Researching different stories about family work
Family Research Centre University of Jyväskylä Jyväskylä, Finland
In Finland most of the families with small children get along well. Nevertheless the cost of child welfare and the need for preventive family services is growing. Different projects to support families with children have become general in Finland. For example some municipalities have begun to model a new family service based on early intervention to support families with small children in order to support parenthood in the early stage. Such early interventions include, for example, family workers´ consultation at families´ homes. My qualitative and sociological PhD study focuses on family work of this kind. I am studying how do different social actors experience this early intervention model by interviewing family professionals such as family workers and client families.
The data for my qualitative case study consists of interviews and written diaries. I interviewed families and several family professionals (17 informants in 12 interviews altogether) who were all participating this working model. Besides this interviewed data there will be second data which consists of family professionals written diaries. These diaries will be analyzed at the later stage of my research. Interviews with the family members bring out important aspects of parenting, daily life in the family, and the importance of family support from the family professionals and other services. The data from the family professionals also reveals important qualitative information about working with families by using this particular working method. The data is handled by using the method of narrative analysis.
In this presentation I will concentrate on my analysis and the preliminary results with the interview data from the family professionals. I´m interested in researching how professionals working with the families with small children experience this working model of early support. The questions, among others, are how professionals perceive the families´ needs for this kind of early support and what do these demands reveal about the wellbeing of the families in today´s society.
On the basis of the data I created narratives about the experiences of the professionals and these narratives will be discussed more precisely in my presentation.