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 (Marie Fruehauf) (Mario Hildebrandt) Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 OJS 60 Introduction: Is Out-of-Home Care in a Crisis? Perspectives on Child and Youth Welfare Systems in northern Europe and Germany <p>This special issue addresses the field of international research on out-of-home care, as there are tremendous problems regarding the quality of life of young people living in out-of-home care, their transition from care to independent life as well as fundamental research gaps within this field.</p> Zoë Clark Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Ethical reflections on sensitive research with young people living in conditions of vulnerability <p>Our aim in this article is to discuss ethical reflections on research that uses a participatory methodology to study sensitive topics. The focus is on young people over 18 years of age living in different backgrounds and potential conditions of vulnerability. We found it interesting not only to explain the traditional ethical concerns but also to highlight ethical relational concerns, which are connected to the ways that all parties involved in a research project work and cooperate. As the basis of our reflections, we use empirical work from four research projects in the fields of psychology and social work conducted in Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom between 2011 and 2018. These studies raised ethical challenges and dilemmas related to conducting research on so-called sensitive topics. We wanted to ethically reflect on how we could give young men and women a voice in the research process and, at the same time, notice what are often very sensitive and vulnerable life histories. We concentrate here on discussing two ethical strategies: a strategy of doing good and a strategy of taking care of the research participants. Both of these strategies might benefit social work practices with young people, especially for those working in out-of-home care or aftercare.</p> Maritta Törrönen, Kirsten Elisa Petersen Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Disillusioned compromise of substitute care: A critical point for the ‘future’ in child welfare <p>The article examines how the future is anticipated and integrated in the statutory decision-making of care orders, and how disagreements between the social worker and the parents and/or child are portrayed when decisions about the future of the child are at stake. Despite the rights given to children (aged 12 or older) and parents to express their view and to have a say in the decision-making process in Finland, the analysis, based on care order documents, highlights only the scarce recording of substitute care, disagreement, and anticipation of the future. Future substitute care is indeed a difficult landscape for formal disputes in organisational settings when the ‘future’ is unknown. The term ‘disillusioned compromise’ is suggested to capture the problematic weak nature of the anticipation of the future.</p> Johanna Korpinen, Tarja Pösö Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Continuity and coherence for Danish children and young people placed outside their homes – a positive development? <p>All Breaks and instability is the reality for many children and young people placed outside their homes. For some of these children and young people this might results in a wide range of negative outcomes in relation to education, occupation and psychological wellbeing. The purpose of this article is to discuss the concept of continuity for Danish children and young people placed outside their homes through a policy analysis, a theoretical perspective and through looking at empirical research. The discussion starts with a review of the developments in legislation and social policy followed by an encirclement of the concept of continuity based on the perspectives of young people who had been placed outside their homes as children and relevant theory. Finally, an assessment of how these developments has affected the experience of continuity for children and young people placed outside their homes is carried out by a review of our own and other researchers empirical studies about placement stability and breakdowns, contact with family during placements, and continuity in schooling and education. The discussions in this article indicates that despite of the increasing focus on stability in legislation and social policy during the three last decade’s discontinuity is still the reality for many children and young people placed outside their homes in Denmark.</p> Inge Marie Bryderup, Sofie Aggerbo Johansen Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 A Crisis in Swedish Child Welfare? On Risk, Control and Trust <p>In recent decades, Swedish out-of-home care has been criticised for a number of reasons. In this article, based on research and public debate, we discuss this criticism as well as the institutional responses that have been evoked. We use the concepts of risk, control and trust to structure the analysis, which outlines three core issues portrayed as problematic: a) certain principles of the Swedish child welfare system with relevance for the placement of children and adolescence, b) the quality of out-of-home care and c) the privatisation of out-of-home care and the possibility of generating profits on such services. The institutional response to the criticism has mainly been increased control measures, but the development is not uniform - trust and control-oriented responses are often combined. We conclude the article by relating Swedish out-of-home care to international child welfare trends, discussing the institutional responses and the implications for social work practice.</p> Tommy Lundström, Marie Sallnäs, David Pålsson, Emelie Shanks Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Participation as power struggle – researching the labour process in the residential child and youth care in Germany <p>This article presents an overview of the theoretical stance within the BMBF-funded project "geste - Educational Aids as Work on the Common Good - Between Effect-Oriented Management and Equal Participation in Germany and England", focussing on the subproject of sociology of work. For approaching the working conditions of employees in residential child and youth care, the authors propose to understand participation in work as a power struggle. This perspective enables a critical stance concerning employees’ participation with regard to their working conditions that is discussed for the German case.</p> Coco Klußmann, Lukas Underwood Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Aftercare support in Norway — Barriers to support? <p>For young people who have received support from child welfare services, aftercare is important in their transition to adulthood. This article focuses on the barriers to aftercare that youths in Norway may encounter, drawing upon empirical data from studies and one audit of aftercare between 2008 and 2020. These studies, which include a survey, interviews with social workers and youth, and statistical data, are re-analyzed for the purpose of this article, and discussed in light of Judith Butler’s theoretical concepts of precariousness and grievability. The article identifies several barriers to aftercare and supports the argument that Norway may be experiencing a crisis in aftercare for youth as they transition to adulthood.</p> Inger Oterholm Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 (Anti-)Fragile Residential Education during a Pandemic: A Review of Facility Size, Openness and Closeness <p>Residential care settings are of special concern in a pandemic. So far, the academic and public discourse has mainly examined institutions for elderly people. However, institutions for children in out-of-home care also face special challenges. Although immediate response measures have been developed, there is evidence that pandemic containment and lockdown measures may impede children’s development and well-being. Institutional life has to be restructured to meet the children’s needs for safety and education in a way that can be maintained in the long term. In this assessment of the possible consequences for residential childcare during and after a pandemic, we review evidence from general research on residential care, the early findings of studies on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on children, and ethnographic interviews with professionals in the field of residential care in Germany. We demonstrate that there are good reasons to conjecture that residential childcare facilities can be fragile, robust or even antifragile when faced with the challenges posed by a pandemic and the measures taken to combat it. That is, practices of safety and education may break down, be maintained or transformed both during and after a pandemic.</p> Vinzenz Thalheim, Mark Schrödter Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Socio-natural Disasters and Poverty: An Analysis from Emergency Decrees Issued in Chile <p>The objective of this article is to determine the type and location of the main natural disasters occurred in Chile between 1990 and 2017. From the time of occurrence and their geographical distribution we analyse their link to regional poverty. A documentary research was done from the classification and analysis of the decrees of emergency issued in Chile during that period. This was done together with the statistical study of the variation of regional poverty, obtained from the Chilean National Socioeconomic Characterization Survey (CASEN). It was possible to conclude that the majority of the regions where a decree was issued, had a percentage of poverty above the national average.</p> Elia Sepúlveda, Roxana Contreras, Alejandra Mora Castillo Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Guidelines to enhance the psychosocial wellbeing of the San community living at Platfontein in the Northern Cape Province <p>It is important to develop evidence-based, culturally sensitive interventions in low-and middle-income countries. Information is needed to implement such interventions with the San people living in Platfontein in the Northern Province of South Africa. Within an ecological stance, we aim to accommodate a strengths-based perspective to promote the psychosocial wellbeing of this particular San community. Taking into account recent South African research, guidelines are offered to design an intervention programme emphasizing the role of protective factors and community empowering structures. In this process the importance of “collective wisdom” is underlined, particularly in this San community where realities are associated with chronic risk and population trauma. Therefore, these guidelines emphasise the protection of the inherent dignity and “glorious legacy” of the San. While a first-rate level of cooperation between government, civil society, and the corporate sector is needed to address these complex challenges, the role of social workers can be crucial.</p> Angela K. Louw, Izanette Van Schalkwyk Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Youth as Social Service Consumers: the Case of Russia <p>The formation of a mixed system of public goods production in Russia has been accompanied by the increasing role of the private sector in the field of social services, characterized by innovative approaches to the provision of youth services. This paper presents the results of a study aimed at the following key questions: what the place of youth in the social service system is, and what the attitude of youth to state social services and NGOs is. Empirical data were obtained from surveys of residents of St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg (n = 1204), among which almost 40% of participants were young respondents aged between 18 and 35. The questionnaire included questions about the demand for social services, relationships to NGOs as service providers, the prevalence of receiving services using digital technologies, the issuers concerning the quality of social services, and trust/distrust of NGOs.&nbsp; Different client groups among youth and development trends were identified. The research results indicate the prevalence of young respondents who are confident that new providers can expand the range of social services and improve their quality. Young people showed a high level of satisfaction with the services they received from non-governmental organizations, and they believe that NGOs are more client-oriented, then governmental organizations. The study demonstrates that youth is becoming one of the key actors in the developing system of mixed-welfare provision in Russia, which is more consistent with the modern views on young people as consumers of social services and which is able to attract them to the service market as providers.</p> Alevtina V. Starshinova, Olga I. Borodkina, Elena B. Arkhipova Copyright (c) 2021 Tue, 18 May 2021 00:00:00 +0000