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Title: Learning from and for supporting families
Authors: Phillips, Katherine
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This document comprises three papers: a systematic literature review (chapter 1), a bridging document (chapter 2) and a piece of empirical research (chapter 3). The systematic review focuses on whether and how family resilience can be enhanced through support interventions within the community, taking a mixed-method approach to reviewing findings from seven papers. Community interventions were reported as having a positive impact on family resilience, well-being or functioning within the sampled studies. Components of successful interventions described within the papers were assessment, concrete services, educational services, emotional support, and social or community support. Consideration was also given to how support was put into practice and the theoretical approaches underlying the interventions. However, it was noted that a majority of the studies reviewed used narrow quantitative outcome measures; highlighting the need not only for consideration of wider outcome measures when evaluating impact, but also the need for a qualitative approach to provide richer data on how support is experienced by the families themselves. This led to a piece of empirical research on parents’ experiences of the Common Assessment Framework (CAF), a framework for assessing and supporting children and families with additional needs. Parents from three families were interviewed on their experiences and a broad approach was taken to allow findings to be grounded in the interview data. By examining parents’ narratives of CAF meetings and the implicit role expectations for both parents and professionals within this process, the possibilities for learning and enhancing relational agency were highlighted. It was suggested that parents were expected to take on a professional-like role and experienced new language demands in engaging with the CAF process. In meeting these demands, parents’ faith in, and reliance on, professional expertise decreased. This was taken to highlight parents learning and developing relational agency through their interactions with the collective knowledge and expertise available within the CAF process. The tentative understanding of parents’ experiences developed through their narratives emphasises the importance of recognising the experiences of families within models of interagency learning and the need for professionals to consider how to integrate this understanding into their practice. ii A bridging document explains how the findings of the systematic review led to the development of the research. It details the theoretical and epistemological underpinnings of the research, providing a critical justification for the methodology adopted. It also provides greater detail on the methods applied in the research, considering critical ethics and reflexivity.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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