Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN26_04: Parenthood and family support
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Berit Irene Vannebo, Nord University
Location: GM.328
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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Bottom-up Approach In Social Planning and Outcome Evaluation: A Case-Study of Parenthood Support Program in South Italy

Caterina Balenzano, Giuseppe Moro, Rosalinda Cassibba

University of Bari, Italy

The qualitative study analyzes a parenthood support group (PSG) provided in the context of a Family Centre Services (FCS) located in a suburban-area of South-Italy, putting together data from participant observation and focus group discussions (FGD) involving users and social workers.

Parents’ requests, expectations, outcome and unmet needs have been considered: a) to evaluate the experience of a PSG and to guide the planning of new project activities in the service (bottom-up social planning); b) to identify specific constructs of the parenthood - representing both users’ needs and expected outcome of the program- usable to experiment evidenced-based need assessment and outcome evaluation systems (bottom-up assessment and evaluation).

Regarding the first aim (a), results highlighted that initial parents’ expectations to receive a practical help regarding family conflicts and sons’ problems (explicit needs) become awareness of their need for interpersonal confrontation and social sharing, in order to improve oneself as persons and as parents (implicit needs). The high level of satisfaction expressed by participants confirms the social workers’ ability to intercept their real needs and planning a tailored-made intervention aimed to promote parental competences. The coherence between parents’ needs and outcomes denotes a strength of the implementing model adopted by social workers, but the lack of a direct confrontation between parents and sons represents a barrier to the family cohesion. These results have guided the planning of specific activities where more family members are involved.

Regarding the second aim (b), researchers have hypothesized an evaluation protocol to use both to estimate the effectiveness of parenting support activities (pre-post comparison) and to adopt an empirical need assessment model usable to plan specific activities, according to a bottom-up approach.

How Unconditional Cash Transfers Can Change Social Welfare? The Impact Of The „Family 500+” Programme On The Structure Of Welfare Recipients In Poland

Mateusz Robert Trochymiak

Warsaw University, Poland

The “Family 500+” is the name of the child benefit programme dedicated to the all polish households with more than a one child. The „500+” benefit cannot be treated as income to those who apply for the social welfare support and means-tested cash transfers. Before the programme was introduced in 2015, there were two competitive hypothesis about the impact on the welfare recipients. The first one assumed that financial situation of the welfare recipients will improve and they will give up other cash benefits, mainly because of the high cost of receiving it. The second, more popular, assumed that welfare recipients are „welfare dependent” and despite an improvement of financial situation they will continue to consume other cash benefits. Analysis of the changes in the structure of population of social welfare recipients between 2014-2017 verified those hypothesis. The analysis focused on change in the households with children (target group of the “Family 500+”) and lonely parents. The data cover the population of the social welfare recipients in Poland . Data used in analysis was shared for the purpose of the project „The role of the social transfers in the household budgets of the welfare recipients in Poland” financed by the National Science Center 2017/25/N/HS5/01623

Expectant Parents and Midwives’ Experience Following a Maternity Ward Closure: Risk, Distance and Power

Emelie Larsson

Mid Sweden University, Sweden

Centralization politics have affected the organization of maternity care in countries around the world, often resulting in closures and relocation of smaller maternity units. In sparsely populated countries with vast distances, such changes have meant an increased number of people who need to travel far to reach maternity care. In Sweden, a reorganization of the health-care system in the 1990s – transforming the previous welfare model to one inspired by New Public Management – has been a key reason to the closure of several maternity units, the majority located in Sweden’s northern region. In 2017, the closure of the maternity ward at the hospital in Sollefteå, an 8000 inhabitants town, sparked a broad public debate as the locals occupied the ward.

The study builds on interviews with expectant parents in the town, as well as midwives who used to work at the ward, focus being on how the interviewees narrate risk and distance. Drawing on a feminist theoretical perspective, risk and distance are in this context understood as simultaneously material and abstract phenomena that intersect with power structures such as gender and center-periphery. Preliminary results suggest that parents and midwives associate risks with three categories of distance: geographical (the route to the hospital), social (feeling dislocated in the “new”, bigger hospital), and political (feeling ignored by decision-makers). In different ways, the interviewees’ social position determine how they perceive risk and distance in the new situation.

Single-parenthood And The Welfare State - Towards Adaptive Universalism?

Martin Wagener

UCLouvain-CIRTES, Belgium

The Belgian welfare state was historically structured regarding socio-professional situations and family status, which also referred to different forms of solidarity and care inside the family. Based on a research regarding single-parenthood in Brussels, we will address how recent transformations struggle to better adapt to transformations regarding the way individuals live together with others and how they share parental responsibilities. Inspired by the founding works of Blumer (1971), we will retrace through a sociological perspective how different actors (public administrations, governments, unions, as well as the « civil society » and researchers) have participated at a long process of « collective definition » that constructed single-parenthood as a new category (Dubois, 2009) of regional work policy and federal social welfare policy. Based on a qualitative survey (observation and interviews), as well as longitudinal statistics, we analyse how the various situations of single-parenthood are approached through the tension between the will to assert and recognize the specificities of these situations (cf.targeting), and the choice to favour a universal approach. The notion of “adapted universalism” permits to explain, following our hypothesis, the connections that were carried out the last years with work and welfare policy.

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