The online lifeworld gives adolescents various opportunities to meet their developmental needs. Not all young people benefit from these opportunities. They encounter negative experiences, have difficulties fulfilling their needs and engage in risky and harmful behaviours in the online lifeworld. This poses challenges for Dutch youth work professionals, as little is known about the digital lives of Dutch adolescents and the challenges they encounter when meeting their developmental needs in the online lifeworld. In this qualitative study, a photovoice method was used to collect screenshots from adolescents (N = 175) concerning their experiences and needs in the online lifeworld. Six types of developmental needs in the online lifeworld were distinguished. The article concludes that understanding how adolescents use online affordances to fulfil their developmental needs is a starting point for all youth work professionals in providing adequate support to adolescents in the online lifeworld.
Critical incident reflection is a set of procedures for promoting, thinking about, reflecting upon and learning about oneself or other individuals, organisations and/or processes based on direct observations of human behaviour. Critical incident reflection consists of reflections based on analysis of the surprises, discomforts and worries in practice, as well as a critical re-examination, with the aim of developing new knowledge, skills and values. Critical incident reflection was developed over a period of time and is based on such processes as theoretical analysis, meetings between researchers, practitioners and students, and two pilots and a lab. All parts of the processes originate from a Nordic network, Knowledge Production in Social Work, which has been running for almost 20 years. In this article, experiences from these developments are elaborated. It is asked how the critical incident reflection tool can be developed through co-creation, and how it can be used as an innovative approach to analyse, develop and advance social work. The main conclusion is that critical incident reflection is an evolving method that can be applied to advance social work practice, as well as a teaching method for developing student skills.
As the scale of global refugee migration has steadily increased, Germany has become a major immigration country. The social inclusion of refugee families is crucial for both the families and the receiving society, and thus represents an important societal challenge. Family centres, which already offer low-threshold, universal family support services, could facilitate this process of social inclusion. Implementing a qualitative longitudinal research study, the authors conducted problem-centred expert interviews with social workers in 2016 (32 interviews) and again in 2019 (33 interviews) to explore the local experiences of social work for and with refugee families. The systematically analysed data revealed not only various good practices of how family centres actively include refugees in family support programmes but also the frustration and exhaustion of social workers, who face several challenges that seem to hinder the inclusion of refugee families. Over the short period of three-and-a-half years, the data show evidence of a shift in activities, challenges and attitudes.
In 2020, the Swiss Federal Commission for Migration launched a new programme called ‘New us’. The national programme called for participatory projects that question the ‘us and them’ binary and present alternative models for strengthening cultural participation, social cohesion and a polyphonic ‘us’ in Switzerland. This contribution critically appraises a citizen-art project that met the funding criteria of ‘New us’. We argue that the scientific approach of developmental evaluation serves as a compass for the development and steering of open-ended participatory processes. The combined reflection on the artistic and scientific evaluation process engages social work research in the facilitation of cultural participation.
The research focus of the article – based on Aaron Antonovsky’s sense of coherence – is the analysis of recovery from the perspective of clinical social work. The methodological approach adopted in the study is based on the co-creation of knowledge together with 29 people experienced in deep mental health problems who agreed to participate in the process of intersubjectively defining mental crises, the possibilities of overcoming these and thus the ways of understanding recovery. The results of the study show that the basis of the recovery process is meeting a set of five needs: (1) effectiveness, (2) emotionality, (3) connectedness, (4) coherent identity and (5) affirmation of the past. A certain pool of individual experiences acquired during this process is a source of the formation of internalised beliefs that can be linked by a sense of ‘manageability’ (resulting from the satisfaction of the first three of the aforementioned needs), ‘comprehensibility’ (related to the need for ‘coherent identity’) and ‘meaningfulness’ (related to the need to ‘affirm the past’).
Street triage practitioners, consisting of mental health social workers and nurses, act as a conduit between service users and emergency services, and have a significant amount of discretion in determining the care and treatment pathways for individuals experiencing mental health crises. However, this is set against a backdrop of neoliberal reforms that have resulted in an increased focus on risk management, accountability, responsibilisation and managing scarce resources. Based on ethnographic research undertaken in a street triage setting in the UK, this article examines the role of street triage practitioners as ‘street-level bureaucrats’ and explores the impact of neoliberal mental health reforms on street-level practice and how these shape and constrain the use of discretion in a street triage context. Revisiting the relevance of Lipsky through a neoliberal lens, the article identifies how street triage practitioners use their discretion to navigate practice dilemmas in a contemporary mental health landscape.
Increased migration over the last two decades has resulted in greater diversity within Irish society. There is much debate around multiculturalism, diversity and integration, and how this is best achieved. As microcosms of society, schools have also experienced substantial growth in diversity. Over 90 per cent of second-level schools in Ireland record migrant students on their roll, with between 2 and 9 per cent of the school populations being migrant students. Moreover, research indicates that not only do teachers often struggle with increased diversity in the classroom but racism and inclusion are also not adequately addressed through the curriculum. Although Ireland sometimes prides itself on being a friendly and welcoming nation, racism is noted as a persistent issue. This article explores the topic of racism with teenagers in an Irish school, using the social work Dialogue Approach. This co-created study examines how students and teachers conceptualise racism and its impact. It is argued that exploring attitudes and encouraging dialogue among young people about the impact of racism and exclusion is fundamental to social work values.
In 2021, the Evidence into Practice Special Interest Group was launched with online events. At the 11th European Conference for Social Work Research in Amsterdam in April 2022, the Evidence into Practice Special Interest Group had its inaugural in-person sessions. This short article in the ‘Research, policy and practice exchange’ section of this new journal, European Social Work Research (a collaborative venture involving European Social Work Research Association), has been written to bring the launch of the Evidence into Practice Special Interest Group to a wider audience and to encourage participation. The article gives something of the context for the Evidence into Practice Special Interest Group and a flavour of the presentations at the 2022 European Conference for Social Work Research.