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Providing support for vulnerable families at home

Kaja Leskovšek (2017) Providing support for vulnerable families at home. MSc thesis.

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    Abstract

    The present thesis researches the social pedagogy practice of supporting a vulnerable family at their home, in other words oriented toward their life-world. The theoretical part consists of defining vulnerable families and problematic areas or challenges which they often face. Furthermore, the existing approaches and guidelines for working with families in the field of social pedagogy and related disciplines are discussed, wherein the paper is grounded on socio-pedagogical and trans-theoretical concepts. The empirical part is based on a case study (using the method of qualitative analysis of 82 personal reports and other sources) and its purpose is to discover characteristics and specifics of my own supporting activity in working with a vulnerable family. I have been working with the family for two and a half years as one of the participants in the action research about vulnerable families, initiated by the Faculty of Education in cooperation with the association for help and self-help of the homeless organization Kralji ulice. The intention of working with the family was to support the resources of family resilience, to increase participation, to (socially) empower, and to encourage social inclusion of the family and its individual members. Razpotnik, Turnšek, Rapuš Pavel, Poljšak Škraban (2016) define some of the crucial characteristics of our approach: flexibility, presence in daily lives of the family, regular responding to needs, self-reflectivity, building of a cooperative relationship, and prioritizing the dynamics and needs of the family rather than the formal demands of organizations and institutions. Other innovative methods utilized were also utilized, namely family conferences and case conferences that support resilience and increase participation of the family. Nonetheless, these methods enable the cooperation with social welfare services to be synergetic, effective, and based on dialogue. My findings, which are grounded in the analysis of my own activity, are largely similar to the ones mentioned, while I am also including the following characteristics: multi-perspectivity, horizontality, action oriented work, orientation of children’s perspective and synergy. Despite the need for additional research and upgrade, these findings enable a rich insight into some characteristics and specifics of the so-called life-world-oriented flexible family support for vulnerable families. Moreover, the thesis provides a wide range of possible conceptual tools, methods, contents, needs, and approaches that arise when working in the families’ homes. More specifically, it shows challenges and open dilemmas that occurred in my own practice. In conclusion, this thesis's contribution to the discipline of social pedagogy lies in demonstrating a good (enough) practice (although it is based on partial results since the work with the family is ongoing; and despite the possible limits of qualitative research such as subjectivity and limited possibility for generalizing the findings). Lastly, the work contributes to improving conceptualizations for the research, enables the recognition of professional concepts that represent a base for developing and implementing flexible, needs-oriented synergetic (professional) approach to work with vulnerable families.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: vulnerable families, social exclusion, flexible family care, life-world orientation
    Number of Pages: 168
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    prof. dr. Bojan DeklevaMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11691337)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4638
    Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2017 12:51
    Last Modified: 12 Sep 2017 12:51
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4638

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