that can be used to conserve or transform the field. The inspection serves (in Bourdieu’s terms) as an institutionalized for of symbolic power, as it has a capacity to define “quality” in service.
This abstract is based on dissertation research “Surveillance and regulation in the bureaucratic field: the case of Czech social service inspections”. The contribution will briefly introduce the theoretical framework and its relevance. The main part of the presentation will discuss the preliminary results of the research, mainly the socio-political context of the inspection’s development. The presentation will describe the relatively radical beginnings of the inspections linked with commitment to the building of the “European social model”, the role of the inspection in the process of deinstitutionalization and the subsequent bureaucratic turn. The presented contribution deals not only with the topics of social service standards or quality assurance. The analysis also touches on broader themes of symbolic power, problem definition, and transparency, that are subject of this year’s doctoral school. The research tackles taken-for-granted assumptions about service quality and promotes relational thinking, that is central to reflection on everyday practice in social and policy work.