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09:00-10:00 Session 5: Keynote Address: Merete Monrad
Maja Müller (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Merete Monrad (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Affective Conditions for Service-User Participation

ABSTRACT. The presentation focuses on an understudied dimension of service-user participation: the role of affect and emotions. Building on the sociology of emotions, the presentation analyzes the role of emotions and affect in both furthering and hindering service-user participation. Vulnerable service-users may experience a loss of voice, not only because they are not included and heard, but because of affective conditions hampering voice.

In the presentation, such affective conditions are unpacked, including the loss of a connecting to a desirable future, the shame and uncertainty of dependency on others, and the affective subjectification at the micro-level.

10:00-10:30Coffee break
10:30-12:00 Session 6A: SYMPOSIUM: Academic-practice-collaborations as a means to enhance interactive knowledge transfer
Maija Jäppinen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Nanne Isokuortti (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Maija Jäppinen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Kaisa Pasanen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Ida Nikula (University of Helsinki, Finland)
1 - Features and outcomes of academic practice partnerships in social work: a scoping review
PRESENTER: Nanne Isokuortti

ABSTRACT. Bridging practice and research is one of the most central questions in social work. To facilitate this integration, researchers and practice stakeholders have developed community academic partnerships (CAPs) that create a structure of mutual engagement that links the academic context with that of social work practice. There is still a need for a rigorous analysis of practice research collaborations’ inputs, activities, outputs and outcomes. This kind of analysis can provide a better understanding of what can be expected from the partnerships as well as support developing new initiatives. This paper provides a thorough analysis of the international literature searched from five databases and grey literature published between 2010 and 2022 on the CAPs in social work research. In essence, the presentation discusses three types of partnerships identified from the literature: (1) improving social work practice with collaborative research, (2) supporting research-minded practitioners and leaders, and (3) enhancing collective advocacy through research to promote social change.

Gillian Ruch (University of Sussex, UK)
Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Diletta Mauri (Trento University, Italy)
Nanne Isokuortti (University of Helsinki, Finland)
2 - Connecting social work research with policy and practice: Issues of people, power and politics
PRESENTER: Ilse Julkunen

ABSTRACT. There is a growing emphasis on using knowledge to increase the relevance and utility of research in practice and policy settings. This paper builds on a scoping review of the international literature of community-academia partnerships (CAPs) in social work, which identified a significant gap in the number of studies addressing CAPs specifically in social work contexts and an absence of studies that focused on societal outcomes, such as improved services, and their connection to policy. In addressing these gaps in knowledge, the paper pays detailed attention to the role of relationships and the dynamics between the different stakeholders in the partnerships and their influence on outcomes. The unfolding argument is illustrated with a narrative case study reflecting on experiences of managing transitions between research, practice and policy in the context of partnership work with care leavers in Italy. From the reviewed literature and learnings from the case study we conclude by identifying four areas for further consideration: what constitutes ‘meaningful’ outcomes; how the personal and political nature of power is understood; the significance of the temporal characteristics of partnership practice, and the complexities involved in developing inclusive, participatory practices.

Kaisa Pasanen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
3 - Enhancing knowledge transfer through collaborative practice research in multidisciplinary social and health services

ABSTRACT. This paper addresses the potential of collaborative practice research projects in enhancing knowledge transfer by presenting a study conducted in a multidisciplinary Health and Wellbeing Centre in Helsinki, Finland. The Centre provides a comprehensive range of co-located social and health care services for adults. The present study utilizes observational methods and interview data to examine how shared knowledge practices are mediated in integrated social and health care services. The study was designed to support and examine a novel multidisciplinary service concept for clients with multiple social and health service use. Practitioners from several fields of social and health care participated in planning and carrying out the process in collaboration with the researcher. Data were collected from practitioners and service users. Data analysis and preliminary findings were discussed in a workshop with the practitioners involved in the research process. Furthermore, the findings validated with practitioners were disseminated to be utilized in developing working practices in the Health and Wellbeing Centre. The collaborative process provided an opportunity to engage practitioners, firstly, in knowledge creation, and, secondly, in transforming knowledge into practice. Collaborative practice research can serve as a tool to support research minded practitioners and knowledge transfer. Moreover, co-designed practice research projects hold potential for enhancing organizational learning and improving service delivery.

Amy Lynch (University of Sussex, UK)
Jo Williams (University of Sussex, UK)
4 - Book-ending participatory research processes: developing relational and creative methods

ABSTRACT. Background: This paper presents methodological reflections from two doctoral research students. Both studies were situated in England during the Covid-19 pandemic, where co-creation with social work participants became a more prominent focus of the research process within the constraints of social distancing guidelines. The first study examines how social work supervisors navigate relationships with their supervisees, using psychosocially-informed ethnography. The second study explores how child protection social workers experience empathy in their practice with parents, using a relational and reflective interview method. Methods: In the first study, a method of ‘draw, write, and talk’ was developed as a means of the researcher and participant reflecting on the supervisors’ key interactions with their supervisees. This data generating method was co-developed in a hybrid, online and in-person, ethnographic research space to respond to the emerging social distancing guidelines. In the second study, the researcher and participants explored the relevance and resonance of analytical themes through reflecting together in virtual spaces on creative visual representations of empathy including ‘empathy poems’ and an ‘empathy gallery’. In these relational and reflective virtual research spaces the researcher and participants co-developed analytical themes, visual representations and practice tools. Conclusions and implications: Learning is shared from both studies about the value of developing a participatory, relationship-based approach to research. Modelling a relational and creative approach serves to close the gap between research and practice. It also has the potential to be applied to, and influence, social work practice with children and families.

10:30-12:00 Session 6B: WORKSHOP:Creative platforms for Co-Creations: Moving international to co-create solutions to scenario-based practice challenges
Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Creative platforms for Co-Creations: Moving international to co-create solutions to scenario-based practice challenges

ABSTRACT. Community development in Singapore has received increased attention in recent years within the social work profession, as a strengths-based practice that could support communities to thrive. A key principle of community development is to discover community assets and to encourage service users to become active change agents within their communities, versus being passive recipients of aid. However, in a macro-environment focused on expert service provision and risk-reduction, social/community workers often face challenges in inviting and collaborating with service recipients to co-create and contribute to their communities.

This research was borne out of challenges raised and a desire to document and co-create strategies across common challenge themes faced by social/community workers. It was planned across two-phases; Phase 1: Individual Interviews with 15 social/community workers on challenge scenarios faced in their community work practice and Phase 2: Co-Creation Circles to respond to the challenge scenarios/themes.

Phase 2 brought together 17 participants from diverse backgrounds including social/community workers, grassroots, community members/service users, academics and policymakers, and provided researchers with valuable fieldnotes on top of research findings.

The experiential workshop will incorporate: -Sharing of Challenge Scenarios raised by social/community workers (Phase 1) -Strategies and solutions to challenge scenarios in Co-Creation Circles (Phase 2) -Reflections from invitation to formation of Co-Creation Circles, representation, power and collaboration -Call to form a collaborative group for continued discussions and renewal of the step-by-step guide to overcome challenges in community development through scenario-based solutions to make abstract community development processes easy to understand

10:30-12:00 Session 6C: THEMATIC SESSION: 3.2 - Connections, Diversities and Controversies between Social Work Research and Policymakers, Practitioners, Service Users
Merete Monrad (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: K4 (1st floor)
Franziska Anna Seidel (University of Kassel, Germany)
Social work with unaccompanied minors’ transnational families- theoretical considerations, empirical findings and need for practical implementation

ABSTRACT. Background: Transnational family life of unaccompanied minors (UMs) is still a relatively little researched topic, even though its relevance for social work practice can be justified from an empirical, legal, theoretical, and ethical perspective. Behind considering the best interest of the child (OHCHR, 1989), the objective of this paper is to present the findings of a research project which analyzes how UMs in Germany experience the physical absence of family members and in what way UMs' family relationships are considered in social work practice.

Methods: Besides an intensive systematic search of the literature and an analysis of the relevant legal framework, a qualitative design based on a constructive grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2014) was used to collect and analyze data. Semi-structured interviews with UMs (n=12) (age 14-23 years), social work professionals (n=20), and experts (n=3) were conducted and analyzed.

Results: Results point toward the need to consider diverse transnational family relationships of UMs and assist them in fulfilling various needs. These include the search for missing family members, dealing with loss, and supporting them in maintaining transnational family relationships or in the family reunification process. However, findings show that no professional concepts are used for systematic or evidence-based transnational family work with UMs.

Conclusions: As this topic is still little researched in Germany and practice concepts are missing, practice research should be fostered. The research process raised awareness of the relevance of transnational family relationships, and participating practitioners reflected upon how transnational family work could be considered in the future.

Corina Modderman (La Trobe University, Australia)
Mishel McMahon (La Trobe University, Australia)
Mentoring programs with First Nations youth on Yorta Yorta Country in rural Australia
PRESENTER: Corina Modderman

ABSTRACT. Aldara Yenara is Aboriginal owned and situated on Yorta Yorta Country in rural Australia. In Yorta Yorta language Aldara Yenara means ‘leading the way”. The mentoring program gives young people a chance to connect with Country, culture, spiritual needs and connect with Community.

This presentation will share findings of an Aboriginal-led evaluation of the Aldara Yenara mentoring program. Central to this collaborative project is a better understanding of, and respect for, the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges and processes in mentoring practices. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives for health and wellbeing that emerge as a unique discipline from First Nations communities internationally. These perspectives inform practice models and mentoring approaches and will increase understanding of key concepts that deepen these models.

Research Yarning Circles draws on the expertise of Aboriginal leaders and young peoples’ voices. Yarning creates a conversational-style process that involves the sharing of stories and the development of knowledge from First Nations worldviews. Other data collection measures include spending time with young people participating in mentoring camps on Country and a scoping review of the current literature. Following analysis, the research findings will be reviewed through an Aboriginal-led Decision-Making meeting with relevant stakeholders of the study, during which the interpretations of Aboriginal peoples will be prioritised. Research findings will be handed over to Aboriginal community members involved in this study for their review, before releasing a final report in December 2022. The presentation will share findings about Aboriginal youth mentoring.

Junaidah Binte Baharawi (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Felicia Lim Li Pheng (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Janarthanan Lingasparan (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Jessica Ho (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Nur Batrisyia Binte Abdul Rani (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Yun Ze Chua (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Nur Naazilah Binte Hidayatullah (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Carissa Lee Shu Xian (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Frieda Goh (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Hyekyung Choo (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Seeking shelter, sharing spaces: perspectives on support for Singapore's homeless

ABSTRACT. Context: Homelessness is commonly defined as individuals without stable, permanent, and acceptable housing, or lacking the immediate prospect, means and ability to acquire it (Pottie et al., 2020). Singapore’s 2 nationwide street counts in 2019 and 2021 revealed similar results, with 1,115 and 1,036 homeless people recorded respectively (Ng & Sekhon Atac, 2022). The 2021 street count also recorded an increase in number of residents in temporary shelters. Despite available measures to support the homeless, there remains a sizeable population facing chronic homelessness. This suggests potential gaps in the available support for the homeless in Singapore. Objective: This research aims to understand the suitability of existing services in meeting the homeless’ felt needs through comparing (1) homeless service providers’ conceptualization of their services, and (2) male homeless service users’ experience in engaging in homeless services. Method: Semi-structured qualitative interviews and small group interviews will be conducted with FSCs’ service users and service providers respectively: through elucidating service providers' conceptualisation of their services targeted towards homelessness, while exploring service users' experiences of engaging those services. Significance: Representing both service users' and service providers' inputs are key to exemplifying collaborative practice for the homeless community. Service users’ participation in the research may also affirm or contradict service providers’ understanding of their unique needs and priorities. This encourages reflective practice among practitioners and enhances client-centric service delivery for the homeless community.

Presenters: Jessica Ho and Frieda Goh

Natalie Joubert (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
Janet Carter Anand (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
Tomi Mäki-Opas (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
Laura Yliruka (THL, Finland)
A scoping review on the parenting practices of families with a refugee background living in Finland; implications for family integration and provision of appropriate community services.
PRESENTER: Natalie Joubert

ABSTRACT. The past decades have seen an increase in human migration worldwide with an increase in forced migrations. The latter has become one of the most significant global challenges of our time. Migration of refugees has brought unforeseen challenges to Finland in relation to government policies and social systems. Refugees are particularly vulnerable because of the circumstances surrounding their migration, which are often violent. Their situations are made more complex by cultural and societal differences and differences between their country of origin and the host country.Settling in a new country as a refugee presents both opportunities and challenges. While benefiting from the physical security offered by the host country the challenges of differences in social identity, family-structure and community roles emerge. The family unit is crucial to successful integration into the educational system, the workforce and society in the host country.Objectives The scoping review addressed the issue of opportunities and obstacles for participatory, active citizenship of migrant families living in Finland. It explored the positive and negative aspects of parenting of migrants through the lens of their lived experience in Finland.Methodology: The question ‘What are the formal and informal service needs of multicultural and migrant parents living in Finland?’. Conclusion and impact: It provides a thematic analysis of the complex individual, group and system needs of refugee and migrant parents and their children living in Finland.The results describe and suggest practice and policy directives effective in responding to their social, health and mental health care needs.

10:30-12:00 Session 6D: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.3 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Mette Rømer (Department of Sociology and Social Work, Denmark)
Xian Jie Chan (South Central Community Family Service Centre, Singapore)
Ming Fang Cheong (South Central Community Family Service Centre, Singapore)
Hey Mama!: What collaboration looks like in a Participatory Action Research with mothers from a low-income community in Singapore
PRESENTER: Xian Jie Chan

ABSTRACT. Community organizing efforts seek to collaborate with service users, encouraging participation to promote solidarity and agency. Based in a community-based social service agency working with lower-income communities in Singapore, authors initiated a participatory action research with mothers to explore the possibilities of service user involvement in their own change processes. Two mothers were trained to conduct research and social workers partnered them to facilitate conversations with other mothers around challenges faced, co-producing solutions. Strong ownership and participation were observed, lending authors to be curious about the research questions: (1) How did the team experience collaboration in this partnership? And (2) What are enablers and barriers for a collaborative partnership between service users and practitioners?

The study consisted of two phases. In the first, individual semi-structured interviews were conducted by an independent researcher with four social workers and two mothers. The data was thematically analyzed. Thereafter, a focus group discussion was organized to discuss the findings.

Findings reveal high levels of collaboration and participation. Enabling factors include engaging in reflexive practice, elements of feeling valued, positive team experiences, and having dynamic tasks. Barriers include the ability to negotiate power differences, team structures and operationalisation, and practical limitations.

Beyond reviewing group practices, the study presents insights for practitioners interested in promoting service user participation or collaborative work. Experiences of collaboration correlates to group developmental stages, which teams need to be conscious and intentional about. These include incorporating structures which promote reflexive practice, and balancing between providing autonomy and prescriptive direction.

Mona Kragelund Ravn (Aalborg Universitet, Denmark)
Maria Appel Nissen (Aalborg Universitet, Denmark)
Supervised contact – what is the problem? How a participatory approach to the child can lead the way in practice research within an unknow territory of research and practice

ABSTRACT. Supervised contact between parents and children placed in out-of-home care is embedded in a highly regulated context involving many actors and conflicting emotions. Furthermore, it is an unknown territory in terms of research and methods in practice. A partnership (2021-2022) between public and private actors and Aalborg University has conducted a literature review, focus groups and individual interviews along with seminars to establish a robust ground for a practice research project (Helsinki Statement, 2014). The empirical studies lead to an identification of a challenge in terms of ensuring the interaction between the parent's competences and functional level, the child's emotional development and needs, and the child's everyday life and interests. A lack of interaction between these can affect supervised contact negatively – and no research shows how to understand and prevent this. This important knowledge was used to design a project for generating new knowledge, methods and practice theory. We will analyze and discuss the process of preparing practice research and how it resulted in a preliminary model for developing supervised contact focused on diminishing conflicts and giving the child a voice and a possibility to developing a narrative about the relationship with the biological parents that makes sense. Fulfilling the purpose of the placement and ensuring the child’s needs, interests and everyday life through user participation became the joint mission (Beresford & Croft, 2001). A major point is that knowledge (co)production can create a pathway for entering into an unknow territory of research and practice (Gredig & Marsh 2010).

Kate Parkinson (University of Huddersfield, UK)
Deanna Edwards (University of Salford, UK)
From Practitioners to Researchers: Reflections on Family Group Conferences and Service User Involvement
PRESENTER: Deanna Edwards

ABSTRACT. This paper will examine the author's experience of being former Family Group Conference (FGC) practitioners, who now, as social work academics are engaged in research focusing on FGCs and their impact. FGCs are a family led approach to decision making, therefore as former FGC practitioners, the authors were involved with engaging service users and ensuring that their voices were at the centre of social work decision making, policy and practice. When moving into the academic environment, the authors were committed to ensuring that the voices of service users were at the centre of social work education and research. When FGCs were introduced into the UK, given that the model is based upon the empowerment of service users, early research focused on user satisfaction and experience of the process. This created a wealth of evidence about how FGCs were welcomed as an alternative to traditional, professionally led social work decision making. However, with the more recent move towards evidence based practice, which is focused on outcomes, often pre-determined by policy makers, the experience and satisfaction of service users is in danger of being lost. Social work researchers who are former practitioners, are uniquely placed to draw upon their practice experience of working alongside service users to ensure that these voices are at the centre of social work research. The authors will conclude with suggestions on how practice based researchers can work alongside users of social work services to co-create research which is of benefit to practice.

Timothy Sim (Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore)
Nur Adilah Noordin (PAVE, Singapore)
Xin Liang Yiu (PAVE, Singapore)
Working with Couples and Family that Experienced Violence during COVID-19 in Singapore: Challenges & Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners
PRESENTER: Xin Liang Yiu

ABSTRACT. Background. Family relationships became tense due to forced proximity because of quarantine measures. This is especially challenging for those who live in close quarters and limited spaces. Aim. This presentation focuses on the challenges and possibilities between partners in working with couples and families that experienced violence during COVID-19 in Singapore. Conference Theme. This presentation echoes the following themes • Challenges and possibilities in collaborations between partners - service users, practitioners, researchers. • Aspects of power when different partners with different positions are to collaborate • Ethical issues in collaborations between social work practitioners and/or service users and/or researchers Focus. The presentation begins by reflecting on the emerging themes of working with couples and families in post-violence context using a systemic framework, which is ground-breaking in an Asian context. A critical review will then be presented on the challenges and possibilities in collaboration between partners, particularly when applying technology (e.g., combining ZOOM and Microsoft Teams) to work with couples and family who have experienced violence, from different perspectives of service users, practitioners, consultant, and researcher. Conclusion. As we emerge from the current pandemic and as we brace ourselves for another pandemic, the presentation will end by suggesting specific principles, methods, and techniques in working with couples and families that experienced violence, as well as highlighting the salient ethical considerations.

10:30-12:00 Session 6E: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.4 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Martin Webber (University of York, UK)
Mansoor Kazi (Realist Evaluation Inc, United States)
Continuous Realist Evaluation of What Works and For Whom: How to Overcome Challenges and to Build Ethical Partnerships Utilizing Big Data From Human Services & Schools in Manchester City Council (UK) and New York State

ABSTRACT. Real examples from New York State and Europe will demonstrate how researchers and agencies can overcome challenges to make the best use of the available data to continuously inform practice, and how to utilize findings and inform practice in a continuous promotion of equity and social justice. Real live big data from management information systems (schools, social services, mental health, youth justice) from Manchester (England) and New York State is used to investigate the effectiveness of the human service interventions. The paper will show how evaluators work in partnership with these agencies, to clean the data, undertake data analysis with them at regular intervals and not just at the end of the year. In this way, the evaluators and the human service agencies can work together to evaluate the impact of interventions on the desired outcomes utilizing innovative methods and addressing issues relevant for practice including diversity, investigating where and with whom the interventions are more or less effective in real time. As the data mining includes all service users (e.g., all school children in school districts), it is possible to investigate the differences in outcomes between intervention and nonintervention groups, and these groups can be matched using the demographic and contextual data. The paper will use datasets from their completed evaluations from Manchester and New York State, and discuss real-world applications of the analyses. This presentation demonstrates how ethical issues between researchers, practitioners and service users can be overcome in a continuous evaluation of effectiveness for all.

Walter Schönfelder (UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway)
Supporting practice relevance in PhD-education – The Norwegian Research School in Social Work and Child Welfare (NORWEL)

ABSTRACT. Academic knowledge production is central to finding solutions for pressing social problems and societal needs. However, policy maker and practitioners frequently subordinate academic standards in favor of developing eclectic ad-hoc solutions for isolated problems. While the importance of user-perspectives in problem definition and knowledge production increasingly is recognized on a rhetorical level, actual user-participation is often not realized. Recent Norwegian policy emphasizes the need for narrowing the gap between academic knowledge production, policy development and service delivery. It further recognizes the salient need in the immediate future for a significant increase of social and child welfare workers with a PhD-degree NORWEL is the first research school worldwide with an exclusive focus on PhD-education in social work and child welfare. The school answers to the call for increasing practice relevance of researcher education. NORWELs primary objective is to establish a research school of excellence for PhD-students in social work and child welfare, based on the principles of research integrity, stakeholder participation and user relevance. The school is funded by the Research Council of Norway for a lifetime from 2022 to 2030. In my presentation I will introduce specific objectives and organizational structure of the school, and the stakeholders from academia, practice field and service user interest organizations involved in NORWEL. I will further highlight specific challenges in the cooperation between the stakeholders as they appeared during the application process and the implementation of the school.

Bruce Thyer (Florida State University, USA; North West University, South Africa, United States)
Forty Years Experience in Practice Research: Lessons Learned and Practical Advice

ABSTRACT. The presenter has been conducting and publishing Practice Research (PR) for over 40 years. Some studies involved the prospective collection of original data in various contexts (e.g., schools, hospitals, agencies) and others undertook the retrospective analysis of previously collected agency and client information using clinical data-mining methods. Some studies were undertaken by the presenter as an individual project, and others involved client participants or student projects. The research methods employed ranged from narrative case studies, descriptive studies, single-system research designs, small scale quasi-experiments, and randomized controlled trials, all conducted without external research funding. Examples of each type of PR investigation will be described, and a citation provided regarding its publication in a peer reviewed journal. The presenter will speak to how to uncover opportunities for PR regardless of the type of setting where one is employed, and how to be successful in submitting such studies for publication in social work and other journals. Problems and pitfalls often encountered in undertaking PR will be described, as well as ways in which these may be overcome. This paper will illustrate how active practitioners can devise useful research projects in the context of delivering routine social care. Time for discussion will be provided.

10:30-12:00 Session 6F: THEMATIC SESSION: 5.2 - Methodologies and Service Users' Empirical Participation in Practice Research
Berith Heien (Aalborg University, Denmark)
May-Britt Søndergaard Justesen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: P2 (15th floor)
Sara Serbati (University of Padova, Italy)
Marco Ius (University of Trieste, Italy)
Paola Milani (University of Padova, Italy)
Professionals and families as co-researchers in the P.I.P.P.I. - Programme of Intervention for Prevention of Institutionalization
PRESENTER: Sara Serbati

ABSTRACT. P.I.P.P.I. - Programme of Intervention for Prevention of Institutionalization is an innovative intervention strategy implemented in Italy to reduce child neglect and prevent out-of-home child placement (with children 0-14 y.o.). Inspired by the resilience of Pippi Longstocking, P.I.P.P.I. results from a longstanding collaboration (since 2011) between the Laboratory of Research and Intervention on Family Education of the University of Padova and the Italian Ministry of Welfare and in 2021 P.I.P.P.I. has been extended to all Italian areas, under the Italian plan for the Next Generation EU. Considering child neglect as a complex social problem, P.I.P.P.I. aims to respond to it through a collective action. P.I.P.P.I. realizes a practice-research methodological approach through intersubjectivity and pragmatic views, inviting both professionals and families to collaborate in focusing on the child and the answer to his/her rights and needs. Following the proposals of the Participative and Transformative Evaluation, practitioners and families are intended as co-researchers that act upon research methods. This is meant not as an opportunity for a diagnosis, but as a basis for dialogue among all the participants, through a reflective thinking that calls for shared strategies to assure the access to opportunities, resources, and respect of the child’s rights. Such encounters between practice and (co)research are supported by practitioners' training and meetings with the research team. Research instruments used by practitioners and families, once collected, give an overview of the outcomes.

Lauren Zeuschner (Federation University Australia, Australia)
Bringing the lived experiences of family violence survivors into view: the value in employing feminist interpretative phenomenological analysis to enhance service users' participation in research

ABSTRACT. This presentation reports on a university-sector partnership research project undertaken in the regional city of Ballarat (Australia). This research was premised on the belief that family violence services must be informed by the knowledge and experiences of the people who are most affected by those services. Therefore, it sought a methodological approach that would allow victim survivors to gain access into social work practice research.

For the past three decades family violence intervention throughout Australia has focused largely on increasing the safety of women and children, by referring perpetrators to men’s behaviour change programs (MBCP; also known as perpetrator or batterer intervention programs). However, despite the multitude of research conducted in the MBCP area, none had previously explored what it is like for women when their partners are referred to an MBCP. Consequently, firsthand knowledge of the meaning this common social work practice has for women was lacking.

This presentation will describe how the specific focus of the research and the choice to employ an emerging methodology was decided through collaborative consultation with service users, practitioners, and academic supervisors. It will outline some of the barriers to participation that were encountered, as well as some of the deep insights that were shared by the people who chose to take part. The choice of methodology will be presented as an effective way to enhance service users’ participation in developing social work understandings through research.

Liesanth Yde Nirmalarajan (Aalborg University, Department of Sociology and Social Work., Denmark)
Perspectives on the future workshop as a participatory methodology to include service users in practice research

ABSTRACT. In the Social Work Practice Research there has been an awareness of the involvement of service users that need to be more included in the research methods. Various stakeholders contribute to knowledge production with the ambition of bringing research closer to practice or vice versa. While this is an interesting development, there is still a need to develop hands-on methods which can ensure the inclusion of service users in practice research. I argue that “future workshops” (Jungk and Müllert 1987) with the right measures and openness is an appropriate method to involve marginalised groups and collectively benefit from practice research by:

1) achieve new knowledge in a collaboration, 2) a more (deliberative) democratic approach, 3) strengthen the agency and service users, 4) joint responsibilities and learning processes

As an empirical example, I use my ongoing PhD-project concerning how service users and practitioners experience opportunities to involve families in digital technologies in the child welfare system where future workshops, interviews and observations are being used as methods. The project is inspired by practice research. In the field of child welfare services, there are challenges in involving vulnerable children and parents. While there in practice research is a common understanding of collaboration consists of dialogue, negations, and compromises, it is still uncertain how all stakeholders can contribute to positioning as subjects rather than being just objects.

Denise Liu (Fei Yue Community Services, Singapore)
Peiyi Woo (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Singapore)
Elizabeth Yee Min Chia (SHINE Children and Youth Services, Singapore)
Journey of a Volunteers-Led Research Collaborative: Reflections, Learnings and Challenges

ABSTRACT. The Social Service Research Community of Practice (CoP) is a ground-up research collaborative bringing together researchers and practitioners from the social service sector in Singapore to share best practices and knowledge in conducting research, to provide community support, and promote the competencies of researchers and practitioners.

This presentation will describe the journey of how the group evolved from a closed, “by-invitation” group of 12 members in 2016 to an open group of 90 members in 2022. Dedicated volunteers who shape the direction of the COP have helped to sustain the longevity and ownership of the group. However, being volunteer driven, the CoP faces numerous challenges. Questions remain as to who drives or owns the group. As organising is dependent on the capacity of volunteers, the frequency of sessions can be sporadic. We will also share challenges faced by members such as applying research to practice, and getting buy-in to conduct practice research, and advice and support provided by the CoP in response.

The group has also evolved to become increasingly led by volunteers outside of the core organising team. Volunteers have hosted sessions to call for action such as setting up a community level ethics board, advocating for the sharing of government data, and sharing experiences of participatory research processes. Lastly, we will share learning points and helpful practices, such as adopting a hybrid format combining in-person and Zoom meetups with mediums such as WhatsApp and Discord, which provides a platform for real-time and informal consultation.

10:30-12:00 Session 6G: THEMATIC SESSION: 7.2 - Potentials and Barriers in Participatory Processes in Practice Research
Sofie Aggerbo Johansen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: P1 (15th floor)
Wallace Chi Ho Chan (Northumbria University at Newcastle, UK)
Hearing the voices of bereaved siblings in childhood: A research-practice integration

ABSTRACT. Following the death of a child in the family, previous studies mainly focused on the grief of parents, but relatively little attention was given to bereaved siblings. In particular, voices of children who experienced the death of their siblings are unheard in research, and in turn unheard in practice. In this presentation, the presenter would like to share with the audience on how he tried to include voices of bereaved siblings in childhood in a qualitative study. Challenges and possibilities in collaborating with practitioners and bereaved parents, as well as engaging bereaved siblings in childhood will be discussed. For example, the presenter will share what the research team did in recruiting bereaved families (parents and children) to join the study. The presenter will also share the experience of and reflections in exploring grief among bereaved siblings in childhood. Bereaved siblings may not express their grief like the adults, but they do experience the grief and are sensitive to the grief and coping of their bereaved parents. To illustrate the research-practice integration, the presenter will also highlight how the voices of these bereaved siblings were included in the research findings, and later informed the new practice development of sibling bereavement in Hong Kong. It is hoped that this presentation may address the importance of including research participants whose voices were not heard, and stimulate the audience for exploring different means to enhance the participation of service users in research may have great implications on practice improvement.

Maja Müller (Department of sociology and social work, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Maja Lundermark Andersen (Department of sociology and social work, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Youth at the edge of education.
PRESENTER: Maja Müller

ABSTRACT. In this presentation we discuss the barriers and potentials of participatory processes as solutions to counteract the marginalization of young people at the edge of education. More than 45,000 young people in Denmark between the ages of 15-25 are today without education or jobs, and we do not know how we as a welfare society can create changes in the approaches and social initiatives, that can help vulnerable young people to be included in the education system or in the labour market. With a youth perspective we focus on how social work can improve the support and opportunities for vulnerable children and young people to be better included in the education system or in the labour market. To overcome the challenges that vulnerable young meets to fit into the ordinary educations systems, new ideas and approaches must emerge from the young themselves and across the multiple spheres around the young. In close cooperation with a Youth Unit of a Danish municipality we gain contact with young people in different vulnerable positions and work together with both the young people and frontline workers to coproduce research and learning processes. We will present the results from this qualitative practice research pilot-project, that runs from October 2022 to January 2023. By involving different actors from practice, civil society (NGO´s and youth networks) and the young themselves in co-production processes, we aim to add new dimensions in practice research in social work, that are cross-disciplinary, bottom-up and democratic.

Ravit Alfandari (The university of Haifa, School of Social Work, Israel)
Maria Roth (Babes-Bolyai University, Social Work Department, Romania)
Gemma Crous (The University of Barcelona, Methods of Research and Diagnosis in Education Department, Spain)
Children's and child abuse survivors’ participation in child maltreatment research: Principles, ethics, and methods
PRESENTER: Ravit Alfandari

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: This presentation responds to the debates surrounding the issue of participatory research with children - victims of maltreatment. Although, the growing acknowledgment of the importance of children's involvement in research activities concerning their life, the persistent pattern demonstrated in the scientific literature is of asking adults in different roles about what forms of violence, abuse and neglect children experience and what help children need. The presentation will address the challenges of involving children in research about their maltreatment and provide benchmarks for effective and ethical participatory research practice. Summary of main points: The presentation will integrate theoretical and empirical knowledge developed by European scholars, members of the network of academics and practitioners - Euro-CAN COST Action 19106. Fundamental issues to be discussed include the impact of cultural and social factors, as well as formal policies and procedures on children’s participation; methodological approaches to promote participation; data protection regulations; and dealing with ethical questions around gatekeeping. Addressing the conference aim: The presentation corresponds well with the conference's general objective. In particular, it touches on several sub-topics including potentials and barriers in participatory processes, methodologies and service users' empirical participation, and ethical issues in collaboration. Conclusion: The presentation will describe pioneering examples from various European countries of effective participatory research with children on maltreatment and conclude with reflective suggestions about future directions in research including the lessons learned from the experiences of adult survivors of childhood abuse.

Diletta Mauri (Trento University, Italy)
Studying the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment with care-experienced parents

ABSTRACT. The concept of intergenerational transmission of maltreatment has long been highly discussed across disciplines. Some recent literature reviews point out that, while most maltreated children break the cycle, there is likely to be a significant association between child maltreatment and intergenerational transmission (Greene et al. 2020). For instance, parents with a maltreatment history are «more than twice as likely to have children who also experience maltreatment» (Madigan et al. 2019:42). In my research, inspired by Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2014), I involved 20 well-adjusted care experienced parents. Starting from a discussion about their daily experience of parenting (Morgan, 2011), I tried to understand what factors are perceived supportive for the interruption of the transmission of maltreatment. I also chose a participatory approach, creating an advisory board of parents with whom I discuss the design and outcomes of my research. Because of this collaborative approach, this study has made it possible to highlight important aspects that, from the parents' perspective, play a role in breaking cycles of maltreatment. For instance, the role they associate to the birth family when becoming parents, the strategies they use to respond to parenting stresses and struggles, and the role played by Child Protection Systems. The practical implications of this work concern both the acquisition of insights useful in supporting care experienced parents, and the understanding of what protective factors, from the perspective of parents, intervene in their parenting experience.

10:30-12:00 Session 6H: WORKSHOP: Potentials of service design thinking within service user involvement projects – the "Persona" method as a tool in practice social work research
Thomas Dierker (Management Center Innsbruck, Austria)
Eva Fleischer (Management Center Innsbruck, Austria)
Location: P3 (15th floor)
Eva Fleischer (Management Center Innsbruck, Austria)
Thomas Dierker (Management Center Innsbruck, Austria)
Potentials of service design thinking within service user involvement projects – the "Persona" method as a tool in practice social work research
PRESENTER: Eva Fleischer

ABSTRACT. Topic: Service Design Thinking (SD) offers approaches that provide diverse potential for practice research in social work. A Service Design process involves various stakeholders and supports the innovative development of valuable and meaningful services. The "Persona" method is an SD approach that helps to understand different groups with their specific needs.

Background: A consortium of five scientific institutions, three IT companies, and 14 social institutions from Austria combines service design thinking with service user involvement approaches in an integrated and interdisciplinary project with potential users. The project "Social Roadmap" aims to create a digital tool for people in need of support accessing information about services and adequate offers to address their problems. This sizeable practice research and development social work project applies the "Persona" method in different contexts.

Workshop: The workshop intends to introduce SD and the "Persona" method for practice social work research, give an insight into the versatile applicability and create a space for exchanging experiences. The workshop starts with an introduction, facilitated by two members of the project consortium, of the theoretical and practical foundations of service design thinking within the concept of service user involvement. The participants will then learn how to apply the "Persona" method. In conclusion, workshop participant’s experiences will be discussed, and learning from the application of this method will be shared.

10:30-12:00 Session 6I: POSTER SESSION
Prue Atkins (La Trobe University, Australia)
Enabling collaboration:A study of building collaboration skills through collaborative assessment in social work education

ABSTRACT. If we expect social workers to collaborate with service users then we need to help them develop the skills to do so. This poster presentation will overview the findings from research on the implementation of collaborative learning assessment initiative at La Trobe University Australia. Despite the body of evidence demonstrating learning gains in both knowledge and engagement for higher education students, social work educators appear to have been slow to incorporate collaborative assessment in undergraduate and graduate courses. This is disappointing given collaboration is an important practice skill and is a common graduate attribute required by accreditation bodies. In this exploratory study the learning gains and experiences of a group of Bachelor and Masters level Social Work students are explored. In addition, the experience and opinion of the academic staff involved in administering the assessment is analysed to further inform design and implementation considerations. Results show that on average students improved their assessment results by around 9% when completed collaboratively. Both student and staff participants saw collaborative assessment as an effective and engaging learning strategy. Positive results are seen not only in grade performance but also in classroom dynamics with students practicing some core social work skills, including clear articulation of ideas, effective listening, negotiation and managing conflict. Since the initial implementation social work students have become strong advocates for the broader use of collaborative assessment and for participatory research.

Eeva Liukko (Finnish institute for health and welfare, Finland)
Vappu Koskinen (Finnish institute for health and welfare, Finland)
Sari Vainikainen (Finnish institute for health and welfare, Finland)
Knowledge production for structural social work
PRESENTER: Eeva Liukko

ABSTRACT. In this presentation knowledge of structural social work is understood as knowledge that combines information about the experiences and situations of social work clients with information about the social conditions affecting their lives and the functionality of health and social services. The purpose of this presentation is to consider models by which structural social work can produce reliable and up-to-date knowledge nationally and regionally for the evaluation and management of health and social services and information-based policies. At the national level information is collected from client data systems and national indicators. At the regional level various sources are used, e.g., social reporting and clients' experiences. Obtained knowledge from national and regional sources should then be combined to support the interpretation of this knowledge and formulation of necessary policies. The project is run by The Finnish institute for health and welfare (2022–2025). The institute collaborates with wellbeing services counties, responsible for health and social services, as well as with universities and centres of excellence on social welfare to explore ways to develop knowledge production. For this purpose, a national network has been established. Knowledge production is also piloted in a participatory process with certain wellbeing services counties. Attention is paid to client participation. To conclude, in the future structural social work knowledge production should offer socially contextualised and reliable understanding of social phenomena and how they manifest in people's lives. It should provide tools for national and regional knowledge management, formulation of policies and improvement of health and social services.

Line Myrup Gregersen (Unit for Co-Creation, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry, Aalborg., Denmark)
Alice Katrine Burholt (Unit for psychiatric research, Aalborg University Hospital, Psychiatry, Denmark)
Malene Østergaard Terp (Unit for Co-Creation, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry, Aalborg., Denmark)
Rikke Jørgensen (Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry., Denmark)
Former service users as co-researchers in qualitative research

ABSTRACT. Former service users as co-researchers in qualitative research

Alice Katrine Burholt1, Line Myrup Gregersen1,2, Anna Søltoft Skov2, Birgitte Lerbæk1, Camilla Holm Krogh2, Malene Østergaard Terp2 and Rikke Jørgensen1,3.

1Unit for Psychiatric Research, Psychiatry – Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, 2Unit for Co-creation, Psychiatry – Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark. 3Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark


Presenters: Alice Katrine Burholt and Line Myrup Gregersen.

The research program Peer Support and Recovery is conducted in the North Denmark Region mental health services. The research group includes co-researchers who, besides their academic degree, have own lived experience as users of the mental health service and researchers with own experiences regarding mental health issues.

The research program aims to explore and understand peer support and recovery from the perspectives of peer support workers, persons with mental health illness receiving peer support, non-peer mental health professionals from FACT-teams and one inpatient ward in the region, and to draw inferences between the perspectives.

The poster addresses the conference themes related to collaboration and co-creation among researchers with only academic degrees and researchers with own lived experiences in addition.

The poster presents how lived experiences are applied to the research process. Furthermore, it discusses potentials, barriers, and ethical issues. The following issues are addressed:

Making operationalizations and interview guides:  Co-researchers have an unerring eye for both understanding issues and ethical considerations.

Doing interviews with all participants: The co-researchers’ disclosure gives psychological comfort to the participants and different perspectives. In addition, making valuable observations on what is happening in the interview scenario.

Coding and analysis process: Using experiential knowledge to see themes and connections and to grasp alternative understandings in a way that gives the analyses a new and unseen depth.

Barriers/challenges:  A new way of working may challenge our language.

Uncertain consequences of making self-disclosure among colleagues and participants.

Conclusions and implications:

So far, only positive experiences, but focused research about the impact on research quality in co-research is needed.  

Making self-disclosure is a new way of working in mental health service in clinical practice as well as in research. Further extensive reflections about implications linked to making self-disclosure are required.

Seyoung Oh (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
John Lam (Samaritans of Sngapore, Singapore)
Li An Puah (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
Delilah Tan (Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore)
Andre Shia (Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore)
CareText: Singapore's Only 24/7 Crisis Text Line

ABSTRACT. In 2020, Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) rolled out CareText, a new crisis text line targeting young people in Singapore. CareText was conceptualized to meet the needs of digitally savvy youth and the impacts on their mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The service initially operated during business hours and then transitioned to 24/7 availability in 2022. Throughout FY21/22, CareText received a total of 10,308 text messages, with a 120% increase in the number of messages replied compared to FY20/21. Furthermore, about 82% of CareText users are aged 10-29 years old. Recent data released by the Immigrations and Customs Authority of Singapore showed that for adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, suicide had risen by 23.3% from 30 deaths in 2020 to 37 in 2021; it is also the leading cause of death for this age group. There is a lack of local literature, however, on suicidality amongst youth and most studies use data from deaths by suicide or attempts of suicide such as autopsy reports, medical notes from doctors, and police investigations. CareText data, thus, is a valuable source of information on suicidal thoughts and behavior especially considering the potential for real-time tracking. We explored risk factors for suicide and volunteer’s engagement with service users by conducting a thematic analysis of 50 transcripts. This poster presentation will share those findings and provide a general overview of the usage of CareText since its inception and the overall trends of problems reported by service users.

Gwen Ho (SHINE Children and Youth Services, Singapore)
Nicole Liaw (SHINE Children and Youth Services, Singapore)
Elizabeth Chia (SHINE Children and Youth Services, Singapore)
Reflections of a practice-research collaboration on understanding practitioners intervening with youths with suicide risks in Singapore
PRESENTER: Nicole Liaw

ABSTRACT. Challenges often arise from practice-research collaborations as professionals from different backgrounds and inclinations are brought together to work closely for a common goal. This paper, however, describes how these differences reaped benefits for a practice-research project carried out by a social worker and two researchers in ways that would not have been possible if done by either professional alone. The context of the collaboration is a study examining practitioners’ perspectives on training and support and how these relate to perceived competence, self-efficacy, and attitudes towards suicide prevention in practitioners’ work with youths with chronic and acute suicide risks. As suicide is inherently a sensitive topic, and the study commenced during the pandemic, the team needed to pull together their different strengths of practice and technical research to address the methodological challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions and ethical concerns. For example, the researchers took the lead in identifying the best digital platforms for data collection while the social worker ensured that the methods would be aligned with existing agency crisis management protocols. The team also benefitted from the practice research professionally. For example, the social worker reflected that it was easier to learn the ropes of research in a team setting, alongside researchers. The researchers, in turn, reflected an increased understanding of field knowledge, which would be unlikely without the social worker on the team. These benefits highlight possibilities and opportunities from practice-research collaborations to enhance practice and professional development. Reasons for the team’s positive collaboration would also be discussed.

Tammy Wallace (Jumani Consulting, Australia)
Phil Crane (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Alannah Grace (Churches of Christ Queensland, Australia)
Enhancing connection to culture for Indigenous care leavers through Indigenous led participatory action research

ABSTRACT. The poster graphically presents a suite of interacting strategies for enhancing the connection to culture of Indigenous young people leaving care. Youth CONNECT provides 3 years case management to young people aged 15 to 25 years who have had statutory child protection intervention, and who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are highly over-represented making up around 40% of service users. Historical dispossession, ‘stolen generations’ policies, inter-generational trauma and ongoing systemic lack of voice provide powerful contexts for this over-representation and for consideration of what service user participation means in respect of Indigenous young people. As part of a University- agency research action research and evaluation partnership, an across-agency Indigenous led PAR group was established in 2018 to develop the program’s capacity to provide culturally safe and informed services, and increase Indigenous young people’s cultural connection. User participation began with Indigenous leadership in the broader agency and rippled out to involve Indigenous and non-Indigenous practitioners, Indigenous young people, other services and Indigenous communities. A range of interacting strategies were developed at agency and direct practice levels including yarning forums, Indigenous mentorship of practitioners, the development and use of a Connection to Culture Scale with service users, and community engagement events. Whilst there is clearly demonstrated value in Indigenous led practice development, as evident in 3 years of evaluation and action research data, there are profound challenges evident in embedding Indigenous led practice in neo-liberal oriented funding environments.

12:00-13:00 Practice Research Collaboratives lunch meeting

For representatives from the practice research collaboratives (max. 15 pax.)

13:00-14:30 Session 7A: SYMPOSIUM: Methodologies – Practice Research and Capacity Building
Rosaleen Ow (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Location: P1 (15th floor)
Peiyi Woo (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd., Singapore)
Kwan Boon Tan (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd., Singapore)
Daryl Tan (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd., Singapore)
Lora Pham (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd., Singapore)
Eswari Annavee (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd., Singapore)
Ming Fang Cheong (South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd., Singapore)
1 - Risk Management or Asset-Building? Social Work Practice Research in Financial and Home Ownership Conversations
PRESENTER: Ming Fang Cheong

ABSTRACT. Despite 90 percent of its population owning homes, access to home ownership for lower-income families residing in Singapore’s Public Rental Housing remain limited. Using a local example of a community-based agency’s work with the neighbourhoods of Redhill, Lengkok Bahru and Delta, this exploratory study aims to investigate the social worker’s role in facilitating effective social work practice conversations with low-income families with children towards home ownership. The methodology is twofold. First, structured interviews with ten social workers and twenty families were conducted by an independent researcher. Social workers were engaged in a financial literacy quiz; semi-structured interviews; and four scenario-based discussions where they had to make decisions based on a vignette presented to them. Families were engaged in semi-structured interviews and the same 4 scenario-based discussions vignette presented to social workers. Second, four reflective practice circles were conducted with three unique social workers. The analysis and learnings were applied to actual practice and then reflected upon collectively. Findings reveal insight in three categories – contents, processes and compares social workers’ and family member’ perspectives towards home ownership goals. Social workers and members co-developed a toolkit, comprising of a report, a facilitator guide and board game. Recommendations include developing social workers’ competencies in asset-building conversations, advocating for greater funding support to these families and improving rental housing environments. This practice research is a collaboration between South Central Community Family Service Centre (SCC) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Social Work and Mrs. Lee Choon Guan Endowed Research Fund.

Seyoung Oh (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
Janice Leong (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
Naomi Xiaoping Toh (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
Shawn Lai (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
Charlene Heng (Samaritans of Singapore, Singapore)
2 - A Pilot Study Evaluation of the Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) Program in Singapore

ABSTRACT. Launched in 2006 by Samaritans of Singapore (SOS), the Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors (LOSS) programme is the only suicide postvention and specialist counselling service in Singapore for suicide survivors, i.e., individuals who are bereaved by the suicide deaths of their loved ones. LOSS provides on-site postvention outreach, face-to-face counselling, phone call support, and support groups. This pilot study is the first evaluation of LOSS by SOS. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and participant attrition, the project faced multiple delays which reflects the realities of doing practice research in a clinical setting. Participants’ waning interest in the study coupled with staff turnover resulted in changes to methodologies and timelines. Despite the small sample size of 7 participants, the findings had depth and revealed that grief is unique and individualised, hence it requires personalised clinical interventions. The mixed-methods approach allowed service users to provide direct feedback on their experiences with LOSS; moreover, the research team reflected on their intentions of choosing certain methods such as standardized instruments that have been typically used in non-Southeast Asian clinical settings. Grief takes many shapes and form and thus, the research methods should align to suit the context, which in this case, are suicide survivors in a multi-racial, Asian country like Singapore.

Judith Chew (KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore)
Christine Chua (KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore)
Winnie Lim (KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Singapore)
3 - “Drawing to tell my story and maybe… talking, activities, pictures”: Involving young people in practice research
PRESENTER: Judith Chew

ABSTRACT. Young people’s engagement in research has been increasing. This is largely in response to the shift toward empowering participants and acknowledging the rights of children and adolescents to have their voices heard about issues important to them. This presentation contributes to the literature on young people’s involvement in research, by providing a reflective account of our learning and experience of engaging with paediatric patients in understanding their experiences of living with eczema. Specifically, we will highlight their involvement in two areas: (a) initial research project development, and (b) the use of creative methods as part of data collection. For this project, the research question and data collection methods were developed collaboratively through consultations with our patients as we recognize that young people are key informants and experts on their own lives. The team utilised photo-elicitation interviewing (PEI) and other creative methods (e.g., drawing) as facilitative tools in order to create opportunities within the traditional interview format for participants to express their views comfortably. PEI, which involves the inclusion of photographs in interviews, was chosen to capture young people’s perspectives because using participant-generated photographs promotes active engagement with the research process. It creates opportunities for greater participant agency by allowing them control over what is discussed and thus more likely to reflect what is important. In addition to presenting practical steps of incorporating creative methods in data collection, ethical considerations, benefits and challenges of employing an approach that focuses of service user engagement will also be discussed.

Joanne Ong Yi Ting (Lakeside Family Services, Singapore)
Theresa Jude (Lakeside Family Services (formerly), Singapore)
Syl-Vyn Lim (Lakeside Family Services, Singapore)
Joanna Yong Mun Foong (Lakeside Family Services (formerly), Singapore)
Nan Jiang (National University of Singapore (formerly), Singapore)
4 - Perspective of long-term clients with low income in the Family Service Centre

ABSTRACT. This study explored clients’ perceptions of experiences with the helping process, and how these experiences have impacted the clients’ perception of themselves and their help-seeking behaviours using qualitative methodology, with two distinct phases in data collection.

Phase I consisted of two interviews inviting participants to recount and elaborate on their experiences as a client with low-income, with a gap of two to three months in between the two interviews.

The theme of ‘Shame’ which permeated the narratives in Phase I guided the design of an intervention in Phase II to test if working on a particular emerged theme had a positive impact on the clients. ‘Shame’ was a concern for us as researchers and helping professionals who might be perpetuating the problem and oppressing an already vulnerable group, and the need to create awareness among our colleagues on the effects of shame and the crucial role they play in mitigating its effects. Phase II involved a three-month short-term intervention designed based on Shame Resilience Theory (SRT) with two individual sessions and one group session, and a half day training for social workers. A pre-and-post survey form in relation to shame was administered to measure changes.

The study increased the capacity of researchers to develop understanding of the effects and implications of shame and learnt how to be sensitive to the shame-experiences of clients, more attuned to our own thoughts and positions. The short-term intervention enabled participants to increase in awareness of shame, able to label shame, and identify how shame affects them and how to develop resilience to cope with shame while seeking help.

Elizabeth Y.M. Chia (SHINE Children & Youth Services, Singapore)
Nicole Liaw (SHINE Children & Youth Services, Singapore)
Esther C.L. Goh (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Vanessa Koh (SHINE Children & Youth Services (formerly), Singapore)
Kheng Leng Tok (SHINE Children & Youth Services (formerly), Singapore)
5 - School attendance among low-income children: Exploring parents’ and children’s perspectives

ABSTRACT. exploratory qualitative method, in-depth interviews were conducted to compare and contrast the school attendance beliefs and strategies between two sub-samples: regular (n=11 pairs) and irregular school attendances (n=7 pairs) in eighteen caregiver-child pairs. Original plans included observing the child’s going to school process but pandemic restrictions prevented it.

The semi-structured interview guide was developed based on case file data mined from a social service agency serving young persons and their families, and expert observations from its social workers. Participants were recruited mainly from the above social service agency and a few referrals from other social service agencies serving similar clienteles. Caregivers and children were interviewed separately, to provide children the space to share their thoughts independently. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data analysis was aided by NVivo.

Coding structures were developed separately for the caregivers’ interviews and the children’s interviews. For the first round of coding, open coding was created to ensure that the nuances of the interview were captured and that the subtle meanings were retained in the research. The open codes were then integrated together into higher level codes and themes. The team also ensured inter-rater reliability. Findings and implications for practice are discussed.

13:00-14:30 Session 7B: SYMPOSIUM: The 5+1: Collaboration, impact and translation: A Social Work Practice Research Partnership, Melbourne, Australia
Lynette Joubert (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Ralph Hampson (University of Melbourne, Australia)
1 - Resilience and impact in health social work practice

ABSTRACT. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on health social workers, addressing both opportunities, and challenges and the changes to social work practice. The research was undertaken in two phases:

Phase 1 involved extracting and identifying themes within the data gathered by means of a digital platform Basecamp designed to assist employees in organisations to communicate online. The Basecamp digital platform was provided across the five hospitals enabling social workers to capture their experiences, challenges and peer support in ‘real time’.

Phase 2 consisted of in- depth interviews with health social workers and social work managers, to further expand on the themed findings from the analysis of the Basecamp data. These interviews were subsequently transcribed and analysed using NVivo to identify key themes. The findings from both phases were consolidated to provide a picture of the overall impact of the pandemic and allow collaborative discussion and formulation of recommendations for continuing social work practice.

Discussion and impact: Thematic analysis of the data identified five key areas that impacted on social work practice. These areas were: communication, social distancing , ‘work and home’ merging of practice, skills in brief frontline social work Interventions, and the use of online technology. The results have impacted on health social work practice in the precinct, including recommendations for including virtual communication in the forefront of practice with services users and their families.

Lynette Joubert (University of Melbourne, Australia)
2 - Fieldwork placements within a practice research academic practitioner partnership

ABSTRACT. A total of 24 University of Melbourne Master of Social Work Students have participated in practice research placements in the 5+1 collaboration from 2020. We present the pedagogical and supervision models included in the approach to their fieldwork training, as well as the thematic analysis of students’ lived experience on placement which resulted in the following themes: o Values and Ethics: students prepared the consent forms and Plain Language statements learning about the key issues of confidentiality and privacy as well as secure data management. o Professionalism and project management: the students became aware of the importance of project deadlines, preparing reports, presentations to stakeholders via video link, and supporting research participants o Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Practice: students were encouraged to view material through a cultural lens and to be sensitive to possible discrimination and vulnerability, particularly in disadvantaged groups. o Application of Research to Practice: students had the opportunity to engage with research alongside practitioners in the field o Communication and Information skills: students were given access to methods for honing communication skills via video-links and building rapport without direct face-to-face contact. o Data Processing and Sharing: students played a key role in managing the data collected, understanding the importance of privacy and confidentiality, and appropriate use of software for data analysis. The evaluation of the student practice research fieldwork placements adopted an inclusive research paradigm, encompassing a participatory and emancipatory approach where students both designed and conducted the evaluation.

Alison Hocking (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Alys-Marie Manguy (The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia)
3 - The shift to virtual social work practice: a Clinical Data Mining (CDM) study in the Virtual Social Work Clinic

ABSTRACT. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, significant challenges arose which resulted in important changes to the practice of social work in hospitals. Identified challenges and practice changes were the incorporation of technology in social work practice, working from home and managing isolation, quarantine when mandated and the ever-changing COVID-19 testing requirements. Social Workers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital implemented a virtual social work clinic. The CDM study aimed to describe, thematically analyse and propose recommendations for continued online social work practice.

Methodology: An audit tool was developed to retrospectively audit the records of electronic medical records of 57 patients referred to the Virtual Clinic with the aim of describing the reasons for referral, social work intervention and follow-up and the implications for continuing integration of online technology in routine health social work practice. The audit tool collected data on social / relational issues, mental health issues, social work interventions, assessment, assistance with resources and support, community and health service referral pathways and the outcome of engagement with service users.

Discussion: We will describe the descriptive and inferential analysis of the data audited highlighting the structural concerns regarding the financial implications of the pandemic including housing insecurity and the need for material aid. In addition we will highlight the need for bereavement counselling, mental health well-being and carer support. The audit generated a rich source of both qualitative and quantitative which has informed recommendations for continued online health social work practice.

13:00-14:30 Session 7C: SYMPOSIUM: Social work, social welfare, unemployment and vulnerability among youth
Vibeke Bak Nielsen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: P3 (15th floor)
Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki,, Finland)
1 - Introduction

ABSTRACT. Introduction to the symposium

Vibeke Bak Nielsen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
2 - The emergence of productive understandings of sustainable community development in youth responses to a neo-liberal discourse

ABSTRACT. Community approaches in social work traditionally understand communities as groups of people defined as something that exist ´out there` as a membership, a geographical location or an identity group waiting to be approached (Holzman, 2002). Understanding the becomingness, that emerges in the young people´s responses young people are foremost human beings actively engaged in handling their lives by creating meaningful understandings of the situations in which they interact (Nelleman et al., 2019). In doing that, they search for meaningful relations creating potentials for fellowship (Nelleman et al., 2019) and building communities as a collective, creative process of bringing into existence new social units and practices as potential for human growth and social transformation (Holzman, 2002). Emerging empirical and theoretical analyses of young people´s responses to a dominating neo-liberal discourse of endless possibilities, actor governed sustainable community building is located in the range between a need for fellowship (Nelleman et al., 2019) and building communities across different action contexts and trajectories of participation (Holzmann, 2002, 2008; Mørck, 2007). Fellowship understood as prerequisite for community building in social work with young people in risk of marginalisation. The presentation highlights some of the conclusion in relation to an approach in social work encounters with young people at risk of marginalisation characterised by an understanding of the young people as acting, participating and negotiating citizens. An understanding different from a normative understanding of citizenship defined alone by social obligations, risk management and accountability (Cottam, 2019; Marthinsen, 2019).

Carla Pinto (CAPP/ISCSP University of Lisbon, Portugal)
3 - Using participation to understand and address the anxieties of European youth about unemployment, future work and community

ABSTRACT. This paper brings to the fore the youth perceptions and experiences about their needs and potential for participation in local communities and in the development of youth services. The data comes from six European countries, giving a broad panorama of youth perceptions across Europe: Denmark, Poland, Portugal, Greece, Czech Republic and United Kingdom. The methodology followed a collaborative and flexible approach using interactive workshops with ninety young people in total, promoting the young participants views and their inclusion in the research processes. The cross-country study emphazised each group of youth participants identities and singularities, and different national contexts, avoiding over generalization and unduly masking of young participants diversity of voices and vulnerabilities. The findings are consistent in all six countries, althought the groups of young people illustrated different situations and vulnerabilities. Youth emphazised their concern and uncertainty about future work, and consequently their capacity for autonomy and full participation in society. This perspective frames young people’s understandings of youth policies and that participation requires support to be inclusive and meaningful. Particularly, young people welcome more youth-friendly communities and policies, with greater consideration for their voices, talents and ideas, in full participation: not only to be listen to but to see their input effetively included in programs, services and policies.

13:00-14:30 Session 7D: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.5 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Sara Serbati (University of Padova, Italy)
Frank Ebsen (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC, Denmark)
Signe Steensbæk (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC, Denmark)
Helle Antczak (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC, Denmark)
Siddhartha Baviskar (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC, Denmark)
Malene Rosted (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC, Denmark)
Collaboration with young people and social workers to improve statutory meetings
PRESENTER: Frank Ebsen

ABSTRACT. This presentation will analyze a research-practice collaboration to construct a model to judge communication in real-world statutory meetings with young people through a project called My Social Work Partner (Antczak et al., 2019). In the initial phases, the collaboration involved researchers from UCC and six municipalities and their social workers in an interactive way to secure how their experiences were combined with the researcher's insights (Nutley et al., 2007; Gambrill, 2006; Gredig et al., 2021: Type 3). Later, it was extended to young people with experience with statutory meetings. The collaboration resulted in a parsimonious model (Bowen et al., 2009) and 340 videos of statutory meetings, which were used to provide supervision based on the model. We will show how we interacted with the young people and social workers and analyze how it improved the model to create a generalized case (Flyvbjerg, 2009). We will describe the process of collaboration, in particular how a structure of ambassadors helped to handle interference from normal changes and activity in the municipal departments. Also, we will discuss the steps taken in social work education and practice to achieve our overall goal of improving the yearly 150,000 statutory meetings with young people and children.

Anne Riise (UiT The arctic university of Norway, Norway)
Youths' agency in aftercare: Regulation of cooperation with the child welfare service and negotiation of rights

ABSTRACT. The article is about youths' agency when they cooperate with social workers and the child welfare service (CWS) while receiving aftercare. In Norway, youths who receive help from the CWS before turning 18 may receive aftercare until reaching age 25. Aftercare is voluntary and requires the youth’s consent. Because of this provision and that these youths have reached the age of majority, it is important to consider their agency in aftercare. Agency refers to children’s and youth’s negotiations with others, to the interactions that make a difference in a relationship, on a decision or how social assumptions or constraints work (Mayall, 2002). In the aftercare context, each youth’s agency must be considered in the context of the relationships, networks and CWS framework which influence the interaction.

In the article, the interaction includes participation and cooperation, which the state has a responsibility to facilitate (Child Welfare Act [CWA], 2021, §§ 1–4, 1–9; United Nations General Assembly, 1989, art. 12). Despite experiencing the transition to aftercare as abrupt, youth often end aftercare by age 20, partly because of inadequate measures (Paulsen et al., 2020). In both CWS care and the transition to adulthood, youths experienced limited participation (Paulsen, 2016). Participation and agency are challenged when children and youths are prevented from participating (Falch-Eriksen et al. 2021; Husby et al., 2018) and regarded as lacking the competence to participate (Hasle et al., 2021; Reime, 2017; van Bijleveld et al., 2014;). Still, the CWS must facilitate a gradual transition to adulthood, participation in the context of each youth’s age and maturity level and cooperate with youths as far as possible (CWA, 2021; Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, 2011).

The purpose of this article is to obtain knowledge about youths’ exercise of their agency, which can contribute to the development of practices geared toward youths receiving welfare services. The research questions are as follows: What are youths’ purposes in cooperating when receiving aftercare? In what ways do youths cooperate to enhance influence and self-determination?

The data consist of interviews with 29 youths aged 17–25 from seven Norwegian municipalities; all were either receiving aftercare or preparing for aftercare measures. The interviews were thematically analysed using a phenomenological hermeneutic approach.

The findings show that the youths’ purposes for cooperating relate to specific needs in the transition to adulthood. One purpose was to ensure predictability and stability through the receipt of economic and practical support; another was to ensure safety and emotional support. These purposes were contextually conditioned and often present in the same situation. Through cooperation, youths achieved influence and self-determination by regulating their contact with social workers and the CWS. Through negotiations in which they conveyed their opinions according to their rights, youths achieved support and self-determination. As such, the youths’ agency emerged through cooperation.

Meredith Kiraly (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Joanne Roff (Integrated Family & Youth Services (IFYS) Ltd, Australia)
‘Tell them we exist’: An Australian awareness-raising partnership with young kinship carers
PRESENTER: Joanne Roff

ABSTRACT. The UnitedNations(2010)describes kinship care as ‘family-based care within the child’s extended family or with close friends of the family known to the child, whether formal or informal in nature’. Although kinship care includes diverse family relationships, most research and program support has focused on grandparent carers. This collaborative Australian research/practice project was inspired by British research interest in sibling kinship carers, but extended its focus to young kinship carers of all carer-child relationships with a view to understanding their experience and support needs. It included a research component and an awareness-raising initiative focusing on advocacy at community, social care, and political levels. Research included analysis of census data to estimate the prevalence of young kinship carers, and interviews with 16 young people and 42 young kinship carers. A research report was launched by the National Children’s Commissioner at a large practice forum in which young kinship carers spoke about their experience and gave media interviews alongside the Commissioner. The awareness raising component that followed was co designed via a 2-day workshop with 10 young kinship carers from four Australian States, none of whom had previously met another young kinship carer. It included conference and practitioner forum presentations with young kinship carer speakers and panels, radio and television interviews, a visit to national Parliament, and an interview with the Federal Minister, all as carer/practitioner/researcher collaborations. This presentation will describe the various elements of the project; regrettably missing due to the distance between Denmark and Australia will be the young participants themselves.

Anna Raymaekers (LUCAS KULeuven, Belgium)
Koen Hermans (LUCAS KULeuven, Belgium)
Developing a transitional blended care program for young care leavers. The benefits and obstacles of a co-creation process
PRESENTER: Anna Raymaekers

ABSTRACT. Young people who leave residential care are at greater risk of social exclusion on different life domains in their transition to adulthood (Haggman-Laitila et al., 2019; Atkinson & Hyde, 2019). Transitional programs support young care leavers in order to transition successfully to adulthood by helping them gain individual and social capital (Heerde et al., 2018; Gypen et al., 2017). In this PhD research, a transitional blended care program supported by a digital application for care leavers is developed, implemented and evaluated, based on the MRC Framework of developing complex interventions (Skivington et al., 2021). In the developmental phase, we used a research approach to integrate different perspectives. More specifically, by means of a literature review, in-depth interviews with care leavers, a focus group with practitioners and the analysis of policy documents, we made a first draft of the transitional program. After the verification with young care leavers, practitioners and the steering committee by means of different workshops, this draft was translated into a concrete program based on three core elements: ownership of the youngster, working from a holistic perspective and involving the informal network as an equal partner. We will present this new blended care program, and discuss tensions and obstacles we have experienced during the co-creation process with practitioners and young care leavers.

13:00-14:30 Session 7E: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.6 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Berith Heien (Aalborg University, Denmark)
May-Britt Søndergaard Justesen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: K4 (1st floor)
Mie Engen (Aalborg University, Department og Sociology and Social Work, Denmark)
Researching and preventing abuse of people with intellectual disability (ID) in partnership with NGOs, service users and practice

ABSTRACT. It is well documented that people with ID have a higher risk of been exposed to abuse (Collins & Murphy 2021). Furthermore, people with ID receiving care services have the highest risk of abuse, but the risk in the family home is higher as well. Abuse is defined as a violation of an individual's fundamental needs for respect, dignity and care, and it can include physical, psychological and/or sexual abuse, neglect, mistreatment and exploitation (Collins & Murphy 2021). Abusive practices can become a normalised response and a coping strategy, which makes it important to recognise the risk of developing a culture, where abuse takes place and is legitimised. There is limited research knowledge about what generates situations of abuse, and what constitutes differences between practices, where there is/is not knowledge about and reflective practice about the risk of abuse (in families and in care services). This knowledge is central for preventing abuse and developing professional practice. This presentation focuses on knowledge from a practice research (2022-2023) project that addresses this gap. The project is developed in a partnership between two NGO’s, families and professionals from three accommodations facilities for people with ID. The presentation will reflect on the processes of working in partnership around a sensitive topic usually considered taboo. How can partnership between different stakeholders contribute to knowledge, development and prevention of abuse? What constitutes challenges? How can this knowledge inform the policy level and contribute to improvement of living conditions for people with ID?

Teresa Bertotti (University of Trento, Italy)
Diletta Mauri (University of Trento, Italy)
“I realised it was not normal”- Care leavers as co-researchers in investigating the emersion of maltreatment in the family
PRESENTER: Teresa Bertotti

ABSTRACT. Research investigating the quality of child protection systems (CPS) is increasing, often engaging service users. Less investigated is the opinion of individuals regarding the core of CPS: decisions vis-à-vis state interventions in families’ private lives. Accordingly, we carried out a pilot study in collaboration with a care-leaver association to test the feasibility of wider research on this sensitive topic involving care-leavers as co-researchers. The research group (three researchers, three care leavers) jointly defined research design and tools, considering these research questions: What does it mean when a child suffers in his/her own family, how did that CPS come into their life, what gives the state the right to intervene in families lives. Care leavers carried out nine interviews with other care leavers and analysed data jointly with researchers. Among other results, the pilot study highlighted as central the process through which children become aware that what they experienced “was not normal”. This awareness appears triggered by comparisons with external social contexts, namely school; moreover, the process of disclosing information and seeking help appears highly influenced by the societal reactions and support encountered. We will briefly present results and describe the process of involving care-leavers, and discuss the values (and limits) of collaboratively investigating such CPS core themes, thus contributing to knowledge co-creation informing further research. This knowledge provides important insights both to professionals involved in CPS, especially concerning their understanding of the lives of children who experience maltreatment and to governments regarding dilemmas vis-à-vis interventions in such families’ private lives.

Christa Fouche (The University of Auckland, New Zealand)
Sharing a sandbox: The role of mediators in growing engagement with communities in practice research

ABSTRACT. To ensure evidence has a practice impact, demands are increasing on researchers for more engaged research with equitable partners and networks. In essence, researchers are encouraged to bring those with technical expertise and lived experience together, on equal ground, to design solutions. The importance of early engagement with various stakeholders and of developing networks to promote knowledge sharing is echoed throughout the literature. The use of mediators is increasingly used in business, corporate and government initiatives and it seems timely to consider this as a strategy for the social, health and community sectors.

This presentation focuses on the potential role and influence of mediators to address barriers and advance opportunities for practice research. An mediator is a person who acts as a link between parties to reach an agreement. Mediators can take on the ‘go-between’ role to gather information and facilitate communication. A case study will be used to explain the benefits and challenges of involvement of mediators across the research process.

The presentation will argue that mediators can act as knowledge brokers and mobilizers across the research process, and ensure that findings are accessed and understood in a manner that will benefit a range of users. The presentation will encourage attendees to purposefully consider the role of mediators in research, and how mediators can ensure wider reach and impact and make research more engaging, accessible, and useful in the fields of health and social care.

Colleen Henry (Silberman School of Social Work, Hunter College, City University of New York, United States)
Bryan Victor (School of Social Work, Wayne State University, United States)
Child Maltreatment Registries & Collateral Consequences: Building a Practice Based Research Agenda for Practice, Policy, and Social Change
PRESENTER: Colleen Henry

ABSTRACT. Each year child welfare systems in the United States substantiate over half a million allegations of child maltreatment and hold parents responsible for this maltreatment in the vast majority of cases. Parents who are substantiated for maltreatment are labeled as “perpetrators” and are listed on state-based child maltreatment registries for years, if not for life. Originally designed to investigate and process allegations of child maltreatment, registries, and the data they contain, are now also used by employers to identify perpetrators of maltreatment and essentially bar them from employment in occupations or agencies that care for children and other vulnerable populations. As a consequence of this use, it is likely that thousands of parents in the United States are prevented from engaging in paid care work, paradoxically undermining their ability to care for their children. Despite the widespread use of registries across the United States, little is known about the impact of these registry listings on parent or child well-being. This paper traces how this largely invisible practice issue was surfaced through a practice research partnership. It then describes efforts to document the policies and procedures that govern child maltreatment registries and their use. Finally, it explores the challenges and possibilities of collaborating with state child welfare agencies, legal advocates, and service users (i.e., child welfare system involved parents) to better understand the scale and scope of these registries and their impact on families. Implications of this research for practice, policy, and social change are discussed.

13:00-14:30 Session 7F: THEMATIC SESSION: 5.3 - Methodologies and Service Users' Empirical Participation in Practice Research
Timothy Sim (Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore)
Johan Boxstaens (University of Antwerp & Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences & Arts, Belgium)
The co-creation of an intersectoral and value-driven framework for quality of care

ABSTRACT. Background Within Emmaüs vzw, an organization that overarches a variety of facilities in the fields of healthcare and welfare in Belgium, forces were joined to develop a new co-creative and intersectoral framework for quality of care. In order to do so, the experiential knowledge of service users, the practical knowledge of staff and research based knowledge were combined and considered to be equally valuable in tackling issues regarding quality of care.

Presentation In our presentation, we will briefly describe the highlights of the intersectoral and value-driven framework that was co-created across organizations in youth care, mental healthcare, elderly care and support of people with disability. The framework is theoretically underpinned by rhizome theory (Guattari & Deleuze, 2014) in an effort to capture and do right by the complexity that characterizes the fields of care and welfare. We will focus on the methodology used to involve service users and their context, staff members and policy makers.

Conclusions & implications By co-creating an intersectoral framework for quality of care, we managed to involve all stakeholders across practice, policy and research in different organizations. Therefore the framework is widely recognized and accepted. It can be used by policy makers and professionals to guide efforts to enhance quality of care at a micro-, meso- and macro-level. In a follow-up project, we are currently constructing a meta-model that allows organizations to put the intersectoral framework into practice.

Subadra Panchanadeswaran (Adelphi University, United States)
Gowri Vijayakumar (Brandeis University, United States)
Shubha Chacko (Solidarity Foundation, India)
Leading with their Stories: Action-research with Female Sex Workers in India

ABSTRACT. Most research has focused on cis-female sex workers vulnerabilities including violence, risk for HIV/AIDS, and stigma. Sex workers’ agency and resilience is rarely discussed, and older sex workers are significantly underrepresented in research.

The research agenda emerged based on discussions with sex workers and a local NGO collaborator in India. We used a feminist-informed two-pronged approach to document older female sex workers experiences. A phenomenological design documented the experiences of 42 purposively recruited street and home-based sex workers in Karnataka. Additionally, three sex workers participated in a life-course history method to document their life trajectories.

Findings revealed a range of changes in sex workers’ lives as they aged, including sex work patterns, financial instability, lack of alternate livelihood options, and limited access to governmental benefits and social security. Participants challenged the notion of anticipated traditional familial support and displayed personal agency by helping others navigate sex workspaces, challenging clients, police, and social norms. We collaboratively developed the stories of the three sex workers into a digital book envisaged for dissemination among the community and for advocacy purposes.

Helping professionals need to urgently recognize the ongoing marginalization of older cis-female sex workers. It is critical to address health concerns broadly along with inequities in terms of access and power as experienced by older sex workers and recognize respondents’ own voices in the research process. It is critical to engage sex workers as active members of the research process to build robust university-community partnerships.

Menny Malka (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
Sivan Lotan (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
Using photovoice as social work intervention to promote critical-pedagogy based sexuality education among adolescents- A case-study
PRESENTER: Sivan Lotan

ABSTRACT. Background Framing photovoice as a pedagogical-critical tool, current case study explores the use of the methodology by a group of adolescents, as a part community social work intervention aimed to promote healthy sexuality in the framework of the non-governmental organization "Open Door for Healthy Sexuality". The aim of the study was to examine the learning processes, focusing on the socialization of ideas and principles of critical thinking and the development of a critical point of view. Methods The case study was based on a community-based participatory research in which the photovoice was implemented among 15 adolescents, ages 16-18, who participated in the Ambassadors Group Intervention Program. The study took place in the city of Beersheba in Israel, between the years 2017-2019. Findings An analysis of the learning processes identifies four themes: 1) Beyond the risk discourse; 2) The right to self-subjective recognition; 3) Challenging gender constructions; and 4) Human rights and healthy communication. Conclusions and implications Photovoice has contributed in six areas of learning: 1) The interrelationship between creativity, critical perspective, and active learning; 2) Frozen pedagogical moments; 3) Creating a safe place for learning and exploration; 4) Ecological perspective; 5) Interrelationship between lived-experience and theoretical knowledge; 6) Activism and social change. Thus, it is advisable to apply the photovoice among other frameworks, to enable complex and in-depth discourse and learning that are beyond the risky and preventive aspects of sexuality education.

Alison McInnes (Northumbria University, UK)
Janet Walker (University of Lincoln, UK)
Critical reflective account of caring for ageing parents in the fourth age
PRESENTER: Janet Walker

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: This paper will analyse critical reflective biographical accounts from social work (SW) educators in the UK re-examining cultural myths, which may encourage ageism. The recent deaths of our parents has allowed for a period of reflection on our own caring and indeed professional SW experiences, knowledge, skills and practice. We argue that the ageing process is unequal as class and socio-economic factors, i.e., geography, age, gender, religion and ethnicity, all play parts in determining how someone ages, and indeed upon the care an individual older person receives.

Methods: Our own personal journeys of caring for our ageing parents is explored to enrich, validate and authenticate a fuller understanding of the ageing process. Autoethnography and critical self-reflection are used to explore our anecdotal and personal experiences of caring for parents and connect our autobiographical stories to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings of ageing. Reflexivity includes both acknowledging and critiquing our place and privilege in society and we use our stories to break silences on power, relationships, cultural taboos, and forgotten and/or suppressed experiences.

Results: Ageing is a global phenomenon, though its trajectory and the response to it is not. The power relations, interactions and the decisions made between our families are explored and critiqued.

Conclusions and implications: It is essential to identify, critique and challenge ill-informed and oppressive language, labels and discourses used to explain ageing issues and ageism. SW educators need to reflect on and challenge the myths of ageing and avoid ‘knee-jerk’ reactions.


Presenters: Alison McInnes and Janet Walker

13:00-14:30 Session 7G: THEMATIC SESSION: 8.1 - Practice Research Collaboration and Social Work Education/Programmes
Maja Müller (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Jay Miller (College of Social Work, University of Kentucky, United States)
Sustaining Practitioners via Self-Care: An International Assessment

ABSTRACT. Background: Social work practitioners, no matter the context, face an array of inimical employment conditions. As a result, social workers are at increased risk for compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary stress. Despite increasing recognition about the importance of self-care to address these issues, there is limited research about self-care practices among practitioners. Purpose: The Global Self-Care Project (GSCP) is an ongoing assessment of self-care among social work practitioners. For Phase 3, GSCP explored the self-care practices of practitioners in several countries, including the United States, Slovakia, Poland, Finland, and Romania, among others. Methods: This study deployed a cross-sectional, non-random, survey design. More than 3,000 practitioners across all countries responded to the survey invitation. The Self-Care Practices Scale was utilized to collect data. Results: Overall, findings indicate that practitioners engaged in moderate amounts of self-care. Moreover, data indicated significant differences across several countries, indicating that there may be some contextual practice/cultural nuances that impact self-care. Conclusions: This presentation is explicitly connected to the conference theme in that it examines a concept central to sustaining social work practitioners. Data from this study can inform self-care and wellness initiatives aimed at improving self-care among practitioners, thus potentially improving practice. As well, this study allows for an assessment of contextual practice variances.

Xing Jun Chuah (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Singapore)
Chin Bee Aw (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Singapore)
Satvinder Singh Dhaliwal (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd, Singapore)
Evaluation of practitioners’ and clients’ experiences in the delivery of casework and counselling (C&C) services via traditional face-to-face and remote modes in Singapore
PRESENTER: Xing Jun Chuah

ABSTRACT. Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, social work service delivery via remote modalities has flourished. While the literature base is still expanding, there remains a paucity of evidence about clients’ perspectives on the effectiveness of the different modes and their impact on service delivery, particularly in the Singapore context. To bridge this gap, this collaborative practice research aims to evaluate the effectiveness of face-to-face compared to remote delivery modalities for both clients and practitioners. The findings from this practice research would seek to generate recommendations for the post-pandemic world.

Utilizing a mixed-methods explanatory sequential approach, the first phase of this study involves a literature review and an administration of survey questionnaire to clients known to family service centres, which serve vulnerable communities in Singapore. The subsequent phase involves semi-structured interviews with selected clients from the original quantitative sample and focus group discussions with practitioners to elicit more in-depth perspectives. An integrated analysis of both findings will be performed to facilitate comparisons and interpretations for practice implications. Based on extant literature review and preliminary findings, this presentation will also highlight the reflections from the collaboration of a study team comprising both researcher and practitioner, the possibilities of practice-led research and research-led practice in guiding a more informed social work practice, training and education curricula that are kept up-to-date with the ever-changing context. This study thus seeks to reinforce the interconnectedness among practice, research and education.

Kun Tian (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Raising the professional awareness of Chinese Social Work students Curriculum Reform in Practice By Educational Action Research

ABSTRACT. Since 1989, China's social work major has resumed enrollment for more than 30 years. There is a high loss of talent in social work, and social work students have low recognition of social work. This research of M school social service professional students with an introduction to social work courses as an entry point, with the help of education action research method, by changing the classroom environment, innovate teaching means, change the relationship between teachers and students, improve the classroom harmonious degree, combined with cooper's experience learning theory, the theory of energized, strengthen implement people-oriented education idea, the students as the main body of the classroom, To carry out an action research aimed at improving the social work major awareness of social and political students in M University, helping M University students improve their learning methods, and seeking to improve the social work major education system in colleges and universities. This research aims to achieve research objectives through three cycles of action research. It is found that the educational action research has effectively improved the social work professional cognition level of students majoring in social and political science in M School.

13:00-14:30 Session 7H: THEMATIC SESSION: 7.3 - Potentials and Barriers in Participatory Processes in Practice Research
Pernille Wisti (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: P2 (15th floor)
Jacinta Chavulak (Monash University, Australia)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University, Australia)
'Emergency Department and Crisis Community Psychiatric Clinicians' perspectives regarding innovations required to reduce restrictive interventions
PRESENTER: Melissa Petrakis

ABSTRACT. Internationally service users and their families have raised concerns about safety in current mental health service delivery. Underfunding and risk-averse management practices are implicated as key challenges. In Victoria, Australia there is a paradigm shift in mental health practice occurring. Government policies aim to reduce restrictive interventions, however there have been challenges in staff retention, given safety concerns for staff. This study aimed to explore staff perspectives on needed changes to reduce restrictive interventions, to improve conditions for mental health consumers and staff alike.

Utilising a co-operative inquiry approach, this unique study was clinician-led and co-produced by researchers and clinicians. Two social workers with research and clinician experience led meetings with multidisciplinary teams, including social workers, to explore their use of restrictive interventions, and what they need from policy and funding to change practices. Of interest was how clinicians would like to work, and how they work due to limitations in funding and environment. The study developed recommendations to both service and Governments, to restrictive interventions being reduced.

Noted limitations included staff exhaustion to participate in research projects and to engage in service and policy change in the Covid-19 context. Potential barriers to engaging in reach included hierarchical structures within the medical model to engage in practice based research. Clinicians have important insights into this area as they grapple with changes in policy, with limited structures and methods to replace these interventions. By the time of the conference, longitudinal data will be available to ascertain impacts of the research.

Sofie Aggerbo Johansen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
The Fear of Tokenism: Are User-Influence Compatible with Scientific Standards?

ABSTRACT. User-involvement in practice research can have many potentials, but if the users are not really involved when it comes to decision-making, users can end up as hostages in the research project. In this paper, I will discuss whether it is possible to ensure users influence in a research project in a way that can both strengthen their experience of agency and at the same time meets the scientific standards for a PhD thesis. I will discuss challenges and possibilities in the collaboration between partners, aspects of power within the collaboration and potentials and barriers in participatory processes involving service users. The discussion is based on my PhD project which is a practice research project carried out in close collaboration with a newly established crisis center targeted Queer citizens with Ethnic Minority background (QEM).

In 2022, the first Danish crisis center targeting QEM opened. The purpose of my research project is to follow the establishment of this new crisis center and to produce knowledge that can contribute to qualify the crisis center's social work and in general to improve the target group's living conditions. The study focuses on investigating what opportunities and barriers QEM experience in the meeting with help services, and what significance their status as a double minority has in relation to seeking and receiving help. To increase the study's impact and relevance, practitioners from the crisis center and QEM are included in a competence group, to contribute to qualifying the study's research questions, design, methods, and analyses.

Saara Greene (McMaster University, School of Social Work, Hamilton, ON, Canada, Canada)
Mary Vaccaro (McMaster University, School of Social Work, Hamilton, ON, Canada, Canada)
Doing Virtual Feminist Participatory Arts-Based Research in a Digital World: Possibilities, Potentials, and Pitfalls
PRESENTER: Mary Vaccaro

ABSTRACT. Background/Purpose: During the COVID-19 pandemic, research ethics boards at academic institutions across Canada restricted in-person research resulting in significant barriers to doing feminist participatory arts-based research (FPAR) with and for service users. At the same time, the impact of the global pandemic on women’s lives, particularly those experiencing social, economic, and other forms of marginalization, demanded that researchers identify and respond to barriers to inclusion and support of service user and co-researcher engagement. Conference Aims: This presentation offers reflections on potentials and barriers in participatory processes in practice research in the context of our FPAR project on the social and health care support needs women who consume cannabis, and more specifically with women who face barriers to participating in research as co-researchers and as participants. Summary: We discuss our experiences of shifting from in-person to virtual research using Photovoice, a visual arts method that relied on access to technology, WIFI, digital photography, and Zoom video conferencing. We will also share our experiences of collaborating with co-researchers before, during and after the completion of the research, including the development and implementation of a virtual webinar to mobilize new knowledge on best social work and allied health care practices aimed at supporting women who consume cannabis and who also occupy marginalized positions in society. Conclusion: We identify how working with co-researchers and service users at the intersection of participatory arts-based research and technology illuminated the possibilities, potential, and pitfalls for social work practice and research in a digital world.

Sui-Ting Kong (Durham University, UK)
Evgenia Stepanova (Durham University, UK)
Vyomesh Thanki (BASW UK Network for Social Work Practitioner Research, UK)
Collaborative Practice Research for Social Work: The potentials and challenges of a networked approach in the pandemic and post-pandemic UK
PRESENTER: Sui-Ting Kong

ABSTRACT. Given the quintessentially collaborative nature of social work practice research, many researchers have explored the utility of participatory action research (PAR) for promoting collaborative learning and knowledge production in social work. As a response to this call for participatory practice research methodology, we developed and piloted Collaborative Practice Research in Social Work (CPRSW) in the project of Empowering Social Workers in Challenging Times: Learning from Best Practice during COVID-19.

CPRSW is a networked approach to social work participatory practice research, designed to integrate practice wisdom and research evidence to produce useful knowledge for social workers to practise ethically and effectively during COVID-19. This paper will present some findings from the evaluation of CPRSW, showing how the reversed sequence of involvement (first practitioner researchers then academics) in research can enable practitioner-led learning, democratise knowledge production and help validate different types of knowledge in social work practice research. CPRSW has demonstrated the need to address alienating academic practices that are not sensitive to the needs of practice or see practice as afterthought. Findings further suggest the need to better prepare academic researchers to engage with participatory practice research which can be an emotionally unsettling and unfamiliar research environment.

14:30-15:00Coffee break
15:00-16:30 Session 8A: THEMATIC SESSION: 1.1 - Aspects of Power when difference Partners with different positions are to collaborate
Vishanthie Sewpaul (University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa)
Location: P2 (15th floor)
Katarina Grim (Karlstad university, Sweden)
Hilda Näslund (Umeå university, Sweden)
Conny Allaskog (NSPH The National Partnership for Mental Health, Sweden)
Jessica Andersson (NSPH Skåne, Sweden)
Elisabeth Argentzell (Lund University, Sweden)
Kjell Broström (NSPH Stockholm, Sweden)
Filippa Gagnér Jenneteg (NSPH Västra Götaland and Gothenburg, Sweden)
Mårten Jansson (NSPH National association, Sweden)
Ulla-Karin Schön (Stockholm University, Sweden)
Petra Svedberg (Halmstad University, Sweden)
Sara Svensson (NSPH Västra Götaland and Gothenburg, Sweden)
Sonny Wåhlstedt (NSPH Västra Götaland and Gothenburg, Sweden)
David Rosenberg (Umeå University, Sweden)
Legitimizing User Knowledge in Mental Health Services: Epistemic (In)justice and Barriers to Knowledge Integration
PRESENTER: Katarina Grim

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Including the voices and knowledge of service users is essential for developing recovery-oriented and evidence-based mental health services. Recent studies have however, suggested that challenges remain to the legitimization of user knowledge in practice. To further explore such challenges, a co-production study was conducted by a team of researchers and representatives from user organizations in Sweden. The aim of the study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to the legitimacy of user knowledge, as a central factor in sustainably implementing user influence in mental health practice.

Methods: A series of workshops, with representatives of mental health services and user organizations were conducted by the research team to explore these issues. The analysis built on the theoretical framework of epistemic injustice, and the underlying aspects, testimonial, hermeneutic and participation-based injustice, were utilized as a framework for a deductive analysis.

Results: Results suggest that this is a useful model for exploring the complex dynamics related to the legitimacy of user knowledge in mental health systems. The analysis suggests that the legitimacy of user knowledge is related to the representativeness of the knowledge base, the systematic formulation of this knowledge in applicable methods, access to resources and positions within the mental health system and participation in the process of integrating this knowledge-base in mental health contexts.

Conclusions and implications: Legitimizing user knowledge in practice additionally challenges mental health systems to support readiness for change in working environments and to address the power and role issues that these changes involve.

Dr Katherine Reid (Griffith University, Australia)
Rag doll or action figure? Understanding children’s body language as everyday resistance in therapeutic interaction with caregivers

ABSTRACT. Traditionally children’s experience of therapy has been filtered through adult lens with the use of research interviews with social workers and their caregivers. Power, however, operates with children expected to participate in certain ways in therapy. Children’s communication is multi-modal, using their voice, bodies, and object to express their concerns. While social work research has explored ‘child-friendly’ practice with children, children’s body language has been overlooked.

This research aims to critically investigate children’s body language as acts of resistance to the power relations operating in the therapy room. The question guiding the study is “How are silent forms of everyday resistance evident in therapy interactions with children?”

This Foucauldian-inspired critical discourse analysis of video-recorded therapy transcripts examines children’s body language within the therapeutic interaction. Purposeful sampling was used to recruit social workers in Australia. Two 9-year-old girls, Emily, and Isla, participated in this research via the recording of their therapy sessions. Sessions were transcribed and key postures of the children were illustrated.

This study found that children used their body postures as a key discoursal resource to resist problem-saturated stories being told about them. The rag-doll posture was an act of negation and protest which both girls used as everyday forms of resistance to challenge the status quo.

Everyday resistance may not be visible to everyone. Therefore, social workers need to bring a critical power analysis to their therapeutic work with children and their caregivers, to be astute and discern the potential meaning and function of children’s body language.

Inge Bonfils (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Stella Sieling-Monas (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Julia Salado-Rasmussen (Department of Social Work, University College Copenhagen, Denmark)
Navigating power balances in research-practice collaboration in a complex intervention study
PRESENTER: Inge Bonfils

ABSTRACT. The contextual framework of this study is a Supported Employment (SE) intervention targeting NEETs with less severe mental health problems. We adjust the evidence-based SE program of ‘Individual Placement and Support’ (IPS) to fit a target group of young participants (SE-youth) in a Danish context. Our presentation unfolds the research-practice collaboration within a research design based on a ‘complex intervention’ (Craig et al., 2008) and an evaluation in terms of outcomes, economic cost, fidelity, implementation, and participants’ experiences. Our empirical analysis is based on interviews with practitioners and systematic reflections on researchers’ positions.

The project rests on collaboration between researchers from University College Copenhagen (UCC) and youth departments of three municipal job centres in Denmark that implement the SE-Youth program following a manual and fidelity scale. The process is supported by a high level of direct contact and communication between researchers and frontline professionals and managers, and by IPS-experts through learning activities and fidelity reviews organised by UCC.

As UCC researchers, we navigate power balances in collaboration with several actors from the youth departments: managers, middle managers, supervisors, and frontline staff. Practitioners contribute valuable knowledge of culture and traditions within the jobcentres, which is of great relevance in the joint effort to implement the SE-youth program, however, also reveals organisational constraints and institutional challenges. Following the core categories suggested by Gredig et al. (2021) we unfold the multi-faceted researcher role and discuss how evidence-based practice in social work can be promoted through a combination of strategies (Nutley et al., 2009).

15:00-16:30 Session 8B: THEMATIC SESSION: 6.1 - Philosophical, Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations and Inspirations in Participatory Approaches in Practice Research
Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Location: P1 (15th floor)
Ester Zychlinski (School of Social Work, Ariel University, Israel)
Maya Kagan (School of Social Work, Ariel University, Israel)
Perceptions of service users (activists, clients) and people who never had interpersonal interaction with social workers, towards them.
PRESENTER: Ester Zychlinski

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: The purpose of the current study was to explore the association between gender and previous acquaintance with social workers (SWs) and between attitudes towards SWs. Attention was given to three categories of role relationships, regarding to SWs: (i) current and former clients of social services departments (SSDs). (ii) activists (volunteers for their own community) at SSDs. (iii) people who never had any interpersonal interaction with SWs. Methods: Data were collected in Israel by means of structured questionnaires among 806 participants aged twenty-one and older. The findings show that women have more positive attitudes towards SWs than men, ranking higher their professionalism and effectiveness. In almost all parameters' attitudes towards SWs, effectiveness, professionalism, and trust aside from appreciation, current and former clients of SSDs indicated more negative attitudes than activists or than people who never had any interpersonal interaction with SWs. Conclusions and implications: It is possible that the lack of trust of the clients compared to the activists is due, among others, to the fact that the relations with the activists are more egalitarian and based on a voluntary relationship. The principle of client participation might help to improve the relationship between SWs and service users (clients and activists). Also, it might increase the transparency of the treatment and the intervention process, and accordingly, clients’ trust in SWs. Additionally, based on the finding that men have more negative attitudes towards SWs than women, it is important to promote men’s awareness and knowledge of the functions of SWs.

Kristine Hickle (University of Sussex, UK)
Camille Warrington (University of Bedfordshire, UK)
Imagining resistance: Exploring experiences of resistance and recognition through a participatory creative arts project involving young survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence
PRESENTER: Kristine Hickle

ABSTRACT. This paper presents findings from a 3-year participatory photography project with 15 girls and young women (age 13-25) in England who have experiences of interpersonal violence, including sexual and criminal exploitation. The methodology for the project aligned with O’Neil’s (2012) conceptualisation of ‘ethno-mimesis’, involving ethnographic participatory research alongside visual and poetic representations created by participants during a series of creative workshops held in partnership with local charities. The project considered everyone, including researchers, artists, youth workers and young people, members with potential to influence creative outputs and a collective understanding of what resistance is, how it manifests in contexts of oppression and subjugation, and its role in facilitating young survivors’ beliefs regarding their capacity for resilience, agency, and power.

Honneth’s theory of recognition (1995) provided a useful framework for understanding how resistance manifested throughout the data. Project findings reveal how resistance surfaces in response to misrecognition among young women who have been harmed by sexual and interpersonal violence within a wider socio-political context in which they are victimised by structural harms (i.e. related to race, class, and gender) and are subject to interventions by adults trying to keep them safe. Using recognition theory as one guiding framework for the project helped us expand our understanding in relation to acts of resistance that enable girls and young women to feel powerful, weightless, and energetic. Implications for working collaboratively with artists and practitioners to facilitate new multi-method participatory practices with young people that lead to mutual recognition will be discussed.

Lina Wallberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Exiting homelessness? A qualitative, co-creative study with homeless social work clients

ABSTRACT. In 2017, 32400 people in Sweden were defined as living in a homeless situation, according to the latest homeless survey. These figures are significantly higher than our neighboring countries. We also differ from other countries by a large and expanding secondary housing market, housing many homeless persons deemed eligible by local social services. Missing in national mappings and surveys, however, are the perspectives and experiences of homeless people themselves. The aim of this ongoing PhD-study is to deepen the understanding of everyday homelessness practices, as described by people lacking housing. Personal narratives of pathways into and out of homelessness will be studied and analyzed through a narrative interpretive framework, with a particular focus on turning points and agency. Understandings and meanings of concepts such as home and homelessness and how this affects housing opportunities will also be studied through sequential qualitative interviews with people living in homelessness.

Research questions

  • How is everyday life and pathways into and out of homelessness described by people with experience of this? What strategies are being developed to deal with the difficulties of a homeless situation? 
  • How is experience with society´s support system described by people living in homelessness? What do they perceive to be an eligible housing situation and how do they consider their chances of reaching this?

Co-creation will be implemented through a reference group formed of people with earlier experience of homelessness; from forming the research questions, designing the interview guides, and discussing the results.

Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Tobias Pötzsch (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Ida Nikula (Mathilda Wrede Institute, Finland)
Doing a multicase study on systemic everyday practice in child welfare
PRESENTER: Tobias Pötzsch

ABSTRACT. Background: A systemic approach within child welfare has been and is being implemented in social work in Finland. There is some knowledge on the implementation process of the method itself, but not knowledge on broader outcomes of end-users and how the professional expertise is being developed. The overall aim of this two-year study is to gain knowledge about which everyday effects in a systemic context are created in three multilingual welfare areas, as well as gaining knowledge of how a knowledge-driven systemic practice can be sustained. Methods: This paper presents the methodological design in aiming for a multidimensional knowledge of the everyday practice of social work. The study is planned collaboratively with the practitioners, user organisation of after care and experts within the field. It is based on the knowledge development within three multilingual areas which also forms the knowledge interest of the study. What is unique in this study is the multicase design which aims at developing learning processes between the different areas, a methodological approach that is seldom used in social work research. Conclusions and implications: We believe that creating a relational approach to studying everyday effects serves to close the gap between research and practice. In this paper we will reflect on the practice based research process and what we have learned so far. This paper connects to the thematics of philosophical, theoretical and conceptual foundations and inspirations in participatory approaches in practice research and methodologies and service users' empirical participation in practice research.

15:00-16:30 Session 8C: THEMATIC SESSION: 3.3 - Connections, Diversities and Controversies between Social Work Research and Policymakers, Practitioners, Service Users
Bowen McBeath (Portland State University, United States)
Location: P3 (15th floor)
Bowen McBeath (Portland State University, United States)
Ana Sofia Castellanos (Portland State University, United States)
Michael Austin (University of California Berkeley, United States)
Organizational Supports and Practice Research Needed to Promote Service User Policy and Programme Advocacy
PRESENTER: Bowen McBeath

ABSTRACT. Background/Purpose: Democratic approaches to practice research draw upon policy and organisational methods to identify the importance of practice researchers collaborating with service users, practitioners, managers, and policymakers (Austin & Carnochan, 2020; Julkunen, 2011; Fisher, 2013). Yet how do practice researchers engage with these diverse groups to promote knowledge gathering and sharing while advocating for reform?

Methods: A case study is presented of a practice research project focused upon the identification of needs for long-term care (LTC) for older adults and adults with disabilities in Oregon (U.S.A.). We describe the processes used to engage with service user advocates, providers, public administrators, and policymakers to define and refine practice research questions, data collection, and knowledge sharing. We also draw upon relevant research/grey literatures and qualitative analysis of 28 interviews with local and national leaders who represented these organisational groups.

Results: Over January-June 2022, the project identified the major needs involved in expanding the accessibility, affordability, and quality of LTC. These included the need for: (1) more public access, knowledge, options, and professionalization; (2) greater service user involvement in the monitoring and evaluation of care quality; and (3) greater oversight and regulation of the LTC sector, which is publicly-funded but privately-provided.

Conclusions & Implications: While the need for service user advocacy and statewide leadership was noted by all groups, little consensus emerged concerning how service user advocacy should be organised. We identify the challenges facing practice research projects seeking to advance and sustain service user advocacy in contracted out human service settings.

Inger Kjellberg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Karin Berg (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
Social workers’ approaches to judging serious incidents: An analysis of incident reports in care for older people, disability services and family services in Sweden
PRESENTER: Inger Kjellberg

ABSTRACT. Eliminating avoidable harm in social care is a key principle in social work practice, and incident reporting is regarded as an important safety measure. In Sweden, the duty of staff to report mistreatment in social services covers three areas: care for older people, disability services, and individual and family care. This study examines trained social workers’ judgements concerning reported incidents of serious mistreatment. A qualitative analysis of 97 incident reports covering all three areas shows that investigators used five approaches to judge the seriousness of an incident. The ‘moral approach’ is seen as a blaming strategy of individual staff’s inappropriate behaviour. The ‘quality development approach’ highlighted systematic failures, with little focus on protecting individual service users. The remaining three approaches focused on consequences for service users. The ‘medical approach’, predominantly used in care for older people, measured physical injuries but neglected service users’ own experiences. The ‘emphatic approach’ incorporated service users’ perspectives as interpreted by staff, often resulting in service users being stereotyped as victims. The ‘legal and human rights approach’ was least common in the analysis, despite echoing the core values of social work that are highly important for social workers. We conclude that social workers act as gate-keepers, and the assessment process for reports needs to be reconsidered, and the meaning of harm in the context of social work re-evaluated. Above all, new models for including service users’ own experiences in the assessments to improve the quality in social care are urgent.

Dr. Orna Shemer (School of Social Work ,The Hebrew University, Israel)
The promise of the research methodology Merging of Knowledge to deal with epistemic injustice

ABSTRACT. Lack of proper recognition of the value of knowledge and the person holding it is a form of Epistemic Injustice. This is particularly true for knowledge from life experience. The lack of recognition of this knowledge depresses, silences, distorts, reduces and excludes content that is part of the reality of people. This exclusion is not just the expropriation of people's ability to work and act from their knowledge, but also of their inability to transfer their knowledge to other that will interpret, analyze, and conceptualize this knowledge. The Merging of knowledge (MoK) model, which was originally developed to work with people living in poverty, presents an innovative methodology that leaves the ownership of knowledge in the hands of its owners, and at the same time also works to integrate it with other relevant types of knowledge. The methodology enables co-creation of knowledge between professionals, people with knowledge from life experience, academics and policymakers, with the understanding that new methods must be created to explore complex social problems. This type of research process presents challenging participatory dynamics, which allows for redesign of the power relations in an authentic and safe environment. The lecture will present the experience of working with the MoK methodology in the field of poverty, employment, disabilities and old age. We will present the principles of Mok methodology, the stages of working with the model and critical reflection of its meanings in the social work field, for example in terms of aspects of rights, efficiency and democratization.

Fang-Pei Chen (National Chung Cheng University Department of Social Welfare, Taiwan)
Applying a Cultural Lens to Supporting Community Psychiatric Rehabilitation

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Owing to scarce community psychiatric rehabilitation resources, many Taiwanese with mental illness experienced prolonged institutionalization. While they work hard toward mental health recovery, whether they may finally return to community living is usually their family’s call. To understanding how mental health practitioners support their clients navigating in this family-oriented culture, this research investigates staff’s practices in psychiatric halfway houses (PHHs), community-based facilities bridging institutional care and community living, on how they facilitated clients’ readiness for discharge and assisted clients in fulfilling their wishes for returning to their family home.

Methods: We conducted semi-structured in-depth interviews with 11 frontline practitioners from 4 PHHs in southern Taiwan. We analyzed verbatim transcripts by following the conventional content analysis approach, an inductive category development procedure proposed by Hsieh & Shannon (2005).

Results: With winning over the family’s acceptance of client in mind, the practitioners had four inter-related practice domains: (1) strengthening clients’ autonomous motivation for returning home, which would sustain them through challenges; (2) developing clients’ self-care capacity so not to become a burden to their family; (3) encouraging clients to secure a paid job in order to convey their independence and usefulness to their family; (4) mending the family relationship by facilitating positive client-family interactions.

Conclusions and implications: Unlike the western societies valuing individualism, the Taiwanese society upholds famillialism, which makes culturally sensitive practices essential. Practice guidelines developed based on practitioners’ experiences and insights may better reflect the local values and the mechanisms for change in the specific cultural context.

15:00-16:30 Session 8D: SYMPOSIUM: Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges Respectfully – Sharing by a Muslim Social Service Agency from Singapore
Sabariah Aris (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), Singapore)
Nooraini Md Razak (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), Singapore)
1 - The Journey of Muslim Women – A Social Service Agency Perspective

ABSTRACT. Inspiring women and strengthening families is the mission of the Muslim Social Service Agency in Singapore – PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura or the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association). The organisation was formed in 1952 by 22 trail-blazing women to uplift and champion the rights of Muslim women and their children. Specifically formed to address women-related issues, this presentation will highlight the agency’s mandate, commitment, and contribution towards developing a community of successful women and thriving families in Singapore. The sharing includes the formation of various services to address the multiple issues facing women and families in Singapore. As the services developed over the years, the agency faced challenges requiring astute discussion and collaboration with various stakeholders. The presentation illustrates the agency's journey, the innovative approaches adopted, and the strategies to address the power differences that led to strong collaboration with multiple partners.

Sabariah Aris (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), Singapore)
2 - Advocating the Aspirations of Muslim Women

ABSTRACT. The recognition of the need for advocacy for Muslim women is a prevalent topic amongst social service agencies globally. In the context of Singapore, being a multi-cultural society, the issue is equally important but needs to be managed in a sensitive and respectful manner. It is important to represent data and information accurately for any concrete changes to be made to the policies. With that consideration, the pioneering Muslim women’s organisation, PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura or the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association) embarked on a research journey in 2018 to understand the aspirations of Muslim women in Singapore, their challenges and the support needed. This presentation highlights the key findings with the objective of translating the data into meaningful information for social work practitioners working with Muslim women. The outcome of the research study further provides insight into policies and practices targeted at improving the lives of Muslim women in Singapore.

Nasriah Nasir (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS), Singapore)
3 - Balancing Trust Authentically

ABSTRACT. The social landscape in Singapore is evolving quickly with societal needs and social issues becoming increasingly complicated. Some of these issues changed dramatically with the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic highlighted the need to galvanise resources and work in partnership to collaborate and be unified in addressing the needs of the vulnerable in the society. This presentation highlights the measures and approaches adopted by a Muslim social service agency based in Singapore called PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura or the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association). The presentation highlights the collaboration and challenges in working with multiple partners during the pandemic. It will also share the agency's Psycho-social Resilience Framework which was conceptualised during the start of the pandemic to focus on building resilience in the individuals and families, as well as balancing trust in a respectful and authentic manner especially with collaborators and volunteers. The aim is to illustrate the value of community building, by strengthening social resilience, to ensure community remains steadfast during the challenging period.

15:00-16:30 Session 8E: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.7 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Laura Yliruka (THL, Finland)
Location: K4 (1st floor)
Phil Crane (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)
Alannah Grace (Churches of Christ Queensland, Australia)
Rachael Stubbs (University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)
From homelessness to homefulness: Developing leaving care practice with service users and practitioners

ABSTRACT. Young people leaving state care across many jurisdictions are at high risk of experiencing homelessness as young adults (Mendes & Johnson 2008). Youth CONNECT is a Queensland pilot service to support young people who are at risk of homelessness in leaving care. An NGO-University partnership using participatory action research (PAR) and evaluation was embedded from the outset. ‘Homefulness’ was incorporated as a key practice construct to provide a positive service goal, in contrast to homelessness which was seen as problem-centered (Murray 1990). A diversity of data was gathered with ethics approval from 2018 informing a process evaluation (Crane, Norton & Stubbs 2021) with practitioner led PAR groups exploring five areas of critical concern. This paper draws primarily on three data sources: responses of 36 service users to practitioner invitations during everyday engagement to share their perspectives on ‘home’ through one or more homelessness activities, 49 interviews with young people (n=25), staff and stakeholders, and four focus groups held variously with practitioners and service users. A model of ‘homefulness’ was generated from the activities and further developed over time. A suite of service strategies and practice opportunities were progressively developed, brought together in ‘A guide for exploring and enhancing 'home' for young people’ (Crane & Grace 2021). The frame of home emerged as a highly relevant focus for direct practice with young people leaving care, facilitating, when used flexibly and sensitively, a shift in the agency towards more client-centered service delivery. Collaborative challenges, threats to sustainability and insights are discussed.

Mette Rømer (Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University, Denmark)
Cultural Comtenpence Social Workers in the field of Danish prostitution – a collaborative practice research project between partners

ABSTRACT. In Denmark like elsewhere social workers in governmental and non-governmental organisations are challenged in reaching foreign victims of prostitution by delivering legal advice concerning their (often illegal) migration status and/or need for social help and support. This, no matter if the women are sex trafficked victims or victims of other types of crime(s) related to selling sex. This presentation reflects methodologically upon an ongoing collaborative practice research project (2022-2024) on employing cultural competence social workers as a method to access the victims and gain their trust to be able to deliver them legal advice and/or social help and support they need. Reflections are made upon the challenges and possibilities experienced in the collaboration between the involved partners which are; the researcher, two NGOs who have employed cultural competence workers including the employed cultural competence workers and legal advisers, and the service users i.e. victims of prostitution. The involvement of the victims as partners in the research project will be demonstrated and discussed, particularly how the victims' participation as partners influenced the reflection of the employed cultural competence social workers' and thus developed the workers' outreach competencies in reaching victims and building a trust-relation. The study demonstrates how it finds that the social workers' cultural competencies not only regard the ability to speak the language of the victims and to know the same cultural background but how contextual knowledge of prostitution is crucial.

Tian Zhou (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Taishu Xie (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
The possibilities: Joint Action and Interdisciplinary work for Rual Social Workers’ Intervention in South China

ABSTRACT. China still has a huge population in rural areas. Recently years, central polices are pointing strong emphasis on rural development. Many social workers were assigned to work in the rural areas. As the huge diversity and culture differences inside mainland China, the intervention strategies and paths presented in a color picture. This paper will discuss the rural social work’s participation in both Guangdong province (southeast China) and Yunan Province (southwest China) in the past 10 years to show how social workers’ participation. Among those intervention, joint action among social workers, countryside leaders, community members bring remarkable outcomes, and also people with different professions linked by social workers also created new ways and ideas on rural development. All these innovated and localized intervention could give huge possibilities for cooperation among service users, practitioners, and researchers.

Emilie Rasmussen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Ethical issues in collaborations between social workers at woman shelters, the victims of intimate partner violence and researchers

ABSTRACT. From the (user) perspective of female victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) I explore the barriers and requirements victims experience in their attempt to receive (formal) help from the Danish system. Through the narratives of female victims of IPV the aim of the study is to generates knowledge of victims’ experiences of receiving formal help and secondly identify the problematic of social work practice in enabling help and support to victims of IPV in need of it. The study enrolls in the research field within social work of clientisation with a unique micro sociological focus on the meeting between Danish social workers and female victims of IPV.

I have been granted access and have collected empirical data at two woman shelters in Denmark. My initial and highly explorative empirical collection has revealed unanticipated challenges and crucial ethical questions concerning the practice research collaboration between me as a researcher, the social workers at the shelters and the female victims of IPV. The aim of the presentation is to unfold and discuss these challenges and ethical issues and what is required of the researcher when exploring victim’s perspective in collaboration and negotiation with practitioner working with victims of IPV e.g., when it comes to protecting the female victims. My explorative approach has provided a reflexive methodological foundation which has led to an adaption in method design from being primarily ethnographically based to alternatively focusing predominantly on narrative methods as source of knowledge of female victims’ (user) perspective.

15:00-16:30 Session 8F: THEMATIC SESSION: 5.4 - Methodologies and Service Users' Empirical Participation in Practice Research
May-Britt Søndergaard Justesen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Berith Heien (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Alys-Marie Manguy (The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia)
Lynette Joubert (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Toward the development of an acute psychosocial care model for families in paediatric resuscitation settings: Parent perspectives

ABSTRACT. Background & aims: Family presence in paediatric resuscitation contexts is now accepted practice in paediatric emergency departments, both within Australia and internationally, with social workers often taking on the family support role during these critical health care events. However, there has been limited research to date exploring families experience of being present in paediatric resuscitation settings. Research to date has focussed on staff opinion regarding family presence during resuscitation, or on family experience in inpatient settings but not specifically focussed on care received within the emergency department. This study is part of a PhD project being undertaken to develop an acute model of psychosocial care for families in paediatric emergency settings. Methods: This qualitative study documented the experiences and self-identified care needs of 20 parents whose child received resuscitative care in the emergency department at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne between July and December 2020. Attride-Stirling’s thematic network analysis (2001) methodology was utilised to establish basic, organising and global themes. Results: Results demonstrated that both parent perspectives and emergency system interventions are important factors to consider when planning for the care of families in paediatric emergency resuscitation contexts. Conclusions: This study establishes key areas for consideration when providing acute psychosocial care to families in paediatric emergency settings and is the first Australian study to bring service user voice to this area of practice.

Benjamin Sen Son Yeo (Fei Yue Community Services, Singapore)
Mohamed Rauf Redza Bin Mohamed Fauzi (Fei Yue Community Services, Singapore)
Denise Liu (Fei Yue Community Services, Singapore)
Conducting Practice Research to inform the Hidden Youth Outreach Service: Practitioner-Researcher Partnerships

ABSTRACT. Hidden youth (“Hikikomori”) are youth who withdraw from society for at least six months, with mental illness not the cause of isolation. Fei Yue Community Services’ Hidden Youth Outreach Service (HYOS) is the first specialised intervention in Singapore to support families and reintegrate Hidden Youth back to school or employment.

This presentation focuses on methodological and ethical issues that arise when conceptualising and conducting practice research with a vulnerable and difficult-to-reach population. We will also share how practitioners have collaborated with in-house researchers and academics to conduct practice research with the goal of informing and improving HYOS.

Prioritising the need for Hidden Youth to feel safe and in control, we designed a study utilising documentary photography and photovoice to capture the lived experiences of Hidden Youth from their perspective. Foreseeing difficulties engaging Hidden Youth, we also aim to understand the trajectory of Hidden Youth behaviours by interviewing their caregivers. Lastly, we will share how findings from three reflective practice circles involving 14 HYOS practitioners have been used to highlight good practices in engaging service users, and challenges working with stakeholders.

As outsiders not involved in service delivery, researchers faced challenges understanding the practice and how it is embedded in the service landscape. By co-creating research, the strengths of both practitioners and researchers were utilised- practitioners contributed their insights and curiosities about their practice and understanding of Hidden Youth, while researchers contributed their knowledge of ethical issues, methodology and analysis. Learning points and implications for practitioner-researcher collaboration will also be shared.

Yuk Yee Lee (School of Social Work, Gratia Christian College, Hong Kong)
Jian Ling Liang (Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Hok Bun Ku (Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Doing Feminist Oral History as Anti-oppressive Practice: A Practice Research with Breast Cancer Survivor in Guangdong of China

ABSTRACT. Background: Breast cancer is a major concern in women’s health in China and the world. In this project, social workers worked together with health professionals and breast cancer survivors from a breast cancer hospital in Guangdong province of Mainland China to explore a workable model of medical social work in responding to the needs of women in a Chinese context.

Methods: This paper is based on part of the data of the project. It aims to demonstrate how social work researchers and practitioners adopt feminist oral history as a way of anti-oppressive practice to uncover the hidden voices of a group of breast cancer survivors, raise their consciousness, and empower them in the process of storytelling.

Results: These women's stories reveal that the dominant cultural conception of breast cancer in Mainland China is "shameful." Such discrimination is unspoken; the suffering is wounded not just in the body, the breast scar, but in the voice. The stories also exposed that all stages of treatment, such as pre-treatment, diagnosis, and treatment (surgery, chemotherapy), as well as rehabilitation, lack gender-sensitivity in every treatment stage in hospitals in China.

Conclusion: The research team concludes that feminist oral history is not only a research method to make sense the oppression that the breast cancer women faced, but also an effective way to empower women as well as the social workers and medical doctors. It is also a good way of participatory appraisal for next stage of intervention in building a gender-sensitive medical social work model.

Hok Bun Ku (China and Global Development Network, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Kan Yip (China and Global Development Network, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Carissa Wai Sin Tsang (China and Global Development Network, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Research on Social Work Practice: in Enhancing Digital Social Capital in the Period of COVID-19 Lockdown

ABSTRACT. The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted for three years and has had a devastating impact on a global scale. Its impact has been not only on the health of citizens but also on different aspects of our lives. In Hong Kong, the outburst of the 5th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic (5th wave) in late January 2022 has seriously affected communities, especially in new public housing estates. Working together with frontline social workers on building up social capital in new public housing estates through practice research, we find pandemic lockdown has affected the original ways of social support and network systems while changing social work practice in building up community social capital. This paper aims to demonstrate what strategies social workers adopted to respond to the 5th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and explore what good social work practices are in enhancing social capital during pandemic lockdown in Hong Kong. In this practice research, a story-telling method was adopted in workshops to dialogue with frontline social workers working in 17 new public housing estates. The workshops also served as ongoing progress evaluations to enhance practitioners’ ability to articulate and record their practice on social capital building. Thematic analysis was used to analyse social work strategies and the formation of social capital in the context of pandemic lockdown. We discovered that digital social capital had emerged in the process when social workers shifted from on-site services to digital platforms in response to the needs of community residents.

15:00-16:30 Session 8G: THEMATIC SESSION: 8.2 - Practice Research Collaboration and Social Work Education/Programmes
Ralph Hampson (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Lucy Rai (The Open University, UK)
Social work writing as effective, ethical practice: implementing the findings of the Writing in Social Work Practice project (WiSP)

ABSTRACT. This presentation / workshop draws on nationally funded research, Writing in Social Work Practice (WiSP) to explore pathways to effective partnerships for ethical impact. WiSP was a major UK study of contemporary professional writing based through ethnography and corpus linguistics. Alongside the empirical work, the project formed an Impact Advisory Group consisting of social workers, service users, educators and representatives of relevant professional bodies.

The findings of WiSP included:

creating a typology of the range of texts created during social work practice

analysing the relationship between social work writing and practice

analysing where and when writing took place, who was involved in creating texts and the competing institutional demands

analysing the importance of ‘voice’ and ‘audience’ in social work writing

The study faced ethical and methodical challenges arising from the sensitive context but also the determination to disrupt power imbalances by giving voice to front line social workers and service users. This determination remains a central focus; representation is not sufficient where imbalances of power are exacerbated through institutional writing practices. The impact phase draws on the findings in order to influence educators, social work agencies and policy makers, bringing the voices of frontline practitioners, service users and students to the fore. With respectful and ethical attention to service users at the heart, impact works aims to question how writing is taught on qualifying courses, the ways service users are involved and represented in high stakes documentation and the ways in which ethical practice is enacted through writing.

Siu Ming To (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Co-constructing Alternative Discourses in Parent Education among Practitioners, Researchers, and Service Users in Hong Kong: Findings of a Practice Research

ABSTRACT. A practice research was undertaken to examine how social work researchers, practitioners, and service users work together to navigate dominant discourses in parent education and co-construct alternative ones. With the collaboration of four social service agencies providing parent education in Hong Kong, this mixed-methods study included a non-randomised controlled trial of a capacity building program initiated by the researchers, individual interviews with eight practitioners, participant observations of four parent groups organized by practitioners, evaluation surveys, and eight focus groups with parents. The synthesis of both quantitative and qualitative findings indicate that practitioners tended to hold positive attitudes towards alternative approaches to parent education but also encountered various difficulties and challenges in actualization. This may be due to the insufficiency of relational and community recourses available to practitioners to empower parents in the local context. Moreover, the findings demonstrated how an egalitarian working relationship between the researchers and practitioners, and the active roles played by practitioners in the design and implementation of parent groups, facilitated the co-creation of practitioners’ and researchers’ identities as collaborators. All these helped practitioners generate knowledge from their own reflections and experiences, seek changes in their modes of practice, and construct alternative discourses that focus on parents’ meaning-making, experiential knowledge, and mutual support via service users’ participation in the parent groups. A deep analysis of these findings can give directions for practitioners and researchers to reconsider the nature of research-practice partnerships in social work, as well as to reconceptualize parent education as co-construction, reflexive, and empowerment practices.

Ching Man Lam (Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong)
A Project on Developing Evidence-based and Reflective Practice in Parent Education for Parents Having Children with Intellectual Disabilities / Special Learning Needs

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: A three-year collaborative project operated from 2019 to 2022 was launched on developing evidence-based and reflective practice in parent education for parents having with special learning needs child (ID/SENs). The project adopted a parent-oriented, process and narrative-focused approach, with group facilitators (worker) and parents to reflecting and co-constructing the meaning of parenthood and to adjusting parental expectation. Method: In line with a process-oriented, narrative-focused framework, the project adopted qualitative research method of in-depth interview and focus group to offer a reflexive process to condense the lived experiences of participants and generate cumulative data into meaningful narrative themes. There were 11 special school parents and 12 ordinary school parents (the comparative group) participated, with 38 in-depth individual interviews, 4 reflective focus groups, and reflective sharing meetings with group facilitators. A three-step process of analysis to identify different levels of meaning produced and to sort the major themes narratives. Result: Findings uncovered that ordinary school parents and special school parents shared different story and meaning of parenthood, with different parental goals and expectations. Nature of special needs diverse required specific knowledge, differential intervention that posted challenges on the facilitators. Despite the differences, both groups of parents recalled impressive group experiences and new discoveries in parenting journey, gained insights about their personhood and parenting through the reflection process. Conclusion: Based on the findings, the team make recommendations on program improvement and reflecting on the meaning and concerns, and area for enhancement in practice research collaboration.

Brenda Morris (Carleton University, Canada)
Louise Whitaker (Southern Cross University, Australia)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University, Australia)
Engaging diverse voices to drive education for transformative mental health social work practice
PRESENTER: Brenda Morris

ABSTRACT. United Nations calls for the decentering of biomedical and neoliberal paradigms dominating mental health and social care systems internationally demand transformational approaches to social work practice in mental health (Gould, 2022). Social work’s commitment to embedding lived experience expertise into the design and delivery of mental health services, naming and challenging structures of power and decision-making, and addressing the social determinants of mental health challenges these paradigms and cultivates needed transformation. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence of how social work curricula effectively prepare future mental health practitioners to take a comprehensive approach to systemic change in this highly contested area of practice. Rather, pedagogical research in this field tends to address curriculum content and/ or the contribution of specific educational strategies such as critical reflection or simulation (Kourgiantakis et al., 2021; Morley&Stenhouse, 2021). The practice based research discussed in this paper aimed to address this gap by uncovering features and characteristics of education that prepares students for transformative mental health social work practice. Using Cooperative Inquiry methodology, service users, educators, mental health social work managers and directors, and current and future social work practitioners from Canada and Australia met regularly throughout 2022 to unpack educational practices that promote transformative mental health practice, unveiling a scaffolded approach to learning from classroom to practicum and into the workforce. The paper concludes by critically reflecting on the challenges and opportunities in adopting a practice based research method deliberately designed to include and honour the diversity of participants’ perspectives and equalize power.

15:00-16:30 Session 8H: POSTER SESSION
Lio Benjamin (Boys' Town Singapore, Singapore)
Carina Sim (Boys' Town Singapore, Singapore)
An exploratory study to examine perception of social workers adopting a TraumaInformed approach in their work
PRESENTER: Lio Benjamin

ABSTRACT. Trauma-Informed Care is an up-and-coming approach that focuses on an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma. It involves identifying trauma symptoms and acknowledging the role of trauma within the lives of clients living in out-of-home care settings and aims to prevent re-traumatization for them. This qualitative research study aims to explore the perception of social workers towards embracing the trauma-informed approach in their work with clients. Perception is defined as the understanding and confidence in adopting the five principles of Trauma-Informed Care, namely, safety, choice, collaboration, empowerment, and trustworthiness in their work. A total of 8 social workers will participate in this practice research. They will undergo a 4-hour training workshop covering the principles of Trauma-Informed Care, followed by a focus group discussion (FGD) to elicit their feedback and reflection. A follow-up FGD will be conducted 6 months later, and responses will then be analyzed and compared. This exploratory study hypothesizes that the training would result in shifting social workers’ perception of Trauma-Informed Care, which could lead to greater confidence in their work and, ultimately, improved therapeutic outcomes and quality of life for the clients. The findings from this study would also offer some insights on the agency which might eventually adopt a trauma-informed approach on an organizational level.

Cecilie K. Moesby-Jensen (University College Absalon, Institute of Social Work, Denmark)
Helle Schjellerup Nielsen (University College Copenhagen, Institute of Social Work, Denmark)
Proximity as a way to produce relevant knowledge for social work practice

ABSTRACT. The purpose was to study professional social work practice with children and young people. The research question was: How does social workers manage their work with vulnerable children and youth and what influence this work?

We used multiple methods: participant observation in social services departments in two Danish municipalities; interviews with caseworkers, managers, youth, and their parents. Further, we facilitated focus groups with frontline professionals and did a qualitative content analysis.

Our objective with the practice research approach was not only to produce scientific knowledge but also to produce knowledge, which was recognizable, relevant, and useful for social work practice as well as social work students. Hence, we were continuously in dialog with frontline professionals during the research process. The dialog had a double aim: 1) served as data collection 2) to facilitate professional reflection. This approach included to be present in their work life, which gave opportunities to get contextual explanation and concept clarification. However, it also posed the challenge of going native and ethical dilemmas related to getting consent in large organizations. The inherent asymmetrical power relation in fieldwork were counteracted with a participatory and involving research process.

The fieldwork gave insight about emotional labor as an important but also unconscious component of social work practice. We identified three types of emotional labor that expressed itself in different ways. Awareness and discussions of different types of emotional labor contributed to a common language.

Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Iterative Approach of Human-Centred Design in Co-Creation of Practice Research Solutions: Possibilities and challenges

ABSTRACT. This poster highlights possibilities and challenges presented by the iterative approach of human-centred design in co-creation of solutions to new community workers’ challenges. 32 individuals including community workers, community members, designers and grassroot leaders participated as co-creators in interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs).

Flexibility to adapt the initial research protocol was crucial in promoting inclusivity and participation from people we were researching for. Where possible, we opted for the research protocol to evolve in the iterative approach as diverse co-creators pointed out researchers’ blind spots and integrated fresh perspectives.

This approach enabled power-sharing with co-creators. Creative methods were used to ensure other co-creators could validate findings and created options to decide on the directions of discussion topics. Voices of laypersons introduced imaginative solutions from experiences in analogous settings in IT and gaming industries.

Research ethics were key and ongoing mentorship from a community of practice consisted of 90 practice researchers built additional safeguards to protect co-creators during adaptations to the protocol. Researchers deliberated on co-creators' request for recordings or transcripts of their own interviews although the initial protocol limited data access and storage to only researchers. Topics deliberated also included whether unrecorded generic conversations with laypersons about the project were considered data collection and required documentation of consent.

The poster includes an interactive flip card memory game to invite participation and crowdsource ideas. Cards printed with researchers' and co-creators' differing views match if they talk about the same issue. Participants can contribute and add ideas on blank cards.

Katerina Nolan (University of Lincoln, UK)
Yvonne Galea (University of Lincoln, UK)
Exploring participation and co-design within an international social work Master's programme
PRESENTER: Katerina Nolan

ABSTRACT. We are the University of Lincoln teaching team for the Erasmus Mundus, Advanced Development in Social Work Master's programme (ADVANCES). The students are international qualified social workers and spend one semester in Lincoln. We deliver a Transformational Leadership module which includes themes of service user participation in social services. This year we have created an assessment methods to include an innovative solution to providing closer connection to local social work practice in relation to participation. We have invited social workers across Lincolnshire to take part in student led video interviews about their service user participation. The students then present their videos alongside their analysis of the findings, linking them to their learning and knowledge around good practice in participation. The practitioners will watch the presentations and provide feedback and co-mark the assessment. An evaluation of the approach will consider how well it worked as a learning experience and as a form of assessment. The themes we will be addressing are as follows: Challenges and possibilities: Our first attempt to design a collaboration with local practitioners in an assessment process for the ADVANCES programme. We are bringing together practice knowledge to support the learning of international social workers to inform their research careers and development in participatory approaches. Practice research collaboration and social work education programmes: Our programme involves the students undertaking a primary research project later in the course. Their learning about participation will inform their research projects either directly or indirectly.

Susan Reay (University of Nebraska at Omaha, United States)
Who, what, and why: Bringing evidence-based practice to rural areas through listening and learning

ABSTRACT. The Grace Abbott School of Social Work completed a jurisdiction-wide needs assessment to determine the needs of social workers who provide services to youth in rural areas experiencing behavioral challenges in rural areas. The needs assessment concluded that social workers found it difficult to identify effective treatments. Additionally, social workers found it difficult to measure clinical improvements and wanted training about interacting with systems surrounding these youth. The purpose of this study was to design and evaluate a training program combining effective implementation modalities to efficiently fill knowledge gaps among social workers in applying evidence-based interventions in treating youth. The program offered participants personal assistance in applying the learned techniques in live situations through technology. The educational programming provided to the social workers occurred over 14 weeks and consisted of synchronous and asynchronous curriculum. Weekly online training modules with competency exams, weekly case applications with expert feedback, and monthly live virtual consultations improved the social workers' abilities to deliver evidence-based services. The training curriculum was developed through a governmental and community partnership. Because each social worker's and rural community's needs are different, the program was individualized based on feedback the social worker provided about the challenges they experienced. The partnership provided compensation for the social workers from a community funder. The participants were provided six months of access to subject matter experts via video conferencing, phone, and email. Access to experts was available on-demand and through regularly scheduled monthly video conferencing sessions to review strategies and application challenges.

Zach Lee (Children's Cancer Foundation, Singapore)
Trivia Yeo (Children's Cancer Foundation, Singapore)
Chai Wee Khoon (Children's Cancer Foundation, Singapore)
Lessons from a collaborative needs assessment with a focus on programme planning for caregivers of children with cancer

ABSTRACT. At Children's Cancer Foundation, Singapore (CCF), the development of programmes and services to support the needs of caregivers of children with cancer are informed by both established needs from the literature and the practice wisdom of caseworkers who work closely with caregivers. However, it remains a challenge to bridge the research-practice gap. In this poster presentation, we outline our learnings from the collaboration between the research team and case workers cum programme planners from the Caregiver Support Services (CSS) to design a practice research project that deliberately puts emphasis on programme needs and prioritises the actionability of study results.

The goal of the project is to develop an overview of caregiver’s needs that is not only representative of their experience but also actionable to the practitioners. This is because, despite existing efforts, it is unclear if CSS’s programmes and services are fully meeting their intended outcome and reach. There were also difficulties operationalizing findings from the literature and existing feedback into actionable guidelines. By deliberately involving the practitioners throughout the study and shaping the studies with their inputs, it allowed us to take steps to bridge the gap between practice and research.

In the project development process, three key learnings have emerged, namely: (i) managing the expectations of practitioners and (ii) reconsidering our roles as researchers in the co-creation process. We also explored (iii) the potential benefits of a service user-led approach in our study context.

Birgitte Lerbæk (Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark)
Alice Burholt (Unit for psychiatric research, Aalborg University Hospital, Psychiatry, Aalborg., Denmark)
Line Myrup Gregersen (Unit for Co-Creation, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry, Aalborg., Denmark)
Malene Terp (Unit for Co-Creation, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry, Aalborg., Denmark)
Rikke Jørgensen (Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry., Denmark)
PRESENTER: Alice Burholt

ABSTRACT. Birgitte Lerbæk1, Alice Katrine Burholt1, Line Myrup Gregersen2, Anna Søltoft Skov2, Camilla Holm Krogh2, Malene Terp2, Kirsten Kjær Johansen1,3, and Rikke Jørgensen1,4

1Unit for Psychiatric Research, Psychiatry – Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, 2Unit for Co-creation, Psychiatry – Aalborg University Hospital, Aalborg, Denmark, 3Unit for Forensic Research, Mental Health Department Middelfart, Middelfart, Denmark, 4Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.

Background: Peer support is an important facilitator of personal recovery and mental health, and workforce policies advocate the use of peer support workers in several countries. Employment of peer support workers can benefit individuals as well as create value on an organizational level. Recently, eight Peer support workers were employed in eight Flexible Assertive Community Treatment (FACT) teams in mental health services of the North Denmark Region.

The aim of the study was to explore non-peer professionals' understanding of recovery and their attitudes towards collaborating with peer support workers i FACT teams. 

Method: The study was framed using an explorative and qualitative design. In total, 17 non-peer professionals (registered nurses, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and social and healthcare assistants) participated in three group interviews. Participants represented seven of eight FACT Teams. Data were analysed using thematic analysis as decribed by Braun and Clarke.

Findings: Three themes were formed; 1) Non-peer professionals' understanding of recovery, 2) Taking steps towards a recovery-oriented practice, and 3) Having peer support workers as colleagues. Across the group interviews, participants stated that peer support workers increased involvement of the patients' perspective in everyday care and that even though they may not be essential to actual treatment of patients, their presence build on essential trustworthiness of the mental health services. 

Perspectives: Having peer support workers as colleagues may facilitate an ongoing movement towards a more recovery-oriented practice and facilitate an important focus on involving the patients' percpectives as a part of non-peer professionals' everyday practices. 

Presenters: Birgitte Lerbæk & Alice Katrine Burholt

16:30-16:45Coffee break
16:45-18:15 Session 9: PANEL DISCUSSION: Different Concepts of Practice Research Network or Organizations

This panel discussion will present different concepts of practice research network or ways of organizing practice research activities. The four concepts presented are not exhaustive, but important examples of how practice research can be organized in different sustainable ways.

The four concepts are:

  • Mack Center on Nonprofit and Public Sector Management in the Human Service Organizations /Bowen McBeath, Professor, Portland State University
  • The Helsinki Practice Research Centre /Maija Jäppinen, D. Soc. Sc., Assistant Professor, Docent, Licensed Social Worker, University of Helsinki
  • The Mrs. Lee Choon Guan Endowed Research Fund Model /Rosaleen Ow, Dr., National University of Singapore
  • The Five Plus One Model /Lynette Joubert, Professor, University of Melbourne

Colleagues representing the concepts will each give a 10-minute presentation of the concept/network/organization. After the presentations there is room for a discussion including both the presenters and the audience.

Lars Uggerhøj (Aalborg University, Denmark)
18:15-20:00 Networking/socializing in the bar before the conference dinner

The bar is open if you would like a mocktail/drink (at your own expense).

20:00-23:00 Conference dinner (optional)

If you haven't registered for the dinner yet, it is still possible to buy a dinner ticket or two (you are welcome to bring a guest to the conference dinner).

Location: K3 (1st floor )