Neuvolan perhetyö vanhemmuuden varhaisena tukena ja yhteistyönä
This study investigates experiences of early support and family work offered via child health centres from the perspectives of parents and professionals. This model of family work was part of a national development project in social and health services in Finland designed to support the well-being of Finnish families with children and further develop family services. The overall purpose of this qualitative study was to describe and analyze parents' and family professionals' experiences of this new approach to family support and working in the project. Besides describing and analyzing these experiences, the aim of the study was to identify what kinds of controversies, or tensions, and cultural expectations are linked to this work that takes place in between the private and public spheres. In the summary, I discuss how the private and public spheres meet in family work, and how criticisms of family work and the support received are linked to each other in practice. A further purpose was to study the possibilities for family work afforded via the guidance work done by child health clinics. The benefits and challenges of new projects of this kind in social and health care are also discussed. Three datasets were gathered; semi-structured interviews from parents (n=9) and family professionals (n=8), and diary data from family professionals (n=8) working in the family work development project. The diaries were used as secondary data. The data analysis included both narrative analysis (interviews with parents and diary data) and content analysis (interviews with professionals). The study found that support, especially the use of home visits, was valued by parents, and that, after trust had been established, both family workers and parents reported benefiting from the process. Parents respected the professionals’ expertise, time and family-centred working but would have wanted concrete help with house work and child care. The professionals reported that family-centred home visiting was a useful method and benefited both the child and the work of the maternity clinic. The process was helped by having clients in common and shared information and understanding about working with each family. On the other hand, lack of resources and the ongoing changes in the work culture in health and social services presented challenges. The results underline the importance of early support and home visiting. The study produces new information and extends earlier knowledge on parenting support and the importance of early support, as well as on professionals working with families and working collaboratively. The results can be utilized in developing similar projects and models of early support, and in promoting the working culture of professionals, especially inter-professional collaboration between the domains of social and health care. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä
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