Lifeworld-Oriented Family Support
Since the spring of 2014, the authors of this article, joined by a wider group of students, have been dedicated to researching vulnerable families and their involvement with education systems. In the initial phase, we explored the experiences and challenges that these families face and how they understand and address these challenges. Next, we were interested in the forms of support that these families receive, how the network of educational and social welfare services responds to their needs, and the quality of their cooperation.
We found that both the families and the expert services experience dissatisfaction when it comes to their cooperation: families often feel that they are being sent from one door to another with their problems, which remain unaddressed, while expert services feel that they cannot cope with the problems of vulnerable families, problems that they view as insoluble.
Our pivotal finding is therefore that it is vital to develop more flexible and consistent forms of support that respond to the concerns and challenges of the daily lives of vulnerable families (Razpotnik et al. 2015). In the action research reported on in the present article, we have focused on investigating the development of a newly emerging flexible and comprehensive
form of family support that was co-initiated by ourselves (the researchers) and primarily implemented by volunteers and NGO workers. The main characteristics of this support are flexibility, presence in the daily lives of the family, building a cooperative relationship, and prioritising the dynamics and needs of the family rather than the formal demands of organisations and institutions.
The article delineates the emerging approach of lifeworld-oriented support, which is implemented and reported on first and foremost by the volunteers involved. Lifeworld-oriented support is a supplementary addition to conventional forms of family support, represented and reported on predominantly by representatives of educational and social welfare organisations.
Canavan, N., Pinkerton, J., & Dolan P. (2006). Family support as reflective practice. London: Jessica Kingsle Publishers.
Čačinovič Vogrinčič, G. (2016). Social work with families: The Theory and practice of Co-creating Processes of Support and Help. In N. Mešl, & T. Kodele (2016). Co-Creating Processes of Help: Collaboration wih Families in the Community. Ljubljana: Faculty of Social Work.
Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. London: SAGE.
Doolan, M. (2007). Working towards and effective agency mandate for family group conferences. In C. Ashley, & P. Nixon (Eds.), Family Group Conferences – Where Next? London: Family Rights Group.
Flaker, V. (2012). Kratka zgodovina dezinstitucionalizacije v Sloveniji [Short History of
Deinstitutionalisation in Slovenia]. Časopis za kritiko znanosti, domišljijo in novo antropologijo, 250, 13–30.
Freire, P. (1972). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.
Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (2005). Participatoriy action research: Communicative Action the Public Sphere. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.): The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd. ed. pp. 559–603). Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Merkel-Holguin, L. (2004). Sharing power with the people: Family group conferencing as a democratic experiment. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 31(1), 155–173.
Mikuš-Kos, A. (1979). Nepoklicno prostovoljno preventivno in socialno terapevtsko delo z otroki in mladino [Unprofessional, voluntary, preventive and socio therapeutically work with children and youth]. Ljubljana: Inštitut za sociologijo.
Mollenhauer, K. (1972). Theorien zum Erziehungsprocess [Theories within Education process]. Munich: Juventa.
Morris, K., Burford, G., & Barnes, M. (2009). Family decision making: new spaces for participation and resistance. Policy Press: University Press Scholarship Online.
Ney, T., Stoltz, J. A., & Maloney M. (2011). Voice, power and discourse: Experiences of participants in family group conferences in the context of child protection. Journal of Social Work, 13(2), 184–202.
Razpotnik, Š. (2014). Socialno v socialni pedagogiki [Social in social pedagogy]. Sodobna pedagogika, 65(3), 54–70.
Razpotnik, Š., Turnšek, N., Rapuš-Pavel, J., & Poljšak-Škraban, O. (2015). Potrebe ranljivih družin in odzivi vzgojno-izobraževalnega sistema [The Needs of Vulnerable Families and the responses of Educational System]. In T. Devjak (Ed.), Vpliv družbenih sprememb na vzgojo in izobraževanje [The Impact of Social Changes for Education], (pp. 309–324). Ljubljana: Pedagoška fakulteta.
Rodrigues, S., Sousa, L. (2008). Intervening in-between: controlling and/or collaborating?, In L. Sousa (Ed.), Strengthening Vulnerable Families (pp. 17–36). New York: Nova Science.
Sousa, L. (2005). Building on personal networks when intervening with multi-problem poor families. Journal of Social Work Practice 19(2), 163–179.
Sousa, L. (2008). Actions towards strengthening vulnerable families. In L. Sousa (Ed.), Strengthening Vulnerable Families (pp. 177–193). New York: Nova Science.
Stritih, B. (1995). Prostovoljno delo kot prostor, v katerem se oblikujejo generativne teme [Voluntary work as a space where generative themes generate]. Socialno delo, 34(1), 5–20.
Thiersch, H. (1992). Lebensweltorientierte Soziale Arbeit [Lifespace oriented Social Work]. Munich: Juventa.
Van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of critical discourse analysis. Discourse & Society, 4(2), 249–283.
Walsh, F. (2006). Normal Family Processes: Growing Diversity and Complexity. New York: The Guilford Press.
Zimerman, A. (2000). Empowerment theory psychological organisation and community levels of analysis. In J. Rappaport, & E. Seidman (Eds.). Handbook of Community Psychology (pp 43–63). New York: Academic/Plenum.
Zorc-Maver, D. (2006). Socialna pedagogika v družbi negotovosti [Social Pedagogy in the Risk Society]. In M. Sande, B. Dekleva, A. Kobolt, Š. Razpotnik, & D. Zorc-Maver (Eds.), Socialna pedagogika: izbrani koncepti stroke [Social Pedagogy: professional Concepts] (pp. 23-35). Ljubljana: Pedagoška fakulteta.
In order to ensure both the widest dissemination and protection of material published in CEPS Journal, we ask Authors to transfer to the Publisher (Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana) the rights of copyright in the Articles they contribute. This enables the Publisher to ensure protection against infringement.