Building a working alliance between professionals and service users in family preservation: A multiple case study

R. Steens, K. Hermans, M.R.F. van Regenmortel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

In the margin of the ongoing experimental and quasi-experimental research projects on family preservation, some research projects focus on the process through which families accomplish change and acknowledge the importance of the working alliance. There is, however, little information about barriers and facilitators in building this working alliance. To fill this gap, we performed a multiple case study with a triangulation of ethnographical methods such as observation, in-depth interviews, case file analysis, and multistakeholder focus groups. We illustrate how, in a context of managerialism and transactional leadership, social workers find themselves in a continuous tension between complying with the expectations of their social organization and “tuning in” with the service users. This jeopardizes the working alliance between a social worker and a family. Consequences for research, practice, and policy regarding family preservation interventions are discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-238
JournalChild & Family Social Work
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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Family Planning Policy
social worker
research project
Focus Groups
triangulation
research policy
research practice
Observation
Interviews
leadership
organization
interview
Group

Keywords

  • CHILD-ABUSE
  • POLICY
  • SOCIAL-WORK
  • THERAPEUTIC ALLIANCE
  • critical realism
  • ethnography
  • family preservation
  • working alliance

Cite this

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abstract = "In the margin of the ongoing experimental and quasi-experimental research projects on family preservation, some research projects focus on the process through which families accomplish change and acknowledge the importance of the working alliance. There is, however, little information about barriers and facilitators in building this working alliance. To fill this gap, we performed a multiple case study with a triangulation of ethnographical methods such as observation, in-depth interviews, case file analysis, and multistakeholder focus groups. We illustrate how, in a context of managerialism and transactional leadership, social workers find themselves in a continuous tension between complying with the expectations of their social organization and “tuning in” with the service users. This jeopardizes the working alliance between a social worker and a family. Consequences for research, practice, and policy regarding family preservation interventions are discussed",
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Building a working alliance between professionals and service users in family preservation : A multiple case study. / Steens, R.; Hermans, K.; van Regenmortel, M.R.F.

In: Child & Family Social Work, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2018, p. 230-238.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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