TOWARDS A MORE COMPREHENSIVE UNDERSTANDING OF FOSTERING CONNECTIONS: THE TRAUMA-INFORMED FOSTER CARE PROGRAMME: A MIXED METHODS APPROACH WITH DATA INTEGRATION
Maria Lotty, Eleanor Bantry-White et Audrey Dunn-Galvin
Foster carers require high-quality training to support them in caring for children with trauma-related difficulties. This paper describes a mixed methods approach that was applied to evaluate the complex intervention Fostering Connections: The Trauma-Informed Foster Care Programme, a recently developed trauma-informed psychoeducational intervention for foster carers in Ireland. A quantitative outcome evaluation and a qualitative process evaluation were integrated to capture a comprehensive understanding of the effects of this complex intervention. A convergent mixed methods model with data integration was used. Coding matrix methods were employed to integrate data. There was convergence among component studies for: programme acceptability, increased trauma-informed foster caring, improvement in child regulation and peer problems, and the need for ongoing support for foster carers. This research provides support for the intervention suggesting the importance of its implementation in Ireland. The integrative findings are discussed in relation to effects and future implementation.
Fred Chou, Kesha Pradhan et Carmen Huang
This paper provides an overview of the development and field-test evaluation of a group-based youth mental health promotion program known as the Core Connectors Initiative (CCI). CCI is a program that aims to help youth gain mental health knowledge and peer support competencies, and reinforce positive help-seeking behaviour. The purpose of the study was to evaluate and refine CCI by examining whether it attains its training objectives of mental health literacy, gatekeeper training, and fostering positive youth development, while exploring helpful and unhelpful participant experiences of the program. CCI was field-tested during the latter half of the 2017/2018 school year at 3 different locations: a private school, a community centre, and a public school. Using mixed methods, the evaluation yielded information on the strengths and areas of growth for future program development. The quantitative data were collected from a sample of 29 youth, while the qualitative data were collected from 9 youth using the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique. The converging data highlight the importance of connection, the value of critical mental health literacy, and the importance of clarifying expectations. The lessons learned from implementing this program can be applied to other youth mental health promotion programs.
FAMILY PROFESSIONALS’ ATTITUDES AND STANCE-TAKING ON POST-DIVORCE FATHERHOOD: A QUALITATIVE ATTITUDE APPROACH
This article examines divorce professionals’ attitudes and stances in response to common criticisms of how they deal with divorce outcomes for fathers, according to which men are discriminated against in negotiations on the custody and living arrangements of their children. The study applied the relatively new qualitative attitude approach, and hence a further aim was to test its fitness for studying attitudes. Eighteen Finnish family professionals who worked with divorce cases — social workers, psychologists, district court judges, and lawyers — participated in semi-structured interviews in which they discussed claims designed to be provocative. The family professionals were found to show both collective, shared attitudes and diversity in attitudes and stances. The participants strove to position themselves as gender-neutral and as promoters of equality between mothers and fathers, and thus in accordance with the ideal of a good professional. The divorce professionals argued that their overriding aim was to secure the well-being of children. The method revealed some attribution bias, manifested as victim blaming, where fathers themselves were in part held accountable for the gendered post-divorce situation. The results highlight potential areas of cooperation between different types of divorce professionals that could lay a foundation for improving services and support for divorced parents and children.
PARENTAL BELIEFS ABOUT THEIR CHILDREN’S EXPRESSION OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS: REEXAMINING THE FACTORIAL STRUCTURE OF TWO MEASURES AND THEIR DISCRIMINANT VALIDITY
Carlos Carona, Helena Moreira et Ana Fonseca
The Display of Negative Emotions scale and The Social Consequences Of Negative Emotions scale are two understudied questionnaires that assess parents’ emotion beliefs about their children’s expression of negative emotions. Therefore, the aims of this study were to ascertain the factorial structure of both questionnaires, to reexamine the internal consistency of each instrument’s scales, and to assess the age- and gender-related discriminant validity of the measures. The two questionnaires were administered by a web-based survey to a sample of 253 Portuguese mothers with children of elementary school age (6–12 years). A two-factor solution (expression of submissive emotions, expression of dominant emotions) was preferred for the first questionnaire, and a single-factor solution emerged for the second questionnaire. Both measures revealed good internal consistency, but while the former was able to identify gender differences, the latter discriminated between age groups. The simultaneous use of these questionnaires is recommended for an informative assessment of parents’ beliefs about their children’s expression of negative emotions.
EVERYDAY RESISTANCE IN MAKING ONESELF VISIBLE: YOUNG ADULTS’ NEGOTIATIONS WITH INSTITUTIONAL SOCIAL CONTROL IN YOUTH SERVICES
Jenni Kallio et Päivi Honkatukia
This article concerns young adults’ institutional encounters with professionals in the context of youth services. The encounters are analyzed as institutional social control — the practices and mechanisms that steer young people’s conduct in accordance with the normative order. We make visible young adults’ acts of everyday resistance as they negotiate, problematize, and challenge aspects of institutional social control. The data consist of 17 life-course interviews with young adults aged 18 to 24 who visited youth shelters organized by the Finnish Red Cross. Participants expressed criticism of the normative expectations and the categorizing and controlling practices that they encountered. However, there is a danger that in the institutional encounters, their acts of everyday resistance are not acknowledged as political agency; instead, stereotypical notions strengthen the interpretation of the young adults as problematic or in need of protection. This lack of recognition may contribute to increased vulnerability in the young people the institutions are intended to support them.
Madeline Nance, Megan Sease, Brandi Crowe, Marieke Van Puymbroeck et Heidi Zinzow
It is not uncommon for youth (ages 2–19) to experience trauma. There are various types of traumatic events that may lead to adverse effects on youths’ emotional, cognitive, social, physical, and spiritual health. It is important that youth receive support and resources to address the negative impacts trauma may have on their minds and bodies. Yoga is a holistic practice that may address these negative effects in all 5 health domains. However, there are many inconsistencies and gaps in the literature regarding the use of yoga with youth who have experienced trauma. The purpose of this descriptive survey research study was to address these inconsistencies by describing the approaches of 56 practitioners who utilize yoga with youth who have experienced trauma, and their perceptions of how and why they use yoga with these youth. Findings highlighted the importance of implementing trauma-specific adaptations when facilitating yoga with youth who have experienced trauma, such as increasing participant autonomy, providing a safe environment, and developing a therapeutic rapport. Results also indicated that the most common use of yoga among these practitioners was to address emotional and physical needs of youth who have experienced trauma. Implications of study findings and opportunities for future research are discussed.
IN HISTORY’S SHADOW: CHILD WELFARE DISCOURSES REGARDING INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN THE CANADIAN SOCIAL WORK JOURNAL
Jeanette Schmid et Marina Morgenshtern
This article reviews all items in the Canadian Social Work journal over its almost 90-year history that relate to child welfare practice in an Indigenous context. We review the journal contents as a way of understanding the profession’s voice, noting that a journal’s discursive practice reflects disciplinary discourse and that this journal positioned itself as a platform for social work debates. Our analysis contributes also to the truth-telling and accountability of social workers. While around 10% of the 1500 journal articles focused on child welfare practice, only 9 of these 152 articles addressed child welfare practice with Indigenous children and families. Our discourse analysis highlights that there was contemporaneous silence regarding social work complicity in the residential schools movement, the Sixties Scoop, and the current Millennium Scoop. In the 1980s, sustained critique around the role of social work in perpetuating colonization began to emerge. The journal, though, left child protection discourse unexamined and thus overlooked its role in maintaining dominant Canadian child welfare practice. We suggest that White supremacy and settler colonial discourses support the dominance of the child protection discourse, and that part of decolonizing child welfare practice relates to revealing and resisting these discourses and generating alternative decolonized discourses.
DECONSTRUCTING MAINSTREAM DISCOURSES OF CHILD AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AS IT CONNECTS TO SEXUALIZED VIOLENCE AGAINST CHILDREN
Kylee Lindner et Doris Kakuru
This article reviews literature on survivors of child sexual abuse (CSA) who were preschool-aged when the abuse occurred, and applies critical discourse analysis to reveal power relations within this field of research. Utilizing themes of narrative theory, this article demonstrates how the current discourse has promoted a single story of developmental trajectories marred by entrenched deficits. The reviewed literature often utilized definitive language in describing a narrative of damage that not all survivors identify with. We critically examine this narrative as an expression of power that risks misrepresenting a large group of people. Additionally, we recommend that future research promote a discourse of multiple stories in which survivors have agency to author their own stories.