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Supporting families in need: a qualitative case study of the support care intervention

Roberts, Louise ORCID: 2013. Supporting families in need: a qualitative case study of the support care intervention. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis presents a qualitative case study of support care, a supportive intervention for families in crisis and at risk of breakdown. The service involves families being matched with a support carer, who it is envisaged will engage with parents and provide regular short breaks for children and young people. The service aims to provide support that is responsive to families’ individual needs. Although flexible, the service is time-limited with typical intervention periods lasting between six and twelve months. Three Support Care schemes in operation in England and Wales participated in the research and ten individual placements were followed for their duration. Semi-structured interviews and participant observation constituted the principal research methods. The study included the participation of key support care stakeholders, including social workers, support carers, parents, children and young people. The thesis sought to understand how Support Care was delivered, how it was perceived and experienced, and how it attempted to alleviate family difficulty. In addition, the study provided a microcosm of how policy, practice and theory inherent in the relationship between the family and the State are enacted and experienced at the point of service delivery. The empirical chapters are concerned with the functions and features of time within the service, the relationships forged over the course of the intervention and attempts to support families towards ‘good enough’ levels of functioning. The findings of the research suggest Support Care is valued by stakeholders. The service can be applied to support families with a variety of difficulties and the practical and relational elements of the support are appreciated by service users. However, the time-limited nature of the service is sometimes experienced as challenging and difficulties are not necessarily considered resolved at service conclusion.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 09:29

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