Social Work & Society The e-journal Social Work and Society is dedicated to critical analysis of the relationship between social work, social policy, the state and economic forces. en-US Social Work & Society 1613-8953 Child Maltreatment, Child Protection and Child Well-being – Research across Borders <p class="swsDefault"><span lang="EN-GB">This special issue is based on contributions from the conference „Child maltreatment and well-being (CMW) II: challenges across borders, research and practices“ that was held at the Freie Universität Berlin from 21st -22nd March 2019. One result of the conference discussions in Berlin 2019 was that it is productive to interrelate research on child maltreatment and well-being more strongly.</span></p> <p class="swsDefault"><span lang="EN-GB">The articles gathered in this issue discuss methodological questions about doing research on child well-being as well as results from research on child maltreatment and on child well-being. What is beneficial about combining these perspectives? An interconnection between both fields results, for example, in a broad understanding and concept of child protection, in which child protection is not narrowed down to protection against endangerment, but understood as an effort to improve living environments for children and families (see e.g. Biesel/Urban-Stahl 2018, Cancian 2013). </span></p> <p class="swsDefault"><span lang="EN-GB">However, since the research fields were developed separately, we first outline child maltreatment, child well-being and child protection individually in this introduction and then formulate benefits and challenges in the combination of analytical perspectives on children in different social situations (1). Afterwards we shall give a brief overview of how the articles in this special issue address the three fields (2).</span></p> Timo Ackermann Friederike Lorenz Meike Wittfeld Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 A Different Take: Reflections on an intergenerational participatory research project on child poverty <p>This article provides reflections on ‘A Different Take’, a participatory action research (PAR) project which aimed to amplify the knowledge of children, young people and parents in anti-poverty research, policy and practice. In recent decades there has been an increasing emphasis on experiential knowledge in understanding poverty, especially through the use of PAR; this has emerged in parallel with sociological studies of childhood which emphasise the importance of considering children as active agents whose perspectives should be included in research. While these two developments are ostensibly strongly interrelated, children’s perspectives remain largely absent in research and in agenda-setting around child poverty. In this article we offer some critical reflections on an effort to bring the two together through a recent inter-generational PAR project to evidence the ways in which this approach: (1) generated new child- and family-specific knowledge; (2) added conceptually to poverty research methodology with implications for future research; and (3) illustrated the potential for local authority policy-makers to embed the knowledge of children and adults living in poverty into their policies and practices. These reflections may be useful for practitioners and policymakers working with disadvantaged children, young people and families, and may provide ideas for how intergenerational PAR can serve to holistically embed the knowledge of those impacted by poverty in research, practice and policy.</p> Chester Howarth Camilla McCartney Maria Mansfield Gill Main Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Co-production Approaches in Social Research with Children and Young People as Service Users - Challenges and Strategies <p>In this article we address some of the key issues present in participatory and co-production approaches in social research, in particular in research with children and young people. Participatory research approaches emerged in response to the failure of conventional research to tackle issues of inequality, marginalisation and injustice. In the last three decades, participatory approaches have increased in popularity and have experienced extensive diversification and proliferation. This contribution will start with a brief reflection on the theoretical background of co-production approaches. Using insights from our own research practice, we will then focus on strategies and practical steps in the implementation of participatory research approaches. We will conclude with a critical reflection on the future challenges of co-production approaches and the question to what extent participatory research practice has really been able to live up to the promise of addressing marginalisation, inequality and exclusion of research participants and their communities.</p> Timo Ackermann Dirk Schubotz Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Beyond glitter and glue: The significance of context in including children with intellectual disability in well-being research <p>It is common for children with disability to be excluded from research and from participation in contributing to policy and practice strategies for their well-being. The research reported in this paper attempted, through piloting inclusive methods, to respond to moral, practical and conceptual imperatives of enabling children with disability to participate in research. The article describes the researchers’ use of child-inclusive, qualitative methodology, to understand how children with intellectual disability and/or ‘communication difficulties’ define and experience child well-being. We demonstrate the importance of flexibility and reflexivity in choosing and using methods to engage children. The findings reported highlight the ethical dilemmas in research with children and indicate the significance context has for the design of data collection strategies and analysis of data. Conclusions emphasise the importance and possibility of challenging barriers to the inclusion of children with intellectual disability as participants in research, with lessons for research more generally.</p> Lise Mogensen Jenny McDonald Jan Mason Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 The relationship between subjective well-being and residential out-of-home care in Spain: the children’s voice <p>Approximately 40% of the child-in-care population in Spain is in residential care. The aim of this study was to find out and analyse the perceptions and evaluations of 12-14-year-olds in residential placement in relation to residential care in order to identify what factors in their daily lives had an impact on their subjective well-being. A mixed methods study was carried out in which a questionnaire was administered to 379 adolescent individuals (70% response rate in Catalonia), and two focus groups (16 participants) were analysed. After constructing three multiple linear regression models and conducting a content analysis of each one, the qualitative and quantitative data were triangulated. Finally, the implications of our findings for professional practice and policy-making have been discussed.</p> Joan Llosada-Gistau Gemma Crous Carme Montserrat Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Young people leaving care with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems: strengths and weaknesses in their transitions <p>Ageing out of the child protection system involves many difficulties for youth leaving care. Care leavers with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems are at even greater risk. The aim of this study is to know how both care leavers and practitioners evaluate the transition to emancipation. Conducted within the framework of a program directed at care leavers with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems, this study is aimed at understanding the factors that facilitate and hinder their process of emancipation in order to make the necessary changes. Using qualitative research methods, interviews were conducted with 14 youngsters living in supported housing and 16 practitioners – mainly social educators - working with them. Results indicated that both parties were highly satisfied with the housing program. For the care leavers, it was an opportunity adapted to their circumstances; they spoke of personal growth and receiving support to meet their needs. However, weaknesses, dilemmas and challenges were also discussed, such as the temporary nature of the program and the type of support available on leaving, or the dependence of the young people on their educators.</p> Gemma Crous Carme Montserrat Ana Balaban Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Coping professionally with closeness: Caught between children’s needs and self-protection <p>In residential child and youth care, situations and constellations that bring professionals and residents close to each other are an everyday occurrence. Even just the spatial setup and the structural dependencies force individual persons to interact with each other both physically and emotionally. They are involved with each other affectively and dependent on each other. Educational science and pedagogics have analysed how situations and constellations of physical and emotional closeness should be organized professionally. The first part of this article highlights some of these pedagogic perspectives on how to deal with situations of closeness, emotional involvement, and professional distance. The second part presents selected results of a qualitative study from Germany based on group discussions with staff of residential youth care homes reconstructed strategies of coping with necessary closeness between caregivers and children (cf. Bohnsack, 2010). The results show, that against the background of the public discourse about sexual violence in child and youth care institutions, professionals struggle to find appropriate strategies of balancing the pedagogic antinomy of closeness and distance (cf. Helsper, 2006). The third and final part of the article integrates the theoretical and empirical results and concludes that the media and public attention concerning sexual violence in institutions reinforces the tension professionals feel between children’s needs and self-protection.</p> Meike Wittfeld Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Practicing Silence about Staff Violence in Residential Care for Children with Disabilities <p>This article analyzes the practice of silence about staff violence in educational institutions. It examines a team that, for many years, legitimized its use of violence against children with disabilities in residential care by declaring it to be a “therapy” based on a behavioral concept. Qualitative methods were used to evaluate 18 narrative interviews with staff from the organization, two expert interviews with the public authorities, the team’s own daily documentation, and the behavioral group concept. Interpretations are based on a heuristic addressing the phenomenon of silence, its social functions, and its forms. Results show how silence about violence was practiced within the professionals’ speech and documentation. Institutional conditions and professional terminology were misused as a legitimizing frame to conceal child maltreatment. A behavioral group concept enabled a team of professionals to develop a self-narration about its actions in which their use of violence was coded among them and disguised from other staff and the resident’s parents. Finally, findings show that silencing staff violence in routinized practices may well continue in organizations even after its disclosure.</p> Friederike Lorenz Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Online victimization – an explorative study of sexual violence and cyber grooming in the context of social media use by young adults in Germany <p>Current studies on cyber grooming mainly relate to children approached by older people on social media with the aim of sexual abuse. Only a few studies exist in Germany, but they don't focus on the cyber grooming of peers. In the present study, we examine the role of cyber grooming experiences of young adults. Attention is also paid to whether the respondents were affected by cyber grooming in adolescence. The exploratory study includes a sample of 300 young adults aged between 18 to 25 years. Overall, 208 are female and 90 are male (n<sub>other gender</sub>= 2). X<sup>2</sup>-tests prove that gender is, in particular, a predictor for experiencing cyber grooming. Furthermore, it is shown that a high educational level is also not a decisive factor in victimization.</p> Sophie Weingraber Christina Plath Laura Naegele Margit Stein Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Raid, rescue, and rehabilitation: An exploratory study of effective anti-trafficking interventions for the survivors of sex trafficking of brothel-based prostitution <p>The Constitution of India criminalizes the trafficking of children for the sex trade and has established extensive provisions for their rescue and rehabilitation. India is the first country to provide for the obligatory rescue of the children trafficked into the brothels and provide for their rehabilitation, and reintegration into their homes and communities. This exploratory study presents an overview of the rescue mechanism and post-trafficking service provisions for the child survivors of sex trafficking in India using qualitative design. Using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, 30 survivors of the sex trafficking from the government shelter home and selected NGOs in Delhi were interviewed for the purpose of data collection. The part of the data was also collected using the anthropological tenet of the “key informants.” The key informants for this study were the in-charges/ superintendent of the shelter homes, welfare officers, police, legal experts, and other personnel from NGOs from Delhi and West Bengal. The sampling was purposive and convenient. The data were thematically analyzed using the interpretive paradigm. The results reveal that the age-old method of raid and rescue have not been found to be effective in the removal of the survivors from the trafficking context for their intended rehabilitation and reintegration. It is found that rehabilitation assistance is a recent development in India and hence, the provisions for the survivors at the shelter home were limited and incomplete which in turn jeopardized their health and well-being post trafficking. Besides, the rehabilitation framework severely undermined the rights' perspective. The findings of the study further revealed that the current praxis of rescue and rehabilitation is dubious and fails to take into account the impact of brothel experiences on the process of rescue and rehabilitation of the survivors. This research has significant implications for designing rescue and rehabilitation provisions for child survivors of trafficking. The article concludes with several significant recommendations specifically the paternalistic framework guiding the rehabilitation and reintegration exercise must give way to a "participatory approach" where the survivors are adequately involved in their rehabilitation to increase the effectiveness of the interception of the survivors and rehabilitation before the intended home reintegration.</p> Sonal Pandey Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Globalization as seen through a locked door. The impact of the Great Recession on the wellbeing of "latchkey children" in Spain (2008-2018) <p>All The effects of the Great Recession in Spain (2008-2018), analyzed through daily life and people's life aspirations, expose the limits associated with improving wellbeing in a Development model based on economic growth. These limits can be perceived in the inconsistency between social policy arguments that focus on employability as a mechanism of social integration, and the cost that this has had for thousands of families. It is also evident in the challenges faced by organizations and local governments caused by the increase in social problems and needs, and the lack of necessary resources for addressing them. The dilemma in both examples is to find individual or local solutions to structural and supranational problems. Bearing in mind the characteristics of the period, this research on the lives of <strong>Latchkey Children</strong>, shows the effects of the Great Recession on a vulnerable, diffuse, invisible group that has taken poverty and precariousness indoors. These are children unwillingly living in social isolation, with parents who have little time, scarce resources for resisting the risk of poverty, and above all a lack of close family and social relationships. The scarcity in these three areas shows the relational impact of poverty and social exclusion on children and adolescent wellbeing. The research has also revealed the existence of a particular group that survives in extreme hardship, in densely populated urban environments, and most often in single mother families. <strong><em>The Other Latchkey Children</em></strong> reflect an apocalyptic version of globalization in the 21st century.</p> Gonzalo de Castro Lamela Clarisa Giamello Macarena Céspedes Quintanilla Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Child protection in Germany and Russia from a practitioner’s point of view: Preliminary findings from an international comparative research project <p class="swsAbstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Violence against children is a world-wide problem. International comparative research can be used to derive options for combating this phenomenon through comparisons of the different child protection systems existing in various countries. This research project compares the child protection systems in Germany and Russia by having the same case vignette discussed by practitioners in both countries to obtain an insight in how the German and Russian child protection systems operate. The first preliminary results provide an insight into the child protection practice in both countries, with their similarities and differences. </span></p> Michael Herschelmann Nataliya Komarova Tatyana Suslova Albina Nesterova Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 Organising Transregional Child Protection within the Greater Region of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg <p>Within the framework of the Interreg project EUR&amp;QUA we investigated the transnational organisation of child protection in the Greater Region. The basis of our research has been a transregional perspective. The concept of the transregional draws its creative potential from the thematisation of border crossings and the critical examination of all forms of container thinking and essentialisation. We have analysed interviews with professionals as well as with families involved in these cross-border placements. Our main focus has been on the participation rights of children concerning the organisational processing of children across borders within the Greater Region. The impact of cross-border placements within the Greater Region on children, their parents, their siblings and the child and youth welfare organisations involved in two countries are still largely unknown. Against the background of our research, we consider transregional placements to be useful only in exceptional cases, namely when they are based on a rights-based approach.</p> Christian Schröder Ulrike Zöller Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3 By Dint of History: Ways in which social work is (re)defined by historical and social events <p>This paper examines aspects of the historico-political development of social work in the UK and Germany, acknowledging some of the contested aspects of historical analysis. The article examines four core areas in which social work has adapted to the influence of historical events – the English Poor Laws, political turmoil and the rise of National Socialism in Germany, the turn towards indigeneity in contemporary practice, and the increasing populism and politicisation in care across both countries. These are understood in terms of power and the discourses created through social, political and historical change.</p> Jonathan Parker Magnus Frampton Copyright (c) 2021 2021-02-06 2021-02-06 18 3