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När många vill "hjälpa till": Barns och ungdomars erfarenheter av interprofessionellt samarbete inom den sociala barnavården
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Social Pedagogy and Sociology. (BUV)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4538-6555
University West, Department of Social and Behavioural Studies, Division of Psychology and Organisation Studies. (BUV)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3328-6538
2014 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)Alternative title
Surrounded by Support : The experiences of children and youth of interprofessional collaboration in social services (English)
Abstract [en]

The concept of children's agency can be used to understand how children actively shape their lives. While in social work there is a growing body of research on how children experience meetings that involve collaborating professionals, little is known about the ways in which they exert an influence and the strategies they use. The purpose of the study was, in a Swedish context, to explore children's perceptions of their agentic capacity to influence who works with them when many different professionals are involved in providing support. Secondly, the aim was to investigate the perceptions of their agentic capacity in regulating their participation and exerting an influence on outcomes in interprofessional collaborative meetings. Interviews were carried out with 28 children in receipt of social services support. The results revealed that, for the older children, perceptions of the exercise of agency involved both the exclusion of certain professionals from the collaborating group as well as the identification of those perceived asbeing able to help. Additionally, the children's agency could be seen to be implicated in their perceptions of actively making decisions to acquiesce in collaborative solutions. For the younger children agency was revealed in the way that they interpreted the situations involving collaborating professionals, recognizing that it is primarily parents who decide about contact with different 'helpers". Findings with regards to the second aim revealed that children perceive professionals' talk as restricting opportunities for input. They also perceive they have capacity to exercise agency by (i) conforming to expectations by pretending to be bored and disengaged, butat the same time paying close attention to what is going on, alert to important details concerning them, (ii) by using exit strategies, and (iii) by developing 'in-situ' strategies to end meetings believed to be of little value. Rather than, as previously suggested, being powerless in such circumstances, the children talk of how they carefully assess situations, and, from a position of apparent subordination, talk of ways of acting that reveal their agentic capacity. These insights are of importance for practitioners, who are encouraged to look beyond behaviours that first meet the eye.This research has been funded by the Swedish Children's Welfare Foundation Sweden (Stiftelsen Allmänna Barnhuset)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: Högskolan Väst , 2014. , 36 p.
Rapport Högskolan Väst, 2014:1
Keyword [en]
Child protection work, children’s agency, children’s voices, interprofessional collaboration, children at risk
National Category
Psychology Social Work
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-6020OAI: diva2:703817
Available from: 2014-03-10 Created: 2014-03-10 Last updated: 2015-01-28

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Bolin, AnetteSorbring, Emma
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