Voice and meaning: the wisdom of family support veterans
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Devaney, Carmel, & Dolan, Pat. (2017). Voice and meaning: the wisdom of Family Support veterans. Child & Family Social Work, 22, 10-20. doi: 10.1111/cfs.12200
Although a widely accepted term in child welfare discourses, thereremains a vagueness as to what Family Support as a named orientationin children and family services actually entails.This lack of clarityis, at times, used to detract from its usefulness within the policy andpractice arena. Using the accumulated wisdom of a select group ofaccomplished managers, academics and policy makers in social workand social care, this paper retrospectively reviews the evolution ofFamily Support within the Irish context and distils the core characteristicsof Family Support practice and service delivery. An unstructurednarrative inducing interview was conducted with 14 veterans ofFamily Support and child welfare. Participants who are based in theUSA, the UK and Ireland each had between 30 and 60 years experienceworking in this field. Salient factors were identified by participantsas having contributed to the growth of Family Support. Specificand distinct characteristics of Family Support practice and serviceswere also categorized by these veterans, providing voice and meaningto Family Support as a specific approach. This paper addresses thedebate on Family Support with its place as an accepted and valuedorientation within the child welfare arena acknowledged.
Unable to archive publisher's version: http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/1356-7500/