Accepted Submissions with Abstracts

Azita Abdul Aziz (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS))
Sabariah Mohamed Aris (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS))
Breaking Barriers and Building Bridges Respectfully – Sharing by a Muslim Social Service Agency from Singapore

ABSTRACT. This symposia presents three papers highlighting the innovative approaches adopted by a Muslim social service agency in Singapore – PPIS (Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura/Singapore Muslim Women’s Association). This non-profit organisation was set up in 1952 and is dedicated towards providing services for women of all ages. One major part of its success can be attributed to its focus on providing targeted intervention and services. The agency’s achievements and contributions are recognised by the government and the community. In reviewing the key milestones of the agency, one of the core strengths of the agency is its ability to work with multiple stakeholders in a cohesive and respectful manner. The first paper presented in this symposia will focus on the services offered by the agency and strategies adopted in working with multiple stakeholders. The second paper showcases the research study conducted by the agency’s Research and Engagement Department (RED). The data gathered from Muslim women led to insightful information on their aspirations and challenges. The third paper demonstrates the value of working collaboratively with different stakeholders and partners in addressing the controversial topics affecting Muslim women in Singapore. Collectively, these presentations aim to demonstrate the value of partnerships, the need for evaluation and informed practices. The sharing will focus on raising awareness and developing the capability of social workers working in providing targeted intervention. The symposia will demonstrate the novelty in working with specific clientele, respecting the differences and diversity of Muslim women in Singapore.

Malathi Adusumalli (Department of Social Work University of Delhi)
Soumya Dutta (MAUSAM)
Unravelling the ‘participatory complexity’ of forest governance: Case study of Action research from remote mountain communities in India

ABSTRACT. This paper discusses the collaborative research with mountain communities in the disaster affected villages in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand India. The remote mountain villages of Uttarkashi district were badly affected by incessant rains that led to massive flooding of rivers and rivulets, which damaged the road infrastructure, housing and fields. The largely tourism based livelihoods were badly damaged due to the halt of pilgrims due to damaged road conditions across the state and the fear of disasters striking. While the village communities have been used to multiple disasters over generations, the unforeseen misery created by the particular disaster in 2013 is massive and unprecedented. Questions on sustainability of largely pilgrim based livelihoods was utmost, when elsewhere forest based livelihoods in the same state had better chances of recovery. Using an action research approach, the village communities were engaged in multiple conversations that led them to form village forest communities with the help of local facilitators, under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act, 2006. The power differentials as well as the differential understanding between various actors was clearly brought out in the implementation of the act. Illustrating with two village case studies, the paper discusses the potentials and challenges of such processes in democratizing forest governance with differential understanding of ‘development interventions’ from various actors, including the ‘funding ecosystem’ and the culture of expectations it raises. The participatory action research programme was undertaken with the funding from Indian Council for Social Science Research grant.

Irit Aizik (Myers-Jdc-Brookdale Institute)
Learning from Success - A method for creating knowledge together

ABSTRACT. One of the main challenges for me, as a researcher in an applied research Institute, is to overcome barriers in participatory process and find methods which will allow me to include, as much as possible, the service user’s knowledge and points of view, in the research, its findings and most important – the recommendations following the research. One such method, which I found useful, is the Learning from Success mothed. Learning from success is a method that helps extract tacit knowledge and then formulate it as “actionable knowledge” that focuses on actual actions that contributed to a successful treatment/event/program/change etc. The extracted knowledge is conceptualized into new knowledge that can be learned by all those interested in learning about the topic at hand. In the presentation I will introduce the basic concepts on which the method is based: defining success, tacit knowledge, actions. I reflect on the benefits and challenges of the method, and I will show several examples of studies where this method was used, in Israel, for example: 1. Learning from success at the Department of Social service in Beer Sheva– where we studied what contributes to successful treatment from the point of view of the service user and that of their social worker. 2. Success story of community theater show – the story of a community social worker who, together with a group of family members of people with disabilities, created a community theater show that performed more than 50 times, to varied audiences.

Raya Al Maamari (University of Nottingham)
The case management approach in the aftermath of natural disasters: How to make it more effective from the perspective of survivors, social workers, and NGO workers?

ABSTRACT. Disasters are a global concern that affects both developed and developing countries. They lead to catastrophic effects on life and public property; thus, their causes are worth exploring to provide appropriate support. Based on the role of social work and its general objective, which seeks to achieve the welfare of individuals and satisfy their needs, social work is one of the key professions in providing support during these situations. However, the type of services provided and the mechanisms of delivering them require constant evaluation to implement possible improvements. This study aims to explore the mechanism of service provision in the aftermath of natural disasters in Oman by answering two main questions: How are services in the aftermath of natural disasters provided? What actions are needed to improve this practice?

This qualitative study used the semi-structured interview tool and was applied to social workers, non-governmental organisation workers, and people affected by natural disasters in Oman. After analysing their experiences thematically, the data showed that social workers use the case management approach to provide services in the aftermath of natural disasters. However, the approach needs some amendments to best meet survivors’ needs, considering the cultural context of the Omani society. Examples of these issues are the need to amend the first stage of the approach concerned with the mechanism of reaching the survivors. Another amendment is the importance of adding a final stage related to the service evaluation. Some implications for policy, practice and subsequent research have been outlined.

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

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.

Sabariah Aris (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS))
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.

Prue Atkins (La Trobe University)
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.

Mary Baginsky (King's College London)
Lawyers, social workers and parents with learning disabilities

ABSTRACT. Background Over the past 20 years there has been a sharp increase in the number of children taken into care in England. Between 40 and 60 per cent of parents with a learning disability have children removed but continue to be vulnerable. During a project designed to examine the support available from adult social care at the time of removal, lawyers and judges working in family courts in England were amongst key informants interviewed in the initial stages of the project. Methods Two judges, three barristers and five solicitors, all working in family courts, were interviewed. They were recruited through contacts and direct approach, interviewed over a video link, and the data analysed thematically. Results Social workers in adult services work within the Care Act 2014 and those in children’s social care within the requirements around child protection and legal proceedings. However, lawyers and judges took a more holistic view. They identified what was needed to protect the rights of parents and children. Conclusions and implications As professionals outside social care, but working closely with it, they reflected on parents’ experiences and identified the deficits of a system that they believed failed too many. Apart from judges, able to make recommendations in their judgements, others felt powerless to change the situation. However their opinions will inform the guidance that will emerge from the project and be taken forward by the Chief Social Worker for Adults, a member of the project’s advisory group, and senior judges in the Family Court Division.

Lio Benjamin (Boys' Town Singapore)
Carina Sim (Boys' Town Singapore)
An exploratory study to examine perception of social workers adopting a TraumaInformed approach in their work

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.

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

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.

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

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).

Johan Boxstaens (University of Antwerp & Karel de Grote University of Applied Sciences & Arts)
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.

Liam Buckley (St Vincent’s Health Australia)
Carmen Raspor (St Vincent’s Health Australia)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University)
3 - Co-designing and co-producing the provision of support during and following inpatient care: Mental health service users and social workers collaborating as allies

ABSTRACT. Purpose: Internationally, in the wake of deinstitutionalisation, there has been a steady move towards recovery-oriented practice in mental health services. People who use mental health services have advocated for changes in service models and structures, and for a greater say in how services are delivered. Recently there has been a move to employ people with lived experience as peer workers; not in lone patient representative roles but as colleagues delivering practice interventions. This is still highly controversial in acute psychiatry. The study aims to share a model and outcomes from the Expanding Post Discharge support Initiatives (EPDI) – peer support workers supporting service users to transition from adult acute inpatient mental health to the community.

Method: Establishing the EPDI involved recruiting peer support workers, gaining training in Mead’s Intentional Peer Support model, and developing processes for monitoring and reporting.

Results: Over 500 people with lived experience of mental illness have received support through EPDI since August 2015. This includes over 4,300 interactions. EPDI has achieved the program aims to reduce unplanned readmission and inpatient length of stay (LOS). It provides enhanced psychosocial focus in multidisciplinary decision making in discharge planning.

Discussion: For people who use services, EPDI has reduced the impact of mental illness and use of inpatient services, increasing self-efficacy, improving practical outcomes in employment, housing and finances, and increased community and social inclusion. Conclusion: Peer workers and social workers can work with people with lived experience of mental illness to achieve positive outcomes and sustained recovery progress, and community connection, reducing social isolation, after acute illness.

Alice Katrine Burholt (Unit for psychiatric research, Aalborg University Hospital, Psychiatry, Aalborg.)
Line Myrup Gregersen (Unit for Co-Creation, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry, Aalborg.)
Malene Terp (Unit for Co-Creation, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry, Aalborg.)
Rikke Jørgensen (Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aalborg University Hospital – Psychiatry.)
Understanding recovery and attitudes towards employment of peer support workers from the perspective of non-peer mental health professionals

ABSTRACT. Research has found that non-peer mental health professionals (NPMHP) in general have a positive attitude to working with Peer Support Workers (PSW) but also many concerns in the early phase, and that PSWs have integration difficulties in teams with no recovery-oriented culture.

Recently, nine PSWs have been employed in Psychiatry, the North Denmark Region; eight in F-ACT-teams and one in a hospital ward.

The aim of the present study is to explore NPMHPs’ understanding of the phenomenon of recovery and their attitude towards employment of PSWs.

Method: An explorative design using qualitative methods. Three group interviews.

Participants: 24 professionals (registered nurses, clinical psychologists, social workers, psychiatrists, and social and health care assistants) were invited to participate, all from the eight F-ACT-teams and one ward. Seven mentors for PSWs participated in one group interview, and six and four NPMHPs participated in the other group interviews representing all above-mentioned professions.

The analysis strategy is inspired by Braun and Clarke´s thematic analysis.

Preliminary results: Recovery oriented practice – a practice with poor conditions in mental health services.

Many concerns overshadow a positive attitude towards employment of PSW.

Concerns replaced by enthusiasm for most non-peer workers.

Further research: The NPMHP’s will be interviewed again after two years to explore how the NPMHPs perceive how PSWs impact patients’ recovery process and their own understanding of recovery and role in promoting recovery.

Wallace Chi Ho Chan (Northumbria University at Newcastle)
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.

Xian Jie Chan (South Central Community Family Service Centre)
Ming Fang Cheong (South Central Community Family Service Centre)
Hey Mama!: What collaboration looks like in a Participatory Action Research with mothers from a low-income community in Singapore

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

The study will consist of two phases, starting with individual semi-structured interviews done by an independent researcher with four social workers and two mothers. Qualitative data about the process of collaboration and power dynamics will then be thematically analyzed. Following that, a focus group discussion will be organized with all participants to expound on the findings.

Preliminary reflections on what was experienced as collaboration are shared decision making, acknowledging power differences, appreciating assets, and authenticity. The hypothesized enablers of collaboration are common guiding values and taking relational risks; while hypothesized barriers include unavailability and unspoken agendas. Apart from being an opportunity for the team to review practices, the study also presents learnings on collaborative practice for practitioners interested in promoting service user participation.

Jacinta Chavulak (Monash University)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University)
'Emergency Department and Crisis Community Psychiatric Clinicians' perspectives regarding innovations required to reduce restrictive interventions

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.

Tavee Cheausuwantavee (Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University)
Chinapong Kraisingsom (Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University)
Ratirot Chansomdee (Ratchasuda College, Mahidol University)
Development of community based rehabilitation in Thailand through PAR: Case study in rural area

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose Since little is known about a comprehensive community based rehabilitation (CBR) project should be conducted based on appropriate methodology and significant independent variables as qualifications of CBR workers. Thus, this study aims to explore a comprehensive CBR project based on particular method and CBR workers.

Methods This study is participatory action research (PAR). The one rural community in Suphanburi Province, Thailand was purposively selected. The participants were purposively recruited with particular characteristics of CBR workers suggested by previous studies such as key stakeholders, suitable age, attitudes towards PWDs. Finally, there were 19 participants of study including medical personnel, community leaders, social worker, teachers, labour development personnel, community volunteers, persons with disabilities(PWDs) and researchers. Verbatim of focus groups, participatory observations and field notes were undertaken. Those data were interpreted through thematic coding and analytic induction.

Results PAR was still contributive strategy for CBR development in terms of consciousness raising, collaboration, holistic understanding of CBR. Suitable qualifications of CBR workers particularly strong participation of professionals and community leaders will be also key success of CBR project. However, uncompleted PAR and CBR cycles, no more sectors of stakeholders and particular services with only health domain of CBR were limitations and challenges.

Conclusions and implications This study proves that PAR with significant characteristics of participants is important for CBR development. CBR project setting with suitable CBR workers will be helpful to predict its success and sustainability. It will be more successful should other challenges of CBR will be also addressed.

Fang-Pei Chen (National Chung Cheng University Department of Social Welfare)
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.

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

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.

Elizabeth Y.M. Chia (SHINE Children & Youth Services)
Nicole Liaw (SHINE Children & Youth Services)
Esther C.L. Goh (National University of Singapore)
Vanessa Koh (SHINE Children & Youth Services (formerly))
Kheng Leng Tok (SHINE Children & Youth Services (formerly))
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.

Janice Chisholm (Eastern Health Mental Health Service)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University)
Peer worker perspectives regarding recovery-oriented practice in a public mental health service

ABSTRACT. Background: Recovery-oriented practice (ROP) is a framework that focusses on recovery through hope, choice, and meaning, living with or without enduring symptoms and challenges, not necessarily associated with a treatment regime. Methods: Peer workers engaged in a focus group, provided with opportunity to review questions prior and come prepared with any ideas and answers. Results: ROP seen as the way forward for peer workers with numerous ideas and suggestions to make it possible. Results suggest recovery language, peer workers as leaders, changes in clinical staff attitudes to value personal recovery as important, and organisational changes are required in the implementation of ROP. Themes indicated structural and individual barriers and facilitators. Power imbalances, organisational structure, stigma and inequity prevented the ease of implementation. On an individual level, there was a need for active listening, positive regard, and recognition of uniqueness in peer workers, recognising them as experts in their own lives. Some of the supportive values that were identified were hope, inclusive practice and collaboration. Conclusions: Peer workers identified several important aspects for success in the implementation of ROP at Eastern Health Mental Health Service. The results demonstrated that the views of peer workers are potentially valuable in the implementation of ROP. Peer workers add lived experience and can conceivably contribute to clinician uptake and practice of ROP. The lived experience of peer workers contribute to a service’s implementation, and clinician uptake, of ROP. The study contributes to increasing evidence that encourages the adoption of peer workers in mental health services.

Hyekyung Choo (National University of Singapore)
Jungup Lee (National University of Singapore)
Esther C L Goh (National University of Singapore)
Geok Ling Lee (National University of Singapore)
Corinne Ghoh (National University of Singapore)
Diana Ong (National University of Singapore)
Practice Research Education: Collaborative Reflections on Practice Research Capstone Seminars by Social Work Educators and Students

ABSTRACT. This symposium show-cases the pain and pleasure of teaching and learning practice research in the Master of Social Work by coursework program (MSW) at the National University of Singapore. The MSW program is an advance Master’s program for qualified social workers who are already practicing, aiming for them to be leaders of the social service sector in Singapore. By facilitating the integration of research process into students’ own practice, the Practice Research Capstone Seminar modules purport to equip the students with two core social work leadership competencies: attuning themselves to evidence-informed practice in the local context and being reflexive practitioners in critical examination of their own work. As the main pedagogical feature is educators’ close coaching of students in the entire process of research – conceptualization, implementation, and dissemination – within two semesters, the capstone modules entail a great deal of effort, challenges, and accomplishments on both sides of educators and students. After three years of running the modules, it is timely for them to weigh the value of pain and pleasure of teaching and learning practice research through the capstone seminars. In this symposium, a panel of four capstone seminar instructors and an MSW student will explicate their journey which includes: designing and developing the capstone curriculum for practice research; preparing for practice research ethics review and data collection; analyzing practice research data; and disseminating practice research findings. The panel will discuss implications for the future direction of practice research education for Master-level social work students.

Hyekyung Choo (National University of Singapore)
1 - Practice Research Capstone Seminar: Positioning Practice Research Modules in Social Work Education

ABSTRACT. The practice-research divide is common in social work education. While entry-level social work curriculums consist of mostly practice-oriented courses, graduate research programs – Master by Research and PhD – are for training students to be social work researchers in and for academia. Furthermore, the majority of social work research method modules aim to make students either critical consumers of academic research on social work or academic researchers in social work. However, a Master of Social Work (MSW) program by coursework is a natural and optimal setup where practice research – integration of practice and research – can materialize by systematic facilitation: it is where practicing social workers who are now students and academic researchers who are instructors meet in order to advance the students’ practice knowledge and skills for improving their services. The 2018-2019 revamp of the MSW program at the National University of Singapore introduced Practice Research Capstone Seminars to MSW students. Through two capstone seminar modules in sequence over two semesters, each student is required to complete a practice research project. Since 2019, 27 MSW students from four cohorts of the capstone seminar have completed their practice research projects. This presentation illustrates and discusses how practice research capstone seminars meet the overall pedagogical goals of the MSW program, strategies that support students to conduct practice research, the expected and unexpected advantages and disadvantages of the capstone seminar format, and most importantly, implications and considerations for development of practice research modules at the Master’s level in social work education.

Christine Chua (KK Women's and Children's Hospital)
Judith Chew (KK Women's and Children's Hospital)
Winnie Lim (KK Women's and Children's Hospital)
Perhaps… Maybe: Embracing the grey area in a hospital practice research project

ABSTRACT. This paper reflects on a local experience of conducting practice-research (PR) within a pediatric hospital in Singapore. It focuses on the collaboration and co-creation of knowledge not only with service-users but within a team of social work practitioners. The PR project was a qualitative inquiry into the challenges living with eczema and the support needs from the perspective of parents. All study team members were social work practitioners from the same department with varying degrees of practice experience, of which two had formal research training and experience. In this paper, we explore how the PR project contributed to a shift in our ideas about service-users and practice. For instance, practitioners may have more ‘need’ of service-users that the reverse, thus highlighting the importance for practitioners to recognise this and the underlying sense of discomfort it could evoke. We also reflect on encountering grey areas of uncertainty. The first was encountered when working on data analysis with and as a team of seven. The second was when the line between interviewer and interviewee seemed blurred – when service-users crossed boundaries by interviewing themselves. Perhaps and maybe, knowledge co-creation happens in those magical moments when practice-researcher curiosity meets service-user curiosity. The ‘sweet spot’ when service-users become curious about themselves during the process. We summarise the reflection to discuss how embracing grey areas can both complicate and enrich the process of knowledge co-creation and have the potential to transform the way we do and think about doing practice.

Yun Ze Chua (Montfort Care)
See Yim Low (Montfort Care)
Jia Min Lim (Montfort Care)
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.

Xing Jun Chuah (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd)
Chin Bee Aw (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd)
Satvinder Singh Dhaliwal (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd)
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

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.

Kimberlea Cooper (La Trobe University)
Lauren Zeuschner (Federation University)
Rachel Goff (RMIT University)
Opportunities and challenges within a place-based research collaboration in Australia: Reflections on methodology

ABSTRACT. In this presentation we will reflect upon collaborative practice-based research that took place within a government-industry-university partnership in Ballarat, Australia. The Central Highlands Children and Youth Area Partnership brought together local community service organisations, state and local government, social work researchers, and other stakeholders. As a part of the collaboration, five doctoral students conducted practice-based research studies in the areas of out-of-home care, family violence, and integrated family services. Each study was designed in partnership with these government and industry stakeholders for the purposes of informing policy and program design in the local context.

In this presentation, we will discuss and compare several qualitative methodologies used by the doctoral researchers in terms of why they were chosen; how the research played out in practice; how they included the voices of people with lived experience; and pathways for research translation and impact. We will share some of the personal and contextual challenges that were encountered within the complex, dynamic and evolving context of the government-industry-university partnership, and we will reflect upon our learnings from participating in the broader partnership, as well as the opportunities to influence policy, practice and service design.

We hope to contribute to the continual development of our shared knowledge of how best to design collaborative practice-based social work research. This presentation will be of interest to social work researchers and doctoral students who are developing research partnerships.

Phil Crane (University of the Sunshine Coast)
Alannah Grace (Churches of Christ Queensland)
Rachael Stubbs (University of the Sunshine Coast)
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.

Lesley Deacon (University Of Sunderland)
Paige Thomason (Gateshead Council)
Facilitated Practice-based Research: bridging the gap between social work research and practice

ABSTRACT. This oral paper presents initial findings from an ongoing Action Research Project which aims to understand the problem of why practitioners still experience research anxiety, despite attempts to address this through Practice Research in Social Work. Utilising Bourdieu's field theory, it is posited that social work students, practitioners and educators have essential research skills and knowledge, but do not possess the symbolic capital to reframe these in the field of social work research and thus are habituated into research anxiety. This Action Research project questions: how can we bridge the gap between social work research and practice? An empowerment model was developed and tested, collaborating with a local charity, as a potential solution: Facilitated Practice-based Research. This is a research programme conducted in practice, about practice, using practice terminology. Findings from two focus groups (n=5) participating in this approach suggest practitioners do habituate research anxiety; they can conduct research but name it differently, and their research confidence needs development, through recognising it and beginning to name their work as research. It is concluded that if research anxiety in practitioners is not addressed by reframing their capital, opportunities could be missed for further embedding research into social work practice.

Kristin Diemer (University of Melbourne)
Cathy Humphreys (University of Melbourne)
David Gallant (University of Melbourne)
Programs for men who use violence against female intimate partners: realistic expectations and evaluation models

ABSTRACT. Programs for men who use violence against their female intimate partners have been controversial and under scrutiny for proof of effectiveness for many years. Since 2008 our university-based research team has partnered with service agencies and government policy makers to evaluate these programs at both the service delivery level and wider system level. We have evaluated many different program types using participatory evaluation methods and triangulation techniques including service users, practitioners, and government policymakers. While safety and ethics are always an issue when involving service users in research and evaluation, there are additional complex concerns surrounding programs addressing violence against women. In these scenarios it is important to ensure men who use violence are not rewarded, women and children are protected, and researchers do collude with the service users. Measuring whether men in these programs have taken responsibility for their actions and exhibit change in their behaviour is particularly challenging while maintaining privacy and confidentiality to both the men, their female partners and their children. The researchers will speak about their methods of conducting this research and defining realistic and measurable change to inform policy and practice.

Eydie Dyke-Shypulski (Bethel University)
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.

Frank Ebsen (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC)
Signe Steensbæk (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC)
Helle Antczak (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC)
Siddhartha Baviskar (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC)
Malene Rosted (inst. for socialrådgiveruddannelserne Københavns Proffessionshøjskole UCC)
Collaboration with young people and social workers to improve statutory meetings

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.

Kathy Ellem (School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, The University of Queensland)
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.

Mie Engen (Aalborg University, Department og Sociology and Social Work)
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?

Heidi Lie Eriksen (University of Stavanger)
Safety as a mantra in social workers' field placement supervision?

ABSTRACT. In Norway there is a concern when it comes to how social work students are being supervised during field placements. Social workers in the field with different competence in supervision are handled the responsibility for the students, but we know little about the quality (Kunnskapsdepartementet, 2012). As a part of my Ph.D.-study I have investigated what field instructors' / supervisors focus on in supervisory conversations with social work students and I would like to raise a discussion about supervision and the development of qualification for professional practice. My study is qualitative, and I have interviewed eight field instructors about their attention in their own supervision activities. Interviews are analyzed according to a dialogical analysis method (Sullivan, 2012). My findings show that the field instructors emphasize safety as an essential basis for learning during the internship period. Still, there is variation in the safety-creating work. I critically shed light on how a safety mantra can have unforeseen consequences for the students' learning outcomes during the field placement period. This issue concerns what field instructors direct their attention to when supervising social work students, and what implications this attention can have for students' professional qualification.

Silvia Fargion (University of Trento)
Diletta Mauri (University of Trento)
Challenges in the relationship between children and social workers when children are taken into care

ABSTRACT. The relationship between social workers and children represents a key issue in child protection from several perspectives. First, it represents a crucial element in enabling children's participation; moreover, it has been strongly connected to children's ability to process the difficult situations they experience in their families and thus influences the positive outcome of interventions. However, this relationship has been seen as complex, and research exploring children's perspectives has revealed significant critical elements. This presentation is based on two qualitative research studies that grew out of a collaboration between university, professional social work associations, and an association of care leavers. The researches interrogated the perspectives of social workers, children in care and care leavers on this complex relationship. We intend to highlight how the process of collaboration has been key in both collecting and analysing the data. The research reveals the complexity of negative representations by children and youth on social workers and the struggles, including emotional ones, of social workers in dealing with this negativity of which many are aware, but perceive as unavoidable. An analysis of situations in which instead there is a positive encounter allow us to hypothesize the importance of children's agency both in understanding negative reactions and in exploring ways out of an adversarial relationship. One of the outcomes of the research has been to design a project in which care leavers organised training events for social workers.

Eva Fleischer (Management Center Innsbruck)
Thomas Dierker (Management Center Innsbruck)
Potentials of service design thinking within service user involvement projects – the "Persona" method as a tool in practice social work research

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.

Kara Fletcher (University of Regina)
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.

Andrea Berg Foss (Uit The arctic university of Norway)
"I'm actually a little unsure of how that came about." - Self-determination in the transition to a ordinary workplace for people with developmental disabilities.

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 findings in this study show that the degree of self-determination is varied, and that all employees have received help to get a job in an ordinary workplace. There appears to be a connection between the employees' experience of adequate support in the process, experience of real choice and perceived self-determination. Barriers to self-determination in the process of working in an ordinary workplace include a lack of knowledge about options, a lack of experience of having real options, not being formally qualified for the profession and not being met with one's wishes. 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.

Christa Fouche (The University of Auckland)
Sharing a sandpit: The role of intermediaries in growing engagement with indigenous 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 intermediaries 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 intermediaries to address barriers and advance opportunities for practice research. An intermediary is a person who acts as a link between parties to reach an agreement. Intermediaries 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 intermediary involvement across the research process.

The presentation will argue that intermediaries 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 consider the use of intermediaries, and how intermediaries can ensure wider reach and impact and make research more engaging, accessible, and useful in the fields of health and social care.

Annette Fridstrom (Gothenburg University, Department of Social Work)
Mikaela Starke (University of Gothenburg, Department of Socail Work)
Monica Nordenfors (University of Gothenburg, Department of Socail Work)
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 practice this work is done in collaboration with both the children and the parents. 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 examine previous research in the field of children’s experiences of meeting with professionals in the CWS or in similar organisations.

Method: A scoping review was carried out using the SPICE protocol (Setting, Population, Intervention, Comparison, Evaluation). The inclusion criteria were peer reviewed original articles published from the year 2000 to 2021.

Result: The findings derive from 22 articles, including 509 children. The 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 results 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. This and the need for further research will be discussed in the presentation, as well as other matters.

Esther C L Goh (National University of Singapore)
3 - Analyzing and interpreting small sample qualitative data with students: Making the most of it

ABSTRACT. Qualitative methods of data collection are highly popular among Master of Social Work (MSW) students’ practice research projects which are conducted as part of graduation requirements. The open-ended nature of data generated by qualitative methods allowed novice researchers to explore research questions which stemmed from their practice and gain initial insights into their work. Besides, the heuristic limitation of time due to the fixed timeframe for completion within two semesters land small sample size qualitative interviews, usually between 5 and 12 participants, or focused group discussions of 5 or fewer members, which are the common data collection modes. Qualitative method data collection, though labour intensive, is relatively unchallenging to most MSW students who are trained social workers and hence, skilled in asking questions and listening. Less known to most students is the challenge in data analysis. Many are at risk of performing merely literal or superficial readings of the 5 or 12 sets of transcripts. Such cursory reading of the rich data collected might render the findings dull and of little value, reporting only the obvious. The gem of the qualitative data can only be accessed through skillful and careful examination through interpretive and reflective readings. The role of the instructor is crucial in challenging the students to refrain from staying on the surface. It is important for the instructor to bracket-in (not bracket-out), utilizing her own practice experience to guide students to go deeper into interpretive reading and reflective reading of the data.

Laleh Golamrej Eliasi (University of Turku)
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.

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

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.

Katarina Grim (Karlstad university)
Hilda Näslund (Umeå university)
Conny Allaskog (NSPH The National Partnership for Mental Health)
Jessica Andersson (NSPH Skåne)
Elisabeth Argentzell (Lund University)
Kjell Broström (NSPH Stockholm)
Filippa Gagnér Jenneteg (NSPH Västra Götaland and Gothenburg)
Mårten Jansson (NSPH National association)
Ulla-Karin Schön (Stockholm University)
Petra Svedberg (Halmstad University)
Sara Svensson (NSPH Västra Götaland and Gothenburg)
Sonny Wåhlstedt (NSPH Västra Götaland and Gothenburg)
David Rosenberg (Umeå University)
Legitimizing User Knowledge in Mental Health Services: Epistemic (In)justice and Barriers to Knowledge Integration

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.

Catrine Torbjørnsen Halås (NORD UNIVERSITET)
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.

Ralph Hampson (University of Melbourne)
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.

Cheyann Heap (University of York)
Martin Webber (University of York)
4 - Community-enhanced social prescribing: collaborating with a local community to enhance social prescribing

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Social prescribing has been introduced throughout primary care and other statutory services in England to connect people with wellbeing needs to community and voluntary sector services. It is largely uni-directional (from the statutory to the voluntary sector) with no additional resources or concomitant capacity building. The Community-Enhanced Social Prescribing (CESP) model was developed from two existing approaches (Connected Communities and Connecting People) to embed community development within a social capital intervention model for social prescribing linkworkers in order to address this. Methods: The feasibility of CESP is being evaluated in a multi-method study which includes a pre-post controlled quasi-experimental study exploring individual and community-level outcomes; qualitative interviews and a process evaluation. The study is being conducted in a community setting in Sale, Greater Manchester, where the social prescribing linkworkers are employed by a voluntary sector agency, BluSCI. Findings: This paper will report the emerging findings from the project. Collaboration with local residents via a ‘community panel’ which is responsible for mapping community assets; engaging with voluntary and statutory agencies working in the community; and collaborating with the linkworkers throughout the study is essential to its success. Conclusion and implications: Working with members of the local community and providers of local wellbeing services reveals how power differentials impede effective action. Bringing them together within the context of the CESP model has the potential to produce modest change within the local community and enhance the work of the social prescribing link workers.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Jessica Ho (Montfort Care)
Janarthanan Lingasparan (Montfort Care)
Nur Batrisyia Binte Abdul Rani (Montfort Care)
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 (1) understand the suitability of existing services in meeting the homeless’ needs from the service providers’ perspective, and (2) explore Family Service Centres (FSCs) homeless service users’ experience with engaging the available services. Method: First, secondary data analysis is conducted to identify significant demographics of the homeless community, using data from Singapore’s integrated case management system for the social service sector. Second, qualitative interviews will be conducted with service providers and FSCs’ service users: through elucidating service providers' conceptualisation of their services targeted towards homelessness, followed by 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.

Alison Hocking (University of Melbourne)
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.

Nanne Isokuortti (University of Helsinki)
Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki)
Maija Jäppinen (University of Helsinki)
Kaisa Pasanen (University of Helsinki)
Ida Nikula (University of Helsinki)
1 - Features and outcomes of academic practice partnerships in social work: a scoping review

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.

Nanne Isokuortti (University of Helsinki)
Understanding complex implementation in social services: findings from a process evaluation of the Systemic Practice Model in Finland

ABSTRACT. Background: Achieving change in a complex implementation environment such as child protection services is demanding. However, implementation research can provide a better understanding of how and why interventions work in different contexts and the extent to which their outcomes can be improved. This presentation synthesizes findings from a process evaluation, i.e., a comprehensive analysis of implementation process, of the Systemic Practice Model (SPM) in Finland. The SPM is an adaptation of the Reclaiming Social Work model, which aims to improve quality of service by delivering systemic practice in children’s social care.

Methods: Qualitative data was collected from various stakeholders at the system, organization, practitioner, and service user levels.

Results: The analyses found complex linkages between implementation outcomes and influencing factors at different levels. Essentially, challenges related to the Finnish adaptation and its national implementation strategy potentially contributed to high variation in the delivery of trainings and fidelity to the SPM across implementation sites. Although practitioners felt positive about the model, barriers to apply it in practice seemed to weaken their motivation to change. Subsequently, fidelity assessment indicated limited changes in practice.

Conclusions: Given that process evaluations aim to provide in-depth understanding of change efforts in practice, they can offer valuable information to policy and practice stakeholders and aid implementation in complex service systems. Possibilities and challenges related to collaboration between researchers, practice stakeholders and innovation developers in change efforts are discussed. In conclusion, the results indicate that careful preparation, ongoing support, and active collaboration are crucial in future implementation.

Sofie Aggerbo Johansen (Aalborg University)
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.

Lynette Joubert (University of Melbourne)
Janet Anand (University of Eastern Finland)
Anna Metteri (University of Tampere)
Transformative methodologies in Effectiveness Practice Research

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.

Lynette Joubert (University of Melbourne)
Ralph Hampson (University of Melbourne)
Alison Hockiing (Royal Melbourne Hospital)
The 5+1 : A Social Work Practice Research Collaboration, Melbourne, Australia

ABSTRACT. The 5+1 Collaboration represents a coming together of the social work departments of five hospitals and The University of Melbourne who have committed to strengthen the excellence of research and clinical practice in health social work through a model of practice research collaboration and social work education. Our symposium will address the challenges and possibilities in collaboration between partners ie service users of health services, health social work practitioners and academic researchers. The key objectives of the initial study informing the collaboration were: 1) To determine how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted on hospital social work practice and strategies that social workers adopted in response to these challenges 2) To explore in detail both the positive and negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospital social work 3) To determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on future social work practice. Methodology A prospective study was undertaken where 100 frontline hospital social workers captured their work experience. An online, digital platform – Basecamp – provided social workers across all participating sites with the opportunity to share their experiences vis a vis the Impact of COVID-19 on service provision. Each week social workers were invited to respond to issues arising as the pandemic unfolded, thereby capturing in real time what was taking place on the ground. Impact The resulting practice research agenda is focused on the democratisation of research that includes methodological pluralism, co-creation with practitioners and service users, impact and implementation, and setting a capacity building agenda nationally for social workers.

Lynette Joubert (University of Melbourne)
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.

Natalie Joubert (University of Eastern Finland)
Janet Carter Anand (University of Eastern Finland)
Tomi Mäki-Opas (University of Eastern Finland)
Laura Yliruka (THL)
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.

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.

Ilse Julkunen (University of Helsinki)
Maija Jäppinen (University of Helsinki)
Nanne Isokuortti (University of Helsinki)
Gillian Ruch (University of Sussex)
Kaisa Pasanen (University of Helsinki)
Amy Lynch (University of Sussex)
Diletta Mauri (Trento University)
Jo Williams (University of Sussex)
Academic-practice-collaborations as a means to enhance interactive knowledge transfer

ABSTRACT. A distinctive characteristic of research and practice partnerships is the inclusion of multiple stakeholders. With this comes the challenge of embracing different ways of negotiating with partners and adopting new professional identities as research-minded practitioners and practice-minded researchers. Another challenge is, how to enhance interactive knowledge transfer that aims for strategically successful and meaningful knowledge production and outcomes. It is said that for research to be relevant and have an impact, the knowledge produced through research must relate to the problems and issues faced by practitioners at the street level. At the same time the research processes need to be embedded more broadly in evolving knowledge alliances to aim for longstanding outcomes.

This symposium sets out to discuss these issues based on two ongoing literature reviews and two ongoing PhD studies. The overarching question connects to challenges and possibilities in collaborations between partners – service users, practitioners, researchers etc., as well as potentials and barriers in participatory processes in practice research, and to aspects of power when different partners with different positions are to collaborate.

The symposium starts by introducing two international community and academic partnerships, the Helsinki Practice Research Centre (HPRC), University of Helsinki, and the Centre for Social Work Innovation and Research (CSWIR), University of Sussex, which will follow by presenting four papers that relate to the overarching question and the topic of the symposium.

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

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.

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

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.

Hanna Kara (University of Helsinki)
Maija Jäppinen (University of Helsinki)
Camilla Nordberg (Åbo Akademi University)
Anna-Leena Riitaoja (University of Helsinki)
Using results-testing focus groups in collaborative ethnography

ABSTRACT. Inclusion of various stakeholders in different stages of the research process is a key element in practice research. Drawing from a collaborative ethnographic research project on street-level institutional encounters between social work practitioners and migrant-background service users in the Helsinki capital region, this paper focuses on the role of stakeholder involvement in interpretation of the research results. We discuss the use of results-testing focus groups, and the possibilities and significance they provide for engaging practitioners to the research process and interpretation of the preliminary results. The ethnographic data produced on the first stage of the project consists of observations of service encounters (n=39) in immigration services, adult social services and child welfare services, brief reflective discussions with practitioners straight after the encounters (n=32), and thematic interviews conducted separately with both migrant service-users and practitioners (n=51). After preliminary analysis of these data, we conducted three focus group sessions with social work practitioners and members of the middle management to gain their critical reflections of the initial results. Two more focus groups with team managers and migrant service users had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. In this paper we ask: What was the significance of the results-testing focus groups for the analysis process? How did the focus groups affect/change the results? We argue that involvement of social work practitioners and managers on this stage of research process can deepen the analysis and bring in new perspectives, as well as facilitate dialogical transfer of research findings to practice.

Mansoor Kazi (Realist Evaluation Inc)
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Simon Kroes (St Vincent’s Health Australia)
Grace McLoughlan (Neami)
Kevan Myers (St Vincent’s Health Australia)
Sarah O'Connor (Neami)
Erin Keily (N/A)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University)
2 - Coproduction with youth service users in a residential mental health service: methodological learnings from implementing a dual diagnosis tool

ABSTRACT. Background: Initial onset of mental health issues predominantly occurs in adolescence. Dual diagnosis – the co-existence of mental health and alcohol and/or other drug (AOD) issues – has been recognised internationally for over 30 years. The current study service setting reported that numerous young people have co-occurring mental health and AOD issues. A lived experience informed/co-designed study explored the service user experience of using the Reasons For Use Package (RFUP) within a youth residential rehabilitation mental health setting.

Methods: Lived experience researchers (those who have lived through mental illness or distress), Master of Social Work students, a community mental health service manager, community mental health researchers, dual diagnosis service researchers, and university-based researchers collaborated on the project. The study used an exploratory, qualitative approach of semi-structured interviews to invite young people's experiences of the resource. A collaborative thematic analysis was conducted by the research team drawing on the range of perspectives.

Results: Five young people were interviewed. Key themes identified were: client factors and extra-therapeutic events, relationship factors, technique/model factors/delivery, and outcomes/things they noticed. Further there were a number of methodological learnings about best-practice processes in co-design and co-production.

Conclusions and implications: The RFUP was a useful clinical tool with the young people, since it improved awareness of reasons for drug use and impact on mental health, service user to staff relationship, quality of the resource, mode of delivery and participant self-knowledge. Young people valued the supportive role that the RFUP played in facilitating positive relationships with their workers.

Michal Krumer-Nevo (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Yuval Saar-Heiman (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
Poverty-Aware Social Service Department: A collaborative research on social work practice

ABSTRACT. Based on our experience in a participatory research in one social service department in Israel, this paper will offer a new participatory methodology on social work practice. In order to answer both descriptive and explanatory research questions, we combined ethnographic observations, interviews and participatory inquiry workshops with social workers and service users. The first phase of data collection included 70 hours of ethnographic observations of the regular activities of the SSD, including community events, neighbourhood community work meetings, staff meetings, meetings with service users, and meetings of social workers with professionals from other services in the municipality. The second phase of the study—the participatory inquiry—was developed alongside the data analysis. This phase included three cooperative one-day workshops with the participation of the entire SSD staff and 10 service users. The aim of the workshops was to give the participants the opportunity to describe the SSD’s practice and reflect on it. Moreover, it enabled the participants to be involved in the analysis of the data and the conceptualization of the findings, whose trustworthiness it strengthened. In this paper, we will describe our use of the methods, discuss the context that enabled the research, and explore the challenges of facilitating workshops in which researchers, social workers and service users reflect together on practice.

Hok Bun Ku (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Jun Ping Wu (Huainan Normal University)
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.

Hok Bun Ku (China and Global Development Network, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Kan Yip (China and Global Development Network, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Carrisa Tsang (China and Global Development Network, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
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.

Hok Bun Ku (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Social Work Practice Research in Responding to the Substantiality Development Goals (SDGs)

ABSTRACT. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) were set by the United Nations (UN) in 2015, including 17 aspects: 1) no poverty, 2) zero hunger, 3) good health and well-being, 4) quality education, 5) gender equality, 6) clean water and sanitation, 7) affordable and clean energy, 8) decent work and economic growth, 9) industry, innovation and infrastructure, 10) reduced inequalities, 11) sustainable cities and communities, 12) responsible consumption and production, 13) climate action, 14) life below water, 15) life on land, 16) peace, justice and strong institutions, and 17) partnerships for the goals. Asian, eastern European, and Middle East countries face these 17 challenges to varying degrees during rapid economic development. As a helping profession responsible for people’s well-being, social work in these countries has actively participated in achieving SDGs. In this symposium, the speakers from Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Israel, and Vietnam are going to share their experiences of practice research and demonstrate how social work practice responds to the different aspects of SDGs in different cultural and political contexts. The presentations will direct us to think about the possibility of social work in responding to the issues of people's empowerment, socio-economic development, quality of life, human rights, and the environment, etc.; what good social work practice research is to co-create knowledge in pursuit of practical solutions to the problems of unsustainable development; and what theory of action and theory of change can be generated in the practice research process.

Ching Man Lam (Caritas Institute of Higher Education)
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.

Miriam Landsman (University of Iowa)
Kellee Thorburn McCrory (University of Iowa)
Building a Practice Research Collaboration with Peer Support Specialists

ABSTRACT. Background

Service users’ voices are conspicuously absent from social work research, even as practitioner-research collaborations flourish. Inclusivity brings urgency to service users’ expertise. The emergence and growth of peer support specialists in behavioral health, nationally and internationally, is an important development (Gagne et al., 2018). Peers bring lived experience with mental illness, helping others toward stability and recovery through a deep understanding of shared struggles (Byrne et al., 2019). We discuss a practice-research effort highlighting peers (service users).

Main points

The Iowa Peer Workforce Collaborative (IPWC) is a collaboration between the University of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services in the United States. IPWC is developing the peer workforce through training, increasing agencies’ capacity to grow this workforce, and measuring progress toward outcomes. IPWC employs peers, university faculty, and staff to provide training and technical assistance. Peers, people with lived experience with mental illness and living well in recovery, are involved in all training content, implementation, and evaluation discussions.

Connection to conference

The presentation resonates with multiple sub-themes. We address challenges and possibilities in collaborations, power differentials, and ethical issues in service user-researcher-practitioner partnerships. We discuss methodologies for service users’ participation in research components. Finally, the work is grounded in empowerment theory, which informs practice and research.


Including service users as vital partners in practice-research collaborations increases the relevance, utility, and accuracy of social work initiatives. We discuss areas of future research, including a study of peer workforce turnover and retention.

Geok Ling Lee (National University of Singapore)
Corinne Ghoh (National University of Singapore)
4 - Disseminating findings and dialogues with stakeholders: Beyond engaging the practitioner self

ABSTRACT. Dissemination of findings is an essential element in the process of practice research. In the process of making sense of the findings, application of the findings in the practice context is the key focus, and must be addressed instead of merely focusing on the perspectives of knowledge, research or interest. Opportunities were created as part of the course requirements when Master of Social Work (MSW) students were asked to invite and present their findings to potential stakeholders, including service providers and service users. Most of the MSW students are trained social workers and have several years of practice. As such, they are able to engage the “practitioner self” in the process of disseminating findings, making good use of their practice, wisdom, and intuition. What is challenging to them is the need to adopt a “findings-in-environment” perspective too when disseminating findings. Many are at risk of viewing the findings from their practice lens and are less attuned to the socio-political environmental lens. The role of the educator is to facilitate the student’s awareness of the need to take ethical and political considerations into account when reporting. The hopeful result is that through creating a trusting dialogue with stakeholders, constructive actions are possible to address complex issues using a collective approach.

Jungup Lee (National University of Singapore)
2 - Key Challenges and Opportunities Arising in Graduate Students’ Practice Research Projects: Focusing on Ethics Review and Data Collection

ABSTRACT. During a year-long practice research (PR) journey, students have faced various issues. Particularly, preparing applications for ethics review and securing agencies’ support for participant recruitment and data collection have emerged as some key challenges. As most students are working in social service agencies (e.g., family service centre, youth centre, and hospital), their PR has targeted the service users, who are often considered as vulnerable groups as research participants by ethics review boards, and/or social service practitioners. They also have investigated sensitive research topics such as low-income families and homeless people. Thus, students must prepare ethics review materials carefully. In some cases, they need to prepare applications for ethics review by two institutions – one for University IRB and the other for their workplace or government ethics review committee. Due to the limited time period, it is critical for the instructor to guide students to manage all required application materials in a timely manner. Moreover, agencies’ support to the students’ PR is a key resource. Some agencies are supportive to their student practitioner’s PR by helping with recruitment and data collection, sharing agency documents or existing data, and contributing some budget towards participants’ reimbursement. Notably, agencies’ support for interviews with service users or practitioners can be instrumental in avoiding conflicts of research interests and protecting confidentiality of participants. Consequently, lack of support from agencies may amplify difficulties in data collection. This presentation will discuss the key issues that most students have faced and potential opportunities they have learned through their PR experience.

Yuk Yee Lee (School of Social Work, Gratia Christian College)
Jian Ling Liang (Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Hok Bun Ku (Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
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.

Zach Lee (Children's Cancer Foundation)
Trivia Yeo (Children's Cancer Foundation)
Chai Wee Khoon (Children's Cancer Foundation)
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 presentation, we outline a collaboration by 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 retrieval of actionable results, while managing the robustness of the study.

The goal of the project is to develop an overview of the caregiver’s needs that is not only representative of their experience, but also actionable to the practitioners. This is because, despite existing efforts, some of CSS’s programmes and services did not fully meet its intended outcome and reach. There were also difficulties operationalizing findings from the literature into actionable guidelines. The involvement of practitioners throughout the study is an intentional decision as their involvement to influence and shape the study to their needs is necessary to bridge the gap between practice and research.

Three key learnings have emerged from the study process that would help to facilitate future collaborations between researchers and practitioners, namely: (i) Negotiating the balance between representative and actionable results (ii) Managing the expectations of researchers, practitioners and service users in the process and (iii) The potential benefits of the service user-led approach in practice research.

Denise Liu (Fei Yue Community Services)
Peiyi Woo (AMKFSC Community Services Ltd)
Elizabeth Yee Min Chia (SHINE Children and Youth Services)
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.

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

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.

Amy Lynch (University of Sussex)
Jo Williams (University of Sussex)
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.

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

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.

Alys-Marie Manguy (The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne)
Lynette Joubert (The University of Melbourne)
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.

Robyn Martin (RMIT University)
Ronnie Egan (RMIT University)
Bawa Kuyini (RMIT University)
Rob Cunningham (RMIT University)
Patrick O'Keeffe (RMIT University)
Rachel Goff (RMIT University)
A community partnership approach to designing a sports-based youth development program in Melbourne, Australia

ABSTRACT. Sports-based youth-development programs support positive impacts on the psycho-social wellbeing, physical health, educational and employment outcomes of young people from diverse backgrounds (Cunningham et al., 2020). Evidence also suggests that including the experiences of people in the design of solutions to difficult to solve problems, such as crime prevention, enables better outcomes for individuals, families and their communities. This presentation reports on the expansion and redesign of an existing basketball program aiming to improve health and wellbeing and prevent (re)offending in young African-Australians living in Melbourne, Australia.

This collaboration - between grassroots resettlement support service, Afri-AusCare and RMIT University - adopts a community-based co-design methodology and integrates the African philosophy Ubuntu to test the relevance of and where appropriate, co-develop culturally humble design tools, such as card sorts, photo elicitation and empathy maps with Afri-AusCare service users. The co-development of the tools generate insights, identify community priorities, create the program prototype, and ensure meaningful, respectful and creative participation of the Afri-AusCare community.

The presentation will detail the longstanding partnership between the community organisation and social work academics, as well as the process of building relationships and co-developing both the program and research tools. We also report on the development of the prototype of the new program, implemented in partnering primary schools in February of 2023.

This presentation will provide practical information for social work practitioners and researchers interested in community-based co-design with culturally diverse communities and will highlight the potential for community empowerment and self-determination within a practice research setting.

Diletta Mauri (Trento University)
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.

Bowen McBeath (Portland State University)
Ana Sofia Castellanos (Portland State University)
Michael Austin (University of California Berkeley)
Organizational Supports and Practice Research Needed to Promote Service User Policy and Programme Advocacy

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.

Alison McInnes (Northumbria University)
Potentials and barriers in practice research when researching diversity in food poverty with colleagues in Uganda

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: This study arose in response to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) including the SDG 2 (Alleviation of Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities), which have amongst their targets an aim to eradicate preventable deaths in children under five years old. Sustainability is about equality between our present needs and the needs of future generations.

Methods: This is based on our collaborative research on ‘Practitioner perspectives on child feeding in Uganda’. We will discuss the aims of the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development (GA), which aims at strengthening the SW profession by building linkages between global challenges and local responses. To address these issues through nutritious child feeding, it was essential to understand the views and experiences of practitioners involved with child feeding practices. Our study drew on the views and experiences of practitioners working with the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS).

Results: This presentation will highlight  knowledge and attitudes towards child feeding in Uganda, with an emphasis on the GA in SW discourse and where solutions can be developed within  that community.  Three themes were developed from analysis of the data: Lifestyle Choices & Restrictions; Limited Resources & Facilities; and Knowledge & Education. 

Conclusions and implications: A reflection on the challenges encountered, lessons learnt, the potentials and barriers in participatory processes in practice research, and suggestions for better integrating the GA will be presented.

Alison McInnes (Northumbria University)
Critical reflective account of caring for ageing parents in the fourth age

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.

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

ABSTRACT. Background: With a a recent upsurge in interest and activity around participatory approaches in practice research in the last 10 years, conceptual clarity is needed for co-creation, co-production and co-design by categorising the contemporary theories (including theoretical frameworks) used in each, in the context of public health research.

Methods: The reporting of this systematic review follows the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA). We systematically searched PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus and APA PsycINFO from 2012 as markedly arisen interest in co-creation, co-production and co-design, until March-April 2022. A quality assessment was performed in addition to data extraction for theory content.

Results: Of the 3,763 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, while the other theories were only employed by one article. 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.

Jay Miller (College of Social Work, University of Kentucky)
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.

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

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.

Cecilie K. Moesby-Jensen (University College Absalon, Institute of Social Work)
Helle Schjellerup Nielsen (University College Copenhagen, Institute of Social Work)
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.

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

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.

Heidi Muurinen (Finnish institute for health and welfare)
Pekka Karjalainen (Finnish institute for health and welfare)
Eeva Liukko (Finnish institute for health and welfare)
A national pilot study on three practice models – possibilities and challenges for practice research

ABSTRACT. This presentation describes a practice research project in which researchers at the Finnish institute for health and welfare and professionals from 14 wellbeing services counties collaborate to create, pilot, and evaluate programme theories for three practice models. These practice models concern 1) social rehabilitation services, 2) low-threshold counselling and assistance and 3) outreach social work.

The initial programme theories were created based on three expert interviews and two collaborative workshop discussions in spring 2022. Meanwhile, a national evaluation research was designed and planned in close collaboration. As part of the project, the participating professionals are encouraged to conduct their own practitioner research to describe and evaluate the implementation process on a local level.

The ongoing national research analyses the outcomes of the practice models and in what conditions these outcomes were reached, and how the implementation of the core components succeeded. The national data is collected from the counties piloting the practice models during autumn 2022 to spring 2023. The data consists of short questionnaires for the clients and practitioner as well as group interviews with professionals. In social rehabilitation, EUROHIS-Qol 8-item index is also filled by clients in the beginning and end of the pilot phase. In their own practitioner research projects, the professionals may use parts of the same data or collect data of their own.

The presentation explores the preliminary results on the outcomes of the three practice models. Also, the experiences, possibilities, and challenges of conducting national research along with practitioner research are discussed.

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

ABSTRACT. In the Psychiatric Department, the North Denmark Region, the research program Peer Support and Recovery is conducted. The research group includes researchers, one research assistant and two co-researchers who, besides their academic degree, have own lived experience as users of the mental health service.

The program aims to explore and understand peer support and recovery from the perspectives of peer support workers (PSW), persons with mental health illness, and healthcare professionals from F-ACT teams and hospital wards in Denmark and to draw inferences between the perspectives.

The poster will be presenting how the lived experiences are applied into the research process. Furthermore, it discusses potentials, barriers and ethical issues.

Doing interviews with PSWs and patients: The co-researchers’ disclosure gives psychological comfort to the participants and different perspectives and observations on what is happening in the interview scenario.

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

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. So far, only positive experiences have been reported.

Further research: The impact on research quality in co-research. How to include current users in research.

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

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.

Nasriah Nasir (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS))
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.

Sidsel Natland (Oslo Metropolitan University)
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.

Irene Y.H. Ng (National University of Singapore)
Ranganayaki Thangavelu (Beyond Social Services)
Bee Leng Ng (AMKFSC Community Services)
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.

Kayonda Ngamaba (University of York)
Martin Webber (University of York)
2 - Implementing Connecting People in community mental health teams: good co-design but poor implementation

ABSTRACT. Background: Mental health services in the UK experience high demand and long waiting lists. People are often discharged back to primary care when acute crises have passed, so the opportunity to use social interventions to assist their recovery can be brief. Connecting People is a social intervention which practitioners can use to support a person to (re-)engage with their local community, though its implementation in community mental health teams was found to be limited in a previous pilot study. Methods: An implementation toolkit was co-designed with practitioners and service users to support the full implementation of Connecting People in community mental health teams. This included practice guidance, a training manual, an implementation manual and a service user leaflet. The use of the toolkit was evaluated in a pre-post controlled quasi-experimental study. Service users were interviewed at baseline (n=151) and at six-month follow-up (n=127). Results: Six-month follow-up data was available for 127 participants, and their outcome and cost data were analysed on an intention-to-treat basis. Analysis of primary and secondary outcome variables found no differences between the intervention and control groups. The economic evaluation found no significant differences between groups in mean costs or outcomes. Conclusion and implications: The co-designed toolkit was widely appreciated and positively evaluated by practitioners and service users alike. However, due to operational pressures and the dominance of medical and psychological interventions, social workers found it challenging to implement Connecting People. To give social interventions a chance to succeed, it is necessary to challenge professional hierarchies in mental health services and provide opportunities for full engagement in social work practice research.

Thi Thai Lan Nguyen (University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University)
Thu Huong Hoang (University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University)
5 - Social Work Education in Vietnam: Two Decades of Development

ABSTRACT. Social work education in Vietnam is considered as a key advanced component in the development of the social work profession. Unlike other countries worldwide, social work education was first set a foundation for the profession started in the late 1980s and officially given training code in 2004 before the recognition of its profession in 2010. Since then, social work education has been developing very fast in term of number of training institutions and programs at various levels. From only 2 schools firstly approved to provide undergraduate social work programs in 2004, it is now up to 58 schools with social work training, including 13 MSW and 2 PhD in social work. The most blooming period started from 2010 when the Government issued a national project on the development of the social work profession.

After almost of 20 years with its fast development, there have been considerable issues and challenges in keeping its quality and professionalization. As an imported profession, social work education depends on other countries’ program and materials. Hence in the recent 10 years, indigenization and authentication has becoming an increasing challenge. This presentation discusses about the development of social work development and professionalization in Vietnam. It then focuses on how to promote indigenous and authentic social work programs that appropriately meet the local needs and context.

Vibeke Nielsen (Institute of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University)
Lars Uggerhøj (Institue of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University)
Ilse Julkunen (Helsinki University)
Frida Westerback (Helsinki University)
Carla Pinto (University of Lisbon)
Social work, social welfare, unemployment and vulnerability among youth

ABSTRACT. Symposium

Social work, social welfare, unemployment and vulnerability among youth Young people represent a growing concern which can be seen in the increasing development of government policies. Studies show that a large proportion of the social/health care system resources used for young people do not seem to produce intended outcomes. A Nordic research network set out to challenge this and discuss:

How can we critically understand contemporary welfare state interventions on unemployment and poverty among youth in the context of societal transformation, and how can we develop future knowledge and methods of practice to combat poverty and exclusion in evolving welfare institutions?

The research collaboration included researchers, experts from policy and practice, and young people themselves. The main interests of the network was outcomes of real practices. How changed societal and policy frameworks manifest themselves in frontline practices. The result grown from this Nordic collaboration is seen in the Routledge publication Social work, social welfare, unemployment and vulnerability among youth edited by Vibeke Bak Nielsen, Petra Malin, Ilse Julkunen and Lars Uggerhøj, 2022. The overarching topic of the publication connects to challenges and possibilities in collaborations between partners - service users, practitioners, researchers, etc. as well as philosophical, theoretical, and conceptual foundations and inspirations in participatory approaches in Practice Research.


Introduction by Ilse Julkunen and Lars Uggerhøj

Paper 1. Frida Westerback and Matilda Wrede-Jäntti

Paper 2. Vibeke Bak Nielsen

Paper 3. Carla Pinto

Vibeke Bak Nielsen (Aalborg University)
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).

Liesanth Yde Nirmalarajan (Aalborg University, Department of Sociology and Social Work.)
Developments of 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.

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

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.

Maj Nygaard-Christensen (Aarhus University)
5 - Service journeys in research with structurally vulnerable people who use drugs

ABSTRACT. The paper presents findings from ongoing research with unstably housed and structurally vulnerable people in the Danish welfare system. The paper examines the use of ‘service journeys’ as a tool to produce detailed mappings of the barriers research participants experience in terms of access to key services. Examples may be a homeless man who uses drugs and urgently needs access to medication, or a woman at a drop-in centre needing to receive or renew digital identification. While ideally, such service journeys would be relatively straightforward or linear, mappings instead revealed complex geographical journeys involving multiple actors and services and often serendipitous encounters with service professionals and competing pressing agendas. The paper will present select cases and discuss the methodological implications of using service journeys as a tool to work with populations whose perspectives and experiences are often not included, because they are considered hard to reach. The paper builds on a broader, collaborative research project on ‘poverty work’, a term employed to capture the resources and strategies required to navigate the Danish welfare system for people on a very low – or no – income.

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

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.

Seyoung Oh (Samaritans of Singapore)
John Lam (Samaritans of Sngapore)
Li An Puah (Samaritans of Singapore)
Delilah Tan (Singapore University of Social Sciences)
Andre Shia (Singapore University of Social Sciences)
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.

Seyoung Oh (Samaritans of Singapore)
Janice Leong (Samaritans of Singapore)
Naomi Xiaoping Toh (Samaritans of Singapore)
Shawn Lai (Samaritans of Singapore)
Charlene Heng (Samaritans of 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.

Sze Shun Diana Ong (Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), Singapore)
Esther C L Goh (National University of 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.

Diana Ong Sze Shun (National University of Singapore)
5 - Pain and Pleasure of Conducting Practice Research: Reflection from a Master of Social Work Student

ABSTRACT. Prior to the capstone modules as a pre-requisite for the completion of a Master’s level programme, I had limited experience conducting a piece of research. The process of completing my first practice research study has been fulfilling and rewarding both as a student and practitioner under the guidance of an Academic Professor. The collaborative aspect of the research offers a professional perspective of a novice’s work. The frequent consultation was beneficial to refine, streamline and integrate data gathered from the service users and translate these data into valuable insights to improve the programme. Additionally, I learned the full suite of conducting a piece of practice research, expanding my knowledge, and learning to be more inquisitive, critical, and reflective in the process. This opportunity to learn was an immeasurable experience despite the tight timeline for completion of the study, amidst the peak of the pandemic locally.

Joanne Ong Yi Ting (Lakeside Family Services)
Theresa Jude (Lakeside Family Services (formerly))
Syl-Vyn Lim (Lakeside Family Services)
Joanna Yong Mun Foong (Lakeside Family Services (formerly))
Nan Jiang (National University of Singapore (formerly))
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.

Rosaleen Ow (National University of Singapore)
Ruth Tan (South Central Community Family Service Centre)
Ming Fang Cheong (South Central Community Family Service Centre)
Charlene Heng (Samaritans of Singapore)
Shawn Lai (Samaritans of Singapore)
Janice Leong (Samaritans of Singapore)
Seyoung Oh (Samaritans of Singapore)
Naomi Toh (Samaritans of Singapore)
Jungup Lee (National University of Singapore)
Judith Chew (KK Women's and Children's Hospital)
Christine Chua (KK Women's and Children's Hospital)
Winnie Lim (KK Women's and Children's Hospital)
Joanne Ong (Lakeside Family Services)
Theresa Jude (Lakeside Family Services)
Syl-Vyn Lim (Lakeside Family Services)
Joanna Yong (Lakeside Family Services)
Kheng Leng Tok (SHINE Children and Youth Services)
Elizabeth Chia (SHINE Children and Youth Services)
Nicole Liaw (SHINE Children and Youth Services)
Vanessa Koh (SHINE Children and Youth Services)
The Mrs. Lee Choon Guan Endowed Research Fund (LCGERF) Symposium: Methodologies – Practice Research and Capacity Building

ABSTRACT. The symposium comprises presentations by five research projects funded by the LCGERF on the strategies used by these projects in data collection, analysis and translation to practice in completing the research projects and the implications for increased creativity and capacity of the researchers and service users involved in the co-creation and completion of the research. For example, in one project the willingness of service users to learn and use other data collection strategies instead of face-to-face interviews during the pandemic, and practice circles by the researchers in analyzing data and testing of on-going findings in practice during the research process by another agency. The possibilities and challenges of using different strategies for data collection and analysis in practice research to improve service provision and delivery in practice research outcomes will be discussed.

Subadra Panchanadeswaran (Adelphi University)
Gowri Vijayakumar (Brandeis University)
Shubha Chacko (Solidarity Foundation)

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.

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

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.

Natia Partskhaladze (Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University)
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.

Kaisa Pasanen (University of Helsinki)
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.

Jie Hui Pek (South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd)
Denise Liu (formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd)
Community Involvement in Casework Interventions: The Boons and The Banes (A Qualitative Study)

ABSTRACT. Casework and community work have become increasingly dichotomous in practice, partly due to the professionalisation of social work. Recognising this, South Central Community Family Service Centre (SCC), a community-based social service agency (SSA) in Singapore, believes that social workers should adopt Community-Centric Practices (CCP) in casework, involving service users and other community members to collaboratively address the needs of casework service users through forging relationships and partnerships alongside the community. This research study examines the challenges and enablers towards adopting CCP.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 21 social workers and community workers before they were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically. Notably, in the research team, a researcher provided insight in methodology while two social workers offered insight in the clinical aspects of casework. The three members were in constant negotiation of power in deciding the research direction, methodology and thematic analysis through multiple discussions.

Our findings show that the challenges of adopting CCP include the practical and mental constraints of workers, receptiveness of service users towards community connections and institutional barriers surrounding confidentiality and accountability of risk. The enablers include existing relationships between community members, collaborative rapport between worker and casework service users and the worker’s active role in forging community connections.

At the agency level, the findings have informed the development of a CCP guide for workers, and the documentation of narratives of social workers and community members partnering in casework. At the sectoral level, clearer guidelines are required for SSAs' management of confidentiality and risk.

Melissa Petrakis (Monash University)
Louise Whitaker (Southern Cross University)
Carmel Halton (University College Cork)
Brenda Morris (Carleton University)
Liz Reimer (Southern Cross University)
Joanne Rose (University College Cork)
Monica Short (Charles Sturt University)
Caroline Walters (Monash University)
Co-creating curriculum using cooperative inquiry: Unlocking the expertise of service users, students, practitioners and educators

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.

Carla Pinto (University of Lisbon)
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.

Jonathan Prince (Hunter College)
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.

Lucy Rai (The Open University)
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.

Emilie Rasmussen (Aalborg University)
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.

Mona Kragelund Ravn (Aalborg Universitet)
Maria Appel Nissen (Aalborg Universitet)
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).

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

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.

Nooraini Md Razak (Singapore Muslim Women’s Association (PPIS))
1 - The Journey of Muslim Women – A Social Service Agency Perspective

ABSTRACT. Inspiring women, 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 and provides various services to the community in Singapore. Specifically formed to address issues related to women, this presentation will highlight the agency’s mandate, its commitment and contribution towards developing a community of successful women and thriving families. The sharing includes the formation of the various services targeted at addressing the multiple issues facing women and families in Singapore. As the services developed over the years, the agency faced challenges that required astute discussion and collaboration with various multiple stakeholders. The presentation illustrates the journey of the agency, the innovative approaches adopted, and the strategies taken to address the power differences that led to strong collaboration with multiple partners.

Susan Reay (University of Nebraska at Omaha)
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.

Dr Katherine Reid (Griffith University)
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.

Anne Riise (UiT The arctic university of Norway)
Young people in aftercare - actor in the collaboration with the social worker

ABSTRACT. The article is about young people's collaboration with the child welfare service (CWS) when they receive aftercare. In Norway, young people, who received help from the CWS before turning 18, may receive help in aftercare until the age of 25. Aftercare is volunteer and requires the young people’s consent. The CWS must facilitate participation, cf. the young person's age and maturity, and cooperate with the young person. The article explores young people's actions to achieve influence and self-determination in a micro, meso and macro perspective. Data consist of interviews with 26 young people in aftercare, which were thematically analyzed from a phenomenological hermeneutic approach. Findings show that the young people's main purpose for the collaboration was to negotiate practical support, such as economic support and housing. Some additionally initiated relationships and emotional support as a purpose for collaboration. However, the young people’s need for relationships and emotional support emerged when the practical support was established. In the collaboration, the young people achieved influence and self-determination by regulating contact with social workers and the CWS, participating on different social arenas, and handling the framework of CWS by conveying their opinions according to their rights. Through their actions and assessments of their position in the CWS, the young people's agency in the collaboration emerged. The study confirms the need for making young people collaboration partners when they turn 18 and enter aftercare, in which to meet the purpose of aftercare to contribute to gradual transitions to adulthood.

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

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.

Mette Rømer (Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University)
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.

Walter Schönfelder (UiT The Arctic University of 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.

Franziska Anna Seidel (University of Kassel)
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.

Sara Serbati (University of Padova)
Marco Ius (University of Trieste)
Paola Milani (University of Padova)
Professionals and families as co-researchers in the P.I.P.P.I. - Programme of Intervention for Prevention of Institutionalization

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.

Dr. Orna Shemer (School of Social Work ,The Hebrew University)
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.

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

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.

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

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.

Sanna Simonsson (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Edgar Marthinsen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Anne Moe (Norwegian University of Science and Technology)
Co-creation off track. A study of co-creation's travel from idea to reality

ABSTRACT. Aim: Ideas concerning co-creation in public welfare production are relatively new, and how these plays out in practice is still an area where further exploration is needed. This article examines co-creation as a concern of processual re-structuring of public sector with a focus on knowledge-integration and how this challenges the institutional logics of an organization while studying the conditions for co-creation in development of public welfare services. Leaning on theories of organizational learning, this article is a contribution in the terrain of co-creation as a theoretical ideal and practical reality.

Methods: Through a three year-long formative dialogue study, we have gained unique insight into factors impacting co-creation processes in organizational change. The study is set in an ongoing project seeking to apply co-creation with both users, employees and researchers as a method for development of new practices in a Norwegian municipality. The data is based on participative observation where we have followed the day-to-day processes since 2019 and taken part in over 100 meetings. Observations have been supplemented with qualitative interviews.

Results and discussion: The study adds to the existing knowledge that there are some significant barriers to overcome if co-creation is to be realized. The project seems to suffer under a disinclination towards the changes co-creation involves, and the co-creative processes got stalled after the project took a turn towards a traditional top-down arrangement. The conditions for co-creation will be discussed with reference to different understandings of knowledge and organizational barriers.

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

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.

Bruce Thyer (Florida State University, USA; North West University, South Africa)
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.

Kun Tian (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
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.

Siu Ming To (The Chinese University of 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.

Emma Tseris (University of Sydney)
Using creativity and dialogue to create ripples of system change

ABSTRACT. Background: It is well-known that mental health services frequently deliver poor or disappointing outcomes for service users. The critical literature has also identified significant human rights violations within acute mental health services, but achieving genuine system change is extremely challenging. Drawing on feminist theory, this study explored the first-person accounts of women with experiences of involuntary mental health treatment, while also drawing upon the perspectives of family/friends, mental health workers, and the general public.

Methods: Within a participatory methodology, including interviews, action research groups, and arts-based research, the project has enabled dialogue between survivors of psychiatric coercion, mental health workers, family/friends, and the general public. This approach has illuminated shared concerns about the adverse and dehumanising impacts of carceral responses to distress, while also requiring attention to significant power differentials and diverse social locations.

Results: Women experience many forms of gendered coercion within involuntary mental health services, which often exacerbate rather than alleviate distress. There is an urgent need to centre survivor voices in developing alternatives to carceral mental health treatment. Through creative practices, the project has demonstrated the benefits of questioning the constraints of biomedical, neoliberal, and risk-averse thinking in order to re-imagine responses to distress and difference, while also moving beyond the limitations of policy tweaks or rhetorical commitments to social justice. Through dialogue across diverse perspectives, the study has attempted to subvert the limitations of traditional academic scholarship and silos in mental health research, instead highlighting opportunities for consciousness-raising, system reform, increased community understandings, and social change.

Laura Tucker (University of York)
Martin Webber (University of York)
3 - Supporting unpaid carers during leave from detention: good intentions but poor implementation

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: A previous practice research project found that unpaid carers were infrequently involved in decisions about leave for people they care for who are detained under the Mental Health Act (MHA) 1983 in England. In response, this project developed and evaluated a 10-item ‘Standard’ to address the exclusion of carers from decisions about leave under s.17 MHA. This was primarily targeted at inpatient wards, but also aimed to engage with community mental health and voluntary sector support services for unpaid carers. Methods: The Standard was co-designed by carers and practitioners in a qualitative study involving interviews, focus groups and workshops. It was then piloted in six sites in a pre-post controlled quasi-experimental study. Qualitative and quantitative data was obtained through structured and semi-structured interviews. Results: This paper will present the findings of the study. These indicate that implementation of the Standard on inpatient wards was poor, due to work pressures and carers not being seen as a priority for inpatient staff in the context of limited resources. Although co-designed by carers and practitioners, the Standard does not appear to be a quick solution to the problem of supporting carers. Conclusion and implications: Power differentials within mental health services determine the priorities for limited resources. Unpaid carers are often on the periphery and their voices and seldom heard, meaning that their needs are seldom met. Understanding the barriers presented by this power imbalance hints at solutions to the problem, though additional resources and changes within services are required to overcome them.

Kathryn Turner (The University of Melbourne)
Person or Plan: An exploratory study of post-treatment care for people living with cancer from a clinical health social work perspective.

ABSTRACT. A cancer diagnosis becomes one of chronic illness as many people must adjust to an ongoing and long-term health threat. Many people experience significant psychosocial barriers to returning to their pre-morbid level of functioning post-treatment, with some facing life-long social disadvantage consequently. In a context of increased social vulnerability and psychosocial distress that may persist, timely access to supportive psychosocial care resources is important to coping and readjustment. There are several issues that are problematic for survivorship planning, with a realignment of practice potentially warranted. While clinical health social workers are well placed to provide follow up care in treatment settings, the lived experience, views and preferences of consumers in engaging with this care are not extensively explored or described. This research project references the Victorian Government’s Cancer Services Framework; follow up care is a key service in the provision of supportive care, informing the context for clinical health social work practice. Preliminary investigation has sought to focus and clarify choices of practice research techniques. A scoping review and clinical data mining function together identify current theory, debates and tensions for survivorship planning and care. The current phase of this project aims to build on the findings of the scoping review, utilising a clinical data mining tool, with a retrospective case audit (N = 100) proposed. Critical concerns for stakeholders, including how they might define themselves in relation to survivorship, must be further explored. Stakeholder input is key in informing the future goal of developing clinical guidelines that are evidence-informed.

Lars Uggerhøj (Aalborg University)
1 - Keynote and Q&A: Thoughts and philosophy behind the involvement of people with lived experiences

ABSTRACT. **coming**

Tammy Wallace (Jumani Consulting)
Phil Crane (University of the Sunshine Coast)
Alannah Grace (Churches of Christ Queensland)
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.

Lina Wallberg (University of Gothenburg)
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, partly through life stories and partly through professional speech.

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 do professionals talk about homelessness and the needs of homeless people? What opportunities and limitations do they experience with respect to helping homeless service users?

Co-creation will be implemented through a reference group from forming the research questions, designing the interview guides, and discussing the results. Interviews will be conducted with homeless people, as well as focus group interviews with professionals working in the homelessness field.

Caroline Walters (Monash University)
Melissa Petrakis (Monash University)
4 - Mental Health Family Carer Experiences during COVID-19: navigating complexity and diversity within a co-designed and co-produced Australian national study

ABSTRACT. Background: Mental Health Family Carers were a group of people identified as experiencing increased vulnerability arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Australian National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF), a national voice for mental health consumers and carers in Australia, through a grant from the National Mental Health Commission (NMHC) commissioned Social Work Innovation, Transformation and Collaboration in Health (SWITCH) Research Group, Monash University, Australia, to undertake a research project in 2021-2022. The aim was to develop an evidence base on mental health carer experiences, distress and unmet needs during the COVID-19 pandemic across Australia.

Methods: Using a co-design and co-production methodology, the university partner worked with a Research Project Steering Group (PSG), conducting two methods of data collection: 7 co-facilitated focus groups (73 participants) and online surveys (190 people commenced and 101 completed).

Results: Establishing a PSG from the commencement of the project and the inclusion of members in designing, conducting the research, and analysing the data, resulted in data that was enriched with the voice of families. Further to this, reflection on the process led to key learnings regarding working collaboratively with carers and consumers within national and state organisations representing mental health carers, as well as organisations with lived experience membership from regional, rural and remote, culturally and linguistically diverse people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands communities. Innovative methods of engagement were used to undertake this research in an online environment across distance.

Conclusions: Key learnings included how to, navigate complexity in co-design and co-production of a national data collection study – collaborating with carers, consumers, academia and service providers – to gain insights into the complexity and diversity of family caring experiences, resources and unmet needs, with recommendations to further embed ways to make sustainable differences for family carers. These will be presented at the conference.

Martin Webber (University of York)
Beth Casey (University of York)
1 - Supported volunteering at Ripon Museums: 'De-researchifying' research processes and methods in a sensitive way

ABSTRACT. Background and purpose: Supported volunteering provides a way for people who require additional support to access volunteering opportunities. However, limited research has been conducted on supported volunteering so we do not know enough about how, and if, it might help people. This paper explores how the qualitative methods used for an evaluation of supported volunteering at Ripon museums in the UK were adapted to encourage participation. Methods: Participants had the opportunity to choose how they participated in the research. This included having a conversation with a researcher about their experience of support (rather than more formal interviews); being observed by a researcher being supported; or completing an audio or written diary about their experiences. The methodological approach taken in this study was informed by volunteers with mental health problems and staff providing the support within the museums. Results: The paper will reflect on the ‘sensitive’ research approach taken; the use and experience of participating in different methods; and comparisons between the data produced. The resulting guide to supported volunteering will be presented to illustrate how lived experience can inform both the research process and products emerging from the research. Conclusions and implications: The paper will conclude with practical considerations and the researchers’ reflections on the methods used.

Martin Webber (University of York)
Kayonda Ngamaba (University of York)
Laura Tucker (University of York)
Cheyann Heap (University of York)
Collaboration with practitioners and service users in mental health social work practice research in the UK: challenges and new directions

ABSTRACT. The collaboration of researchers, service users and practitioners is at the heart of practice research. Each brings their expertise, skills and experience to the task of addressing practice questions. But bringing together people with different perspectives, opportunities for participation in research, and power in the research process, is not without its complications. For example, practitioners can be too busy to engage in research; service users may feel that the questions being asked are not sufficiently relevant for them; and researchers may become frustrated that services are unable to trial new ways of working. These experiences – and others – will be discussed in this symposium which focuses on the challenges of researchers, practitioners and service users working together to undertake practice research in mental health social work in the UK. The four papers will explore how collaboration works – or doesn’t work – in developing and evaluating interventions to (1) support volunteers with wellbeing challenges in a heritage organisation; (2) connect people with mental health problems with others in their local community to enhance their access to social capital; (3) support carers of people detained in hospital under mental health legislation during periods of leave; and (4) work with a local community to enhance social prescribing. Multiple methods will be discussed, which include co-design, participatory qualitative interviews and participant-led data collection. The symposium will discuss delegates’ experiences via the challenges encountered in these projects to identify new directions for collaboration in mental health social work practice research.

Pernille Wisti (Aalborg University)
Liesanth Yde Nirmalarajan (Aalborg University)
Collaborative attempts and struggles: Service user involvement, shared learning processes and knowledge

ABSTRACT. The potential of Practice Research can include contributions to practice in social work based on knowledge produced by service users, researchers, social work practitioners etc. This workshop invites attendees to a joint learning process and discussion of opportunities for service user involvement. Knowing power dynamics of inequality or asymmetrical relations influence the involvement - whether decision-making, collaboration, joint learning processes or changes in practice - we approach different democratic processes by studying how shared knowledge is made possible in Practice Research. What measures and circumstances must be considered when this is the ambition?

Every practice research process has its’ unique challenges, interests, and distinct characteristics. Yet across empirical fields and results, the attempts and struggles to co-produce knowledge with service users have similar traits. We suggest inspiring each other, sharing these unique experiences and successes, and raising concerns related to service user perspectives and agencies; the positions and responsibilities; agendas, collaboration, and joint learning processes. After two short pitches, the shared discussion relates to hands-on research practices, different forms of agency etc. to inspire and motivate a shared ambition to develop and strengthen service user involvement in Practice Research. To stimulate the joint learning process, the workshop facilitates a digital, co-produced, generic document of key points, recommendations, and experiences. This can reflect the attendees’ active discussions of and reflections about such perspectives as the workshop strives to make use of the overarching experiences of practice research with a particular focus on service users’ positions in such processes.

Pernille Wisti (Aalborg University)
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.

Phyllis King Shui Wong (The Chinese University of 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.

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

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.

Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher)
Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher)
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.

Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher)
Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher)
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

Peiyi Woo (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd.)
Kwan Boon Tan (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd.)
Daryl Tan (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd.)
Lora Pham (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd.)
Eswari Annavee (Formerly South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd.)
Ming Fang Cheong (South Central Community Family Service Centre Ltd.)
1 - Risk Management or Asset-Building? Social Work Practice Research in Financial and Home Ownership Conversations

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.

Bin Xu (University of Science and Technology Beijing)
Ting Zhang (University of Science and Technology Beijing)
Does "Professional" Equal to "Excellent"? Practice Research on A community Building project

ABSTRACT. Social workers, as an important professional practitioner of community building, need to consider how to make the professional knowledge integrate with local knowledge, and to promote sustainable development of community building effectiveness. Based on the framework of social practice theory, this study used participant observation and semi-structured interviews, analyzed the practitioner's strategies and mechanisms in the community garden building by describing the whole process of community garden building in Q community, and reflected how the practice could not achieve the expected goals. The study found that the professional practitioner indeed improved the spatial appearance of the community and promoted the residents' participation in the short term. However, those Professional practitioners neglected or misunderstood the residents' experiences and local knowledge because of their overconfidence to the professional knowledge and technically arbitrary. The residents are often submissive to the professional practitioner because of they are used to think the profession is the best. Dose Professional must be the best? Cultural competence is the most important when professional practitioners are in the field. They also should realize the cultural illiteracy might be their big challenge in the practice process.

Benjamin Sen Son Yeo (Fei Yue Community Services)
Mohamed Rauf Redza Bin Mohamed Fauzi (Fei Yue Community Services)
Denise Liu (Fei Yue Community Services)
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.

Xinyao Yu (Independent Researcher)
Peiyi Woo (Independent Researcher)
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.

Lauren Zeuschner (Federation University 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.

Tian Zhou (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
Taishu Xie (Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
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.

Ester Zychlinski (School of Social Work, Ariel University)
Maya Kagan (School of Social Work, Ariel University)
Perceptions of service users (activists, clients) and people who never had interpersonal interaction with social workers, towards them.

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.