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The whole family approach in policy and practice: the construction of family and the gendering of parenting.

Lee, Jacqueline 2014. The whole family approach in policy and practice: the construction of family and the gendering of parenting. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

This thesis interrogates what a whole family approach is in Welsh policy and practice utilising an Integrated Family Support Team (IFST) as the case study. The study examines the construction of ‘family’ in policy, practice and by parents themselves and the impact of gender on practitioner and parental normative constructions of mothering and fathering as care practices. Both the UK and Welsh governments locate their use of a whole family approach within a social exclusion framework that views strong familial bonds as the source of sustainable social capital. Documentary analysis is used to examine the policy construction of a whole family approach and of the target families themselves, as this has implications for the application of a whole family approach in practice and the type and nature of family engagement. To date there has been very limited articulation of the therapeutic process entailed in a whole family approach. Through the use of practitioner interviews this thesis addresses that gap in research. It is imperative to gain an understanding of how practitioners conceptualise and engage with families within a whole family approach as this determines which individuals are included and excluded. This is a particularly pertinent issue given the well-rehearsed arguments regarding mother-blaming and lack of father inclusion within child protection practice. Parental perspectives on the construction of ‘family’, and aspirations for both family life and their own mothering and fathering practices, are explored via analysis of parental accounts and values card-sort statements as recorded (and thereby mediated) by IFST practitioners. The findings from this analysis are that there is a considerable degree of constructive conceptual alignment between policy, practice and parental perspectives on the construction of family, and the gendering of parenting as care practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 23:52
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/69695

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