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Social services support groups for children as next of kin – methods and goals
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Swedish Family Care Competence Centre (NKA). (Barn som anhöriga)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5612-7698
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences. Swedish Family Care Competence Centre (NKA). (Barn som anhöriga)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7139-3524
2017 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Children as next of kin are now regarded as a risk group in social services. A common effort for these children is support groups for children with similar problems, for example families with abuse, mental or physical illness. Most support groups are run municipally but also by county/regional bodies, non-profit organizations and churches, and sometimes the municipality works jointly with other organizations. Knowledge of support groups’ methods and results is limited and National Board of Health and Welfare recommends social services to implement systematic monitoring as part of evidence-based practice, EBP. Before this monitoring it is important to have knowledge and understanding of the goals of the support groups and how the work proceeds. The aim of this presentation is to elucidate the social services’ support groups for children as next of kin, to ascertain the goals and what is central in the work of support groups. With a participatory action research approach, a qualitative study was performed in 2015/2016. Seven Swedish municipalities took part and 23 people were interviewed, 18 group leaders and five managers.

Objectives/Outcomes: The respondents stated that the support group’s purpose was educational but they could have therapeutic effects. The goals of support groups addressed the children but in some cases also the family. The goals of the seven groups can be divided into three levels: 1) Acquiring knowledge; 2) Learning to cope with different situations; 3) Emotional processing. Support groups used manual-based methods, mixed methods and methods that they themselves had devised. The methods were the starting point, but other aspects were perceived as central to the performance: a) flexibility; b) preparation; c) cooperation with parents; d) professional approach. Flexibility meant not using the method rigorously but adapting it to the target group and modifying it according to what the group leader considered important. Preparatory work meant that the group leaders met parents and children several times before the support effort started. These talks emphasized the priority of the group sessions, getting participants to realize that it can be laborious, and starting collaboration with parents. Collaboration with the parents was deemed crucial; if the support group did not work it was mainly due to parents’ resistance. Children’s group leaders worked to create trust in parents. A professional approach meant being observant and confronting what happened in the group. The seven support groups aimed to help key aspects of these children’s lives and development generally for all children as next of kin. The group leaders’ work was based on methods, but they decided how to use these in practice. A manual-based approach could be implemented in different ways depending on the group leaders, the situation and the children’s needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
Children as next of kin, Systematic follow-up
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Research subject
Health and Caring Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-67911OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-67911DiVA: diva2:1140301
Conference
2nd International Young Carers Conference: "Every child has the right to...", Malmö, Sweden, May 29-31, 2017
Projects
Systematisk uppföljning av stödinsatser till Barn som anhöriga
Funder
Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare
Available from: 2017-09-11 Created: 2017-09-11 Last updated: 2017-09-18Bibliographically approved

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Furenbäck, IngelaJohansson, Pauline
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
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  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf