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09:00-10:00 Session 10: **Virtual** Keynote Address: Peter Beresford
Maja Lundemark Andersen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Peter Beresford (Shaping Our Lives / Brunel University London / University of Essex, UK)
Challenging the Divisions

ABSTRACT. In his presentation Peter Beresford will bring an intersectional lense to bear in exploring how we can work for our common rights and different interests as service users, practitioners and researchers in the context of social work.

He will foreground issues of diversity and inequalities of power to consider how we can find ways to work together in participatory and co-producing ways which respect our difference and do not deny it, but at the same time acknowledge the divisive history of our different roles and the inequalities of power, status and class that have gone with them.

Recognising, with the advent of participatory approaches to practice and research, new overlaps between us, how can we find ways of working more equally together and respecting the complexities of our different identities?

10:00-10:30Coffee break
10:30-12:00 Session 11A: WORKSHOP: Co-creating curriculum using cooperative inquiry: Unlocking the expertise of service users, students, practitioners and educators
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University, Australia)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University, Australia)
Louise Whitaker (Southern Cross University, Australia)
Carmel Halton (University College Cork, Ireland)
Brenda Morris (Carleton University, Canada)
Liz Reimer (Southern Cross University, Australia)
Joanne Rose (University College Cork, Ireland)
Monica Short (Charles Sturt University, Australia)
Caroline Walters (Monash University, Australia)
Co-creating curriculum using cooperative inquiry: Unlocking the expertise of service users, students, practitioners and educators
PRESENTER: Louise Whitaker

ABSTRACT. This workshop will be facilitated by members of the International Network of Co-operative Inquirers (https://incinq.csu.domains/) which has engaged social work service users, students, practitioners and educators as partners in collaborative practice based research. Cooperative Inquiry (Heron & Reason 2001) involves researchers writing with, rather than about people with the opportunity therein to amplify diverse and marginalized ways of knowing the world often underrepresented in research. At a time when equity and inclusion are rightfully centered in practice and research, CI gives weight to the voices of service users, students, practitioners and educators within a methodology that aims to equalise power by positioning the ‘researched’ as ‘researchers’. To date network members are drawn from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, and through this conference we welcome the opportunity to expand the network more broadly. In the workshop we share examples of our research addressing field education and mental health social work pedagogy and practice, before engaging participants in a live mock cooperative inquiry demonstrating the method. We invite conference participants with an interest in social work practice and education, particularly but not exclusively in the areas of mental health and/or field education, to join us in experiencing the transformative potential of cooperative inquiry. Through the active generation of a research question relating to workshop participants’ interest in practice based research, those in attendance will experience the methodology first-hand and explore together the challenges and possibilities of co-creating knowledge to guide critical social work practice and education.

10:30-12:00 Session 11B: THEMATIC SESSION: 6.2 - Philosophical, Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations and Inspirations in Participatory Approaches in Practice Research
Ralph Hampson (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Sidsel Natland (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
What is the experience of the expert-by-experience? Some notes on the concepts “experience” and “experiental knowledge”.

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: When service users are involved in participatory practice research (PPR), they contribute as “experts by experience”. However, practice researchers are often challenged by other disciplines/researchers and policy makers when it comes to questions about the validation of “experiental knowledge”. To carry out high quality PPR and to better communicate with significant stakeholders, the field needs enhanced epistemological and conceptual discussions on what is meant by experience and experiental knowledge. The presentation will provide an overview of the origin and unfolding of the concept “experiental knowledge”, and how it may serve as a bridge between research and service users. The concept’s intellectual (cultural anthropology) and epistemological roots will be presented: The anthropological defining quest is to represent lives and experiences of others. There is no way of experiencing the world that is «valid», true or correct – ethnographies are about multiple interpretations. Heidegger and Husserl focused the ordinary, everyday lived experience and processes involving how phenomena unfold in time. Focusing experience is about heightening awareness and insight, and therefore has the potential for being transformative. These conceptual roots will then be contextualized within social work and PPR, whereas the presentation will underscore how lived experience is about more than «individual problems», it may also be about universal experiences (marginalisation, employment, loss of relations, loss of a home). Implications: Enhanced knowledge on the concept “experience” and “experiental knowledge” has implications for strengthening the quality of PPR, including how researchers interact and acknowledge service users as co-producers of knowledge.

Pernille Wisti (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Collaboration in practice research? Sure! …but what is the context of practice?

ABSTRACT. When an empirical Practice Research project is designed, questions of participation arise. Yet, participating in what else than the research process? With practice as a concept of social occurrences, the presentation focuses on collaboration and interactions in Practice Research with a particular interest in social work practices. By applying a theoretical concept of practice, Practice Research can unfold and strengthen the comprehension of the context and interacting positions of the participants.

Based on an ongoing Practice Research study of and with social workers and how they manage their personal service user experiences, whether current or previous, it appears that boundaries of otherwise separated categories of social workers and service users with different and/or unlike positions are transcended. As a methodological contribution, the presentation emphasises the potential of temporary, multiple collaboration processes during a Practice Research study – as an alternative to the idea of overall and constant participation. With collaborative Practice Research, such processes enable social workers to describe their service user experiences in interviews, produce written portraits of their practice experiences, and partake in a practice board to critically discuss and directly contribute to the decision-making during the Practice Research study. Practice concepts help to contextualise knowledge about and with social workers with personal experiences as service users. Among others, the embodiment of social positions in various practice contexts, the interwovenness of social workers’ service user experiences, and what managing these imply.

Catrine Torbjørnsen Halås (NORD UNIVERSITET, Norway)
Seeing the collaboratory arena as a laboratory, exploring the struggle over recognition

ABSTRACT. This presentation suggests philosophical perspectives to help handling power- issues and barriers in participatory processes including service users in social work practice research.

Action research presupposes recognition of the precept that no kind of knowledge can be superior to other kinds of knowledge. Fitzgerald et al. (2009) find it expedient to conceptualize participation as not merely a struggle for recognition, recognizing young people’s right to participate and have a voice, but as a struggle over recognition, where we must tune in closely to the more subtle ways in which power shapes and informs what it is we are prepared to recognize in these participatory encounters.

Based on examples from my own research with young people, I will show how the Norwegian philosopher Jakob Meløe's (1983) praxeological perspectives, recognizing the life world of actors, can contribute to expose tensions and power in this struggle over recognition. This by raising awareness, addressing, making room for and linguisticizing all of the various actors' points of view from, and thereby their habituated, and often non-linguistic world of life, which is often primarily expressed in the actors' actions.

Implications: I will suggest and argue that the collaboratory arena can be seen as a laboratory, where dilemmas, tensions and power relations are exposed and comes into play. Which in turn makes it possible to explore, expand and exceed (transcend) the distribution of power. This give implications for the researchers role and responsibility and how one could facilitate such processes.

Katrina Messiha (Amsterdam VUmc, Netherlands)
Mai Chinapaw (Amsterdam VUmc, Netherlands)
Hans Ket (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)
Qingfan An (Umeå University, Sweden)
Vinayak Anand-Kumar (Jacobs University Bremen, Germany)
Giuliana R Longworth (Universitat Ramon Llull, Spain)
Sebastien Chastin (Glasgow Caledonian University, UK)
Teatske Altenburg (Amsterdam VUmc, Netherlands)
Systematic Review of Contemporary Theories Used for Co-creation, Co-design and Co-production in Public Health
PRESENTER: Katrina Messiha

ABSTRACT. Background: There is a need to systematically identify and summarize the contemporary theories and theoretical frameworks used for co-creation, co-design and co-production in public health research.

Methods: The reporting of this systematic review follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Given substantial interest in and application of co-creation, co-design and co-production, we searched PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and APA PsycINFO from 2012 to March–April 2022. A quality assessment and data extraction for theory content was performed.

Results: Of the 3763 unique references identified through the comprehensive search strategy, 10 articles were included in the review: four articles named co-creation, two articles named co-creation and co-design, two articles named co-production and co-design, and two articles named co-design. Empowerment Theory was employed by two articles, whereas other theories (n=5) or frameworks (n=3) were employed by one article each. For the quality assessment, eight articles received a strong rating and two articles received a moderate rating.

Conclusions: Based on the few articles included in this review – little progress has been made over the last ten years. Yet the theories described in this review may help to identify theories useful for developing co-creation, co-design and co-production in public health research.

10:30-12:00 Session 11C: SYMPOSIUM: Social Work Practice Research in Responding to Substantiality Development Goals (SDGs)
Hok Bun Ku (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Natia Partskhaladze (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia)
1 - Quality of Life as a Measurement of Achieving SDGs

ABSTRACT. Background: The developed world considers biological families as the best environment for raising children. Extensive evidence suggests strong associations between a history of institutional care and deficits in physical growth, cognition and attention, negative effects in socio-emotional development, and lower quality of life (QoL) of children. This, in turn, limits achievement of SDG 3 (Ensuring Healthy Lives and Promoting Well-being for all at all AAges), in particular, as institutional rearing of children impedes with strengthening “the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.”

To overcome the Soviet heritage a wide use of institutional care, in early 2000 Georgia embarked on a large-scale reform of child care system, development of social work profession and deinstitutionalization of state residential institutions for children.

Objective: The study to be presented at the conference measures the outcomes of deinstitutionalized of children in Georgia, using the QoL indicator. According to the WHO the QoL is an individual's perception of their position in life in the context of their culture and value systems and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. This concept originated in the Classical Antique Period and has evolved as a multidimensional social construct measured using objective and subjective indicators. QoL and well-being measures are used in many fields, including social work used and are referred to in SDG goals and indicators.

Results: This study is the first research of this kind conducted in Georgia and other countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The quantitative and supporting qualitative research data indicate that deinstitutionalization results in higher QoL for children.

Conclusion: Provided evidence shows positive outcomes of deinstitutionalization and the potential role of social workers, as the main actors in deinstitutionalization process, in improving well-being of children. Consequently, the study suggests the important role of care reform and social work interventions in achieving SDGs. The study also calls for a wider use of objective and subjective well-being indicators for children in assessing progress towards the child care system reform outcomes and achievement of SDGs.

Hok Bun Ku (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Jun Ping Wu (Huainan Normal University, China)
2 -From Passive Construction Workers to Community Co-creators: A Transdisciplinary Action Research on Social Work Intervention in Rural Revitalization in China

ABSTRACT. Background: Rural revitalization is a key state development strategy that was announced by the central government in 2017 and further promoted in 2021. It recognizes that rural sustainability is foundational to China’s development. Confronted with the prospect of rural decline after 40 years of economic reform, the Chinese government considers it a priority to reposition rural development and ensure rural revitalization by 2050.

Objective: Social work organizations play an important role in rural revitalization in mainland China. Their participation emphasizes the transformation of people’s consciousness and builds up their subjectivity in rural sustainable development. Our trans-disciplinary participatory action research (TPAR) aims to explore the model and examine the effectiveness of green social work practice in responding to environmental and agricultural crises in China under the policy of rural revitalization. Since 2006, collaborating with a local NGO, local community, and a team of architectural designers, the author has participated in rural community development by using the participatory action research method (PAR) in the traditional cave dwelling protection project in a village in Henan province of China.

Results: We discovered that the mainstream revitalization project caused a cultural and environmental crisis. By adopting the design idea of co-creation and place-making, the research team has built up the subjectivity of local people in rural development, raised people’s awareness of cultural and environmental protection, and transformed the local participants from passive construction workers to community co-creators.

Conclusion: We argued that local producers and consumers are not passive service recipients but active co-creators in rebuilding community. This TPAR project has developed common practice frameworks for tackling the problems of environmental and cultural crisis as well as facilitating long-term sustainable community development.

Orna Shemer (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Itay Grennspan (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
Galit Cohen Blankshtain (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel)
3 - Climate change education in social work: Knowledge co-creation and student-practitioner relations
PRESENTER: Orna Shemer

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Climate change and sustainability have recently been rising as public concerns in Israeli society. A late bloomer in this growing trend are the fields of social work and social welfare, which are slowly expressing greater awareness of the connectivity between sustainability (discourse) and social work practice, especially among disadvantaged populations. As researchers coming from in the field of social work, we are particularly interested in addressing the question how do SW practitioners, working with vulnerable populations (who are significantly more likely to get negatively impacted by the climate crisis), act to address the growing climate and sustainability concerns? In particular, we are seeking to assess the role of community participatory practices in addressing sustainability and community cohesion.

Method: the research method is in line with the ideas we seek to explore: participatory, qualitative, and attentive. We follow, profile and participate in training activities initiated by the Ministry of Welfare aimed at community social workers to get knowledge and tools to cope with climate crisis at the local community level, and to plan for interventions addressing this crisis. The research included knowledge-sharing and consultation with the trainers, with the participating community social workers, and will include a component of student engagement in data collection and study evaluation too. The students will design interview protocols, carry out the interviews, and assess the results of the community process of setting up climate adaptation strategies with communities and individuals. Results, conclusions and implications of the study will be discussed in this talk.

10:30-12:00 Session 11D: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.8 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Maja Müller (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: K4 (1st floor)
Lynette Joubert (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Janet Anand (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
Anna Metteri (University of Tampere, Finland)
Transformative methodologies in Effectiveness Practice Research
PRESENTER: Lynette Joubert

ABSTRACT. Sostyö-TerVa aims to develop an evidence base that supports the social work intervention model of service users receiving health and social care. The study evaluates the effectiveness of social work interventions in connecting service users with services and supports and develops research in Finnish social work practice and education. Our hypothesis is that targeted health social work interventions provide a seamless integrated care and service pathway that connects hospital and health outpatient services to social services and social security services and produces measurable outcomes related to functional capacity, health, and services. A quasi-experimental study across three university hospitals as to the effectiveness of social work psychosocial assessment for quality of life, life satisfaction, capabilities, and increased access to services, of somatic, cancer, mental health, and paediatric patients(N=534)) over a 3-month time interval. The impact of the intervention will be measured using a comparative group (N=267), not receiving social work intervention. In addition, participating social workers (N=60) will be asked to assess the impact of their inventions on the lives of their clients. This study involves five Finnish hospitals, over 100 social workers, and 538 patients. Both qualitative and quantitative findings will be used to scale up effective models of social work intervention and practice. Initial results of over 100 interventions and a 24hr hospital audit will be reported by the Sostyö-TerVa research team and potential implications for professional practice, education and policy will be discussed.

Jonathan Prince (Hunter College, United States)
Wanna Grab Some Dinner? Social Relations between Helping Professionals and Members of Community Mental Health or Other Human Service Organizations

ABSTRACT. Purpose: Could practitioners and members (consumers) of mental health or other organizations interact socially by regularly going out for drinks or dinner together, for example? The American Psychological Association explicitly states for example, “your psychologist shouldn’t also be your friend.” However such social interactions have occurred for decades in certain clubhouse-modeled community mental healthcare, and maybe research and a more balanced perspective is warranted.

Methods: We interviewed six clubhouse staff that interact socially with members and held three focus groups with twenty members.

Results/Conclusions: In relation to what we call a social interaction policy, we herein highlight: (1) four policy dimensions (e.g. activity types; relationship closeness); (2) a spectrum of policy challenges (e.g., dealing with romantic overture; feelings of exclusion or hurt and effects on mental health; symptom flare-up while out socializing; financial constraints of members such as dinner costs on limited incomes); and (3) a wide variety of policy benefits such as: (a) learning opportunities for members who can process with staff the ups and downs of social relationships; (b) social skill and network development; (c) enhanced assessment across different times/settings; (d) addressing stigma among staff who must grapple with internal resistance to spend free time with members; (e) enrichment of staff social life; (f) reducing internalized stigma among members when staff value them more holistically, and: (g) empowerment of members when staff freely (and optionally) offer a valuable resource (spare time). We offer suggestions for certain types of agencies that may wish to implement social interaction policies.

Annette Fridstrom (Gothenburg University, Department of Social Work, Sweden)
Building Trust - Children's experiences of meeting professionals within the child welfare services.

ABSTRACT. Building Trust - Children's experiences of meeting professionals within the child welfare services.

Background and aim: Child welfare services (CWS) work in different ways to protect children and see to their needs. In social work practice in Sweden this work is carried out in different forms of collaboration with both the children and the parents. The Convention of the Rights of the Child, Article 12 concerning children’s right to express their views on matters concerning them, is a core principle in this work. Yet there is great concern about children’s voices not being heard or considered in CWS as intended. The aim of this presentation is to highlight children’s experiences of meeting with professionals in the CWS.  

Method: An interview study with children age 8-17 years is currently being carried out and will constitute the empirical body in a licentiate thesis. 

Results: As the interview study is ongoing I will present some preliminary findings in combination with results from other research studies. In brief, children express how they in different ways want more contact with CWS workers, how they dislike having to change social workers and how hard it is for them to speak openly when they don’t know their social worker. The findings provide a deeper understanding of children’s experiences of encountering with CWS workers and is important knowledge for social work practice as it can have implications on how the collaboration between CWS and children is organized and carried out.

10:30-12:00 Session 11E: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.9 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
Vishanthie Sewpaul (University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa)
Irene Y.H. Ng (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Ranganayaki Thangavelu (Beyond Social Services, Singapore)
Bee Leng Ng (AMKFSC Community Services, Singapore)
Potentials and barriers in Involving Service Users in a Research and Advocacy for Universal Digital Access

ABSTRACT. When Covid-19 led to e-learning, remote working and contact tracing, technology-challenged groups were found lacking the digital resources to engage in these vital activities. These include low-income families, elderly and migrant workers, who had various limited access to computing devices, internet connection and digital literacy. This presentation derives from an initiative by a group of academics, service providers and volunteers. In various capacities, the representatives of the group plugged digital gaps, conducted research to understand the ongoing needs, published reports, newspaper commentaries, videos and infographics to disseminate information, and organized events and seminars to advocate with and on behalf of service users.

As a participatory research, the case for and approaches to universal access were arrived at deliberatively yet organically, through interviews, meetings, focus group discussions, WhatsApp messages, and e-mails. The views of service users were sought, but also represented, mediated or moderated by their service providers. Why? First, as the changes and needs were great, time was of the essence. Second, the digitally excluded often did not know what they lacked, nor could they give feedback on something that they had little exposure to. In these cases, the representations of service providers were key. Third, digital access is so new to the technology-excluded that they lacked the language or confidence to articulate on the issue, and therefore their message needed mediation/moderation.

Our presentation will use cases to detail the above types of potential and challenges we experienced in engaging service users, while also explaining universal digital access.

Maija Jäppinen (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Elina Aaltio (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Nanne Isokuortti (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Donald Forrester (University of Cardiff, UK)
Nelli Hankonen (University of Tampere, Finland)
Eveliina Heino (University of Helsinki, Finland)
Johanna Moilanen (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Minttu Palsola (University of Tampere, Finland)
Elina Renko (University of Tampere, Finland)
Sirpa Tapola-Tuohikumpu (University of Jyväskylä, Finland)
Enhancing effectiveness in child protection by strengthening social workers' communication skills in Finland
PRESENTER: Maija Jäppinen

ABSTRACT. Communication skills are a prerequisite for high-quality and effective child protection practice: building trust and encouraging the experience of being heard, commitment to agreed goals and proper participation. Previous research (Forrester et al. 2019) found an association between social workers' communication skills and better service user outcomes such as parent-reported engagement and perceived well-being. This presentation focuses on a practice research project that aims to develop a training to enhance these skills for child protection practitioners in Finland. Ultimately, the goal is to improve the effectiveness of direct practice with children and families.

The project involves three phases. First, we identify key communication skills in child and family social work based on a systematic review and an expert panel consisting of experts by expertise, practitioners, and researchers. Second, we develop a training package for practitioners grounded in Motivational Interviewing (MI) and complemented with other skills identified in the first phase in collaboration with practice stakeholders. Third, we evaluate feasibility and effectiveness of the training by using qualitative and quantitative data and quasi-experimental study design. The training outcomes, i.e., improvements in the skills, will be assessed by rating recorded family meetings.

The presentation introduces the project, the research setting, and preliminary findings from the first phase. It also discusses possibilities and challenges related to co-creation and research collaboration. In addition to close collaboration with experts by experience, the project involves social workers, who work part-time in the project as co-developers, -trainers, and -researchers.

Kate Thompson (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia)
Ilana Berger (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia)
Lynette Joubert (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Partnering with Young People in Adolescent & Young Adult Oncology: A Practice Research Collaboration
PRESENTER: Kate Thompson

ABSTRACT. Healthcare systems are challenged to deliver quality healthcare to adolescents and young adults (AYA) with cancer. In Australia, efforts are underway to promote AYA cancer service reform, advance clinical training, and drive research. As part of this effort, there is a focus on young people's rights to participate in the research agenda on the issues that affect their lives. Involving young people in research processes helps to refine research priorities and improve research designs, increases the accessibility and attractiveness of research methods, and ensures that young people’s perspectives are represented in analysis and outputs providing new insights and recommendations based on their lived experience. This paper describes the establishment of a practise research partnership between the Department of Social Work at the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Adolescent & Young Adult Cancer Service at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Australia. It focuses on collaboration and co-creation with the Victorian & Tasmanian Youth Cancer Action Board (YCAB), a diverse group of 12 young people between the ages of 15 and 25 who have been diagnosed with cancer. The discussion will centre on the outcomes to date, which include the establishment of shared goals, the development of leadership roles and skills for young people through practitioner, academic, and service user collaboration and the continuous evaluation of the process and partnership.

10:30-12:00 Session 11F: THEMATIC SESSION: 5.5 - Methodologies and Service Users' Empirical Participation in Practice Research
Martin Webber (University of York, UK)
Location: P2 (15th floor)
Phyllis King Shui Wong (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
Effects of a Group-Based Intervention on Self-Determination Competence Enhancement for Adults with Mild Intellectual Disabilities: A Randomized Controlled Trial Study in Hong Kong

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Self-determination (SD) is an intrinsic need in all human beings. In the past two decades, the construct of SD has developed extensively in the international intellectual disability (ID) field. However, very little research has been done in Chinese societies. This study aimed to develop a SD enhancement group intervention for adults with ID and to evaluate its effectiveness.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial with pre-test and post-test was adopted. Participants were randomly assigned to three conditions: SD enhancement group, SD-PLUS group and leisure activity group (Control group). Five groups were organized for each of the three conditions. There will be 10 sessions the intervention groups covering the SD core components including self-understanding, goal-setting and attaining, self-regulating and plan adjusting. The scales AIR SDS-C and PWI-C were mainly used for outcome measurement. Statistical analyses were conducted to examine changes in SD competencies and quality of life.

Results: In total, 106 participants participated in the study. Results show that score increments in self-determination competencies were found in SD group and SD-PLUS group. The positive changes in personal well-being after interventions were slightly greater in SD and SD-PLUS groups than that of Control group, though the difference does not reach a statistically significant level.

Implications: This study is the first evidence-based study in the Chinese communities. It helps fill a research gap in existing intervention and provide new knowledge for a group-based intervention. The practice can be used with Chinese-speaking people with ID in different parts of the world.

Kathy Ellem (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Queensland, Australia)
Working with lived experience researchers on sensitive topic matter: Learnings from a study on abuse of young people with cognitive disability

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Engaging in inclusive research with people with cognitive disability resonates with the values of social work practice, yet there can be many challenges to do this well in the context of research on sensitive issues. This paper reports on the collaborative processes within a research team of academic researchers and lived experience researchers with a disability. The team explored experiences of violence and abuse against young people with cognitive disability. This paper examines what can be learnt about engaging in inclusive research on abuse and harm with lived experience researchers who are survivors of similar acts of violence. Methods: Field notes and transcripts were gathered from four research workshops involving six academic researchers, five lived experience researchers with cognitive disability and two social work staff members. Data from the field notes and transcription were thematically analysed. Results: Inclusive research with people with cognitive disability is founded upon respect for the wisdom and expertise of lived experience. Talking and other forms of communication are vessels for learning for both non-disabled researchers and researchers with disability. Lived experience researchers can teach academic researchers the “lingo” in interview processes. Inclusive research involves doing no harm, for participants and for lived experience researchers. Conclusions and implications: Social workers pay ample attention to the processes they use when helping service users. Similar attention is needed in inclusive research on sensitive topic matters. By acting with respect to lived experience researchers, practice research can grapple with difficult issues with greater integrity and authenticity.

Yun Ze Chua (Montfort Care, Singapore)
See Yim Low (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Jia Min Lim (Montfort Care, Singapore)
Hoarding management in Singapore: understanding service users' perspectives towards alternative interventions for hoarding behaviour

ABSTRACT. Context: Hoarding behaviour is defined as the excessive acquisition of, and persistent inability to discard possessions that appear to have no value, that can lead to issues such as excessive clutter, distress, disability, and tensions with others. Decluttering is often used by professionals and government partners as an intervention for hoarding behaviour, but can cause considerable distress and anxiety to clients and may be unsustainable, with 94.4% of 18 clients with Montfort Care, a Singapore-based social service agency, having recurrent hoarding behaviours post-decluttering. Objective: The research aims to (1) investigate the effectiveness and suitability of alternative hoarding management interventions from the service user’s perspective, and (2) explore service users’ preferences for hoarding management interventions to identify improvement areas. Method: The research will be carried out in two phases: A quantitative survey to identify alternative hoarding management interventions used by SWPs, and qualitative individual interviews with clients receiving active intervention for hoarding behaviour. Service users’ empirical participation in the research is key to exploring their perspectives and preferences. Researchers will be conscious of the potential ethical issues in collaborating with service users, such as potential biases. Significance: By giving individuals with hoarding behaviour in Singapore a voice, this research sets the foundation for more collaborative practices that could increase the effectiveness of interventions and reduce recurrence of hoarding. The research may also highlight contradictions in the ideologies and methodologies towards hoarding management between SWPs, policymakers and other stakeholders, thus identifying opportunities to collaborate effectively and better support individuals with hoarding behaviour.

Andrea Berg Foss (Uit The arctic university of Norway, Norway)
Intellectually disabled employees' experiences with self-determination in the transition to work in a regular workplace

ABSTRACT. The paper deals with how people with developmental disabilities experience self-determination in the process towards work in an ordinary workplace. People with developmental disabilities are often not asked in matters that concern their lives and work, and their experiences are often not reflected in the evaluation of measures. The study's main finding is that perceived self-determination in the transition varies, but that all employees received different forms of help and support. The findings indicate that self-determination takes place in relationships, and that a lot of support is not an obstacle to self-determination, but rather a factor that can promote self-determination. Prerequisites for perceived self-determination in the process towards work in an ordinary workplace are knowledge of options, experience of real options, available support and that initiatives and wishes are heard and respected. The study is based on data from semi-structured qualitative interviews with 5 employees who themselves have developmental disabilities. The analysis has been carried out using a theme-centered approach to the data. The study objective was to bring out the employees' own experiences in the process.

10:30-12:00 Session 11G: THEMATIC SESSION: 8.3 - Practice Research Collaboration and Social Work Education/Programmes
Kirsten Mejlvig (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: P1 (15th floor)
Eydie Dyke-Shypulski (Bethel University, United States)
Interdisciplinary collaboration to engage students in community-based learning and environmental justice: a case study in an urban setting

ABSTRACT. Developing the understanding and skills required to bring about environmental justice requires students to move beyond the classroom to work in the context of communities. Students in a social work class partnered with students in a biology/environmental science class to engage with an urban community. Through field trips to community gardens and a land bridge, participation in garden work days, scholarly research and a collaborative think-tank project, students learned from each other and from community members. Students completed pre- and post-experience surveys. There were statistical differences between the social work students and the environmental science students on attitudes toward climate change and the Social Dominance Orientation Scale but differences between pre and post-scores were small.

Sze Shun Diana Ong (Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Singapore, Singapore)
Esther C L Goh (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
A programme review of the financial management and support programme for low-income families with debt issues in Singapore

ABSTRACT. This practice research study is a post hoc review of the financial management and support programme, conducted by a Self-Help Group in Singapore. The programme focuses on low-income families with debt issues. It comprises of three components, which includes, 1) financial literacy and problem debt related workshops in the local context, 2) home visits, and 3) a family day to encourage bonding among the participants and their families.

The study employed in-depth interviews with past participants to gain a grounded understanding of the challenges and successes of low-income families with debt issues. The findings suggest that low-income families adopt various strategies through the use of workshop materials and personal experiences to manage their finances despite being challenged with debt issues. Additionally, it highlights that the topic on debt is stigmatizing in the Asian context and poses a barrier among the participants in seeking help. However, the monetary incentives provided via the programme bolstered motivation in participation.

The study adopts an inclusive approach through close collaboration with an Academic Professor and stakeholders’ engagement held for practitioners and volunteers of the Self-Help Group, to gather insider and outsider perspectives of the findings. This process of collaboration allows the practitioner-researcher to gain a deeper understanding on the consideration of working alongside low-income families with debt issues and to (re)design the next run of the programme together, reinforcing the success stories of the past participants, giving hope that experiencing debt issues is not the end.

Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher, Singapore)
Research Lessons through the Practice Process - Parallels of Participatory Research to Community Development Work

ABSTRACT. This presentation highlights intersecting and transferable lessons between research and practice. While practice research looks for answers through systematic research methodologies, we were inspired by how field notes generated reflections, insights and possibilities that also contributed to know-hows in community work and research.

Parallels observed between research process and the challenges experienced by social/community workers: Of 155 challenge scenarios shared by 15 social/community workers in Research Phase 1, 25% were related to challenges in inviting community members to participate. Researchers experienced similar challenges in inviting participants to the research. Reasons were similar, involving capacity-related issues such as uncertainty about own abilities to contribute, and concerns about the impact of participation.

Community work concepts could be used to resolve research challenges and vice versa: When faced with challenges in inviting community members to participate, “pacing” has been one of the strategies used to build community readiness. We decided to pace during research invitation and presented potential interviewees with options to opt out of being quoted. This helped address anxiety as many felt that their challenges were insignificant. Interview questions were specific to the context of the interviewees’ experiences, avoiding unfamiliar frameworks. Informal fieldnotes after interviews suggested that participants enjoyed the space during interviews to recalibrate their practice.

The research process intentionally incorporated community development principles, with the intentions to build community among participants for continued collaboration and contribution beyond the research, including ideas on pedagogy and co-creating an ideal guidebook to enhance social/community work practice and education.

Yu Cheung Wong (Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong)
Yida Yee Ha Chung (Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong)
Felix Sai Kit Ng (Caritas Institute of Higher Education, Hong Kong)
Jacky Kwok Kwong Chan (Society for Community Organizations, Hong Kong)
Evaluation study of the “Friend Home - Hostels and Activity Centre" for homeless singletons pioneer project
PRESENTER: Yu Cheung Wong

ABSTRACT. The study is a collaboration between a local NGO (Society for Community Organizations) in Hong Kong which mainly serves the under-privileged individuals and families through community organizing, and the Caritas Institute of Higher Education in evaluating a pioneer project serving the homeless persons in Hong Kong. The service project is called “Friend Home - Hostels and Activity Centre”, which provides an up to 3 years of shared accommodation for homeless persons with services to improve their social, and personal well-beings. This pioneer project differs from existing hostel services offered by other NGOs and the government, which only allow the homeless person to stay for 3 months. The study consists of a multi-waves of questionnaire surveys (N=50 in the first wave; 37 in the second wave, and 27 in the exit wave) and in-depth interviews (N=21) with the service users. The results have been very positive, as many of them who were at working age could find full-time and stable employment and were able to afford higher rents with better living conditions. For those who could not work because of old age, disabilities, and/ or chronic illness, they could receive social security support, and resettled in permanent public rental housing or residential care homes for the elderly. The experience of the Friend Home Project served as a turning point for many homeless people in their life, which breaks their cycle of street-sleeping, short-term dormitory, and /or sub-standard housing.

10:30-12:00 Session 11H: THEMATIC SESSION: 2.10 - Challenges and Possibilities in Collaborations between Partners - Service Users, Practitioners, Researchers etc.
May-Britt Søndergaard Justesen (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Berith Heien (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Location: P3 (15th floor)
Laleh Golamrej Eliasi (University of Turku, Finland)
Afghan Women’s Perceptions on Domestic Violence and Child Protection

ABSTRACT. Finland is the second most violent country for women in the European Union (EU). 6300 and 2300 domestic violence against women (DVAW) and children were registered in Finland in 2020, respectively. Although the statistics in Finland are transparent, there are no statistics on DV by nationality. On the other hand, being a Muslim woman in a non-Muslim-majority country represents a position of double vulnerability. There are 10404 Afghan refugees in Finland, who are Muslim. As a result of unfamiliarity with support services, fear of the police, social isolation, and family commitments, DVAW can be a hidden issue among these families. Although witnessing and experiencing DV have devastating effects on women’s and children’s life, there is a lack of studies about DVAW among Afghan families in Finland. To fill this gap, Afghan women living in Finland are selected to assess their views on DVAW and child protection. This study is implemented in the socio-ecological approach framework to assess the impacts of individual characteristics, interpersonal relationships, community, and society components on DVAW in Afghan families. Interviews with Afghan women and Content analysis are used to answer the primary research question: How social services in DVAW and child protection should be improved? The main purpose is to obtain information about participants' views. Findings lead to improve collaboration between service users, researchers, and practitioners. Since participants had critical comments on welfare services and social workers, this data can be used to improve and produce culturally safe social work knowledge and practices.

Hilda Näslund (Umeå university, Sweden)
Katarina Grim (Karlstad university, Sweden)
Urban Markström (Umeå university, Sweden)
Do service users’ experiences matter? Examining the practice of user-focused monitoring in mental health services
PRESENTER: Katarina Grim

ABSTRACT. User-focused monitoring (UFM) is a method of evaluating services, conducted by people with lived experience of mental ill health. This research project examines UFM as a strategy for user involvement and development of mental health services. The project aims to identify patterns in Swedish UFM reports, analyze challenges in the realization process and investigate the outcomes of UFM. It is carried out in collaboration with representatives from the service user movement, municipality- and region based mental health services, and consists of three sub-studies:

1. A mapping analysis of 136 UFM reports 2. A multi-case process study of the UFM commission and realization process 3. A follow-up study on implementation of development proposals and the significance of UFM for user involvement and quality development in mental health services

Our results illustrate how trust is central to the relationships of the UFM practice. Accountability processes are important for securing continuous trust between the actors involved. Trust is further required for UFM being applied to engage in continuous learning and review of organisational norms and goals together with service users. Furthermore, our results show that long-term contracts between user organizations and service providers are important to create a sustainable implementation of UFM. However, strategies to protect user autonomy must be carefully considered and employed in relation to such collaborations. We further highlight current developments toward including follow-ups in the UFM process as a strategy for counteracting tokenism and discuss the value of creating structures for aggregating the knowledge produced through UFM.

Kara Fletcher (University of Regina, Canada)
The Inner Clinician/Researcher Conflict and Potential(s) using Participatory Research in the Context of Substance Use and Mental Health

ABSTRACT. This presentation will share the challenges and successes of a collaborative participatory research project for youth with lived experience of crystal meth use to develop a podcast about substance use issues in Saskatchewan, Canada. In my role as Principal Investigator, I have found navigating these working relationships with youth who struggle with substance use and mental health issues to challenge my understanding of my role as a researcher. Unlike other tasks as a researcher, this experience has called my clinician side into action. Straddling both worlds is complex and ethically challenging. Unstable housing, inconsistent Internet access, loss, and poor access to mental health and addiction support add to the challenges. This presentation will explore both the challenges and potential(s) of being a clinician and researcher in this context. Whether it be to modify meetings and extend deadlines to accommodate emerging mental health concerns, or supporting a community researcher through a relapse, this type of participatory research can unseat the role of the researcher in order to respond to crisis and immediate needs. Insights about navigating this duality will be discussed along with reflections for the future of participatory research with youth with lived experience of substance use.