Inddragelse af udsatte unge : Et aktionsforskningsprojekt

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Marianne Klixbüll
  • Marie Johnsen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In the media agenda, on a political level and in the formulation of legislation there has been a growing focus on involving socially exposed children and young people in decisions about their lives and in the working out of social pedagogic initiatives directed at them. At the same time, a report from Børnerådet has recently pointed out that children and young people placed in care consistently experience a lack of acknowledgement and respect in their exposure to the social system.
This thesis is about what happens, when a group of exposed young people are asked to describe their dreams, thoughts and hopes for the social efforts directed at them and are involved in creating a framework, where these findings are communicated to a group of social workers.
In the context of an action research process, the young are invited to participate with their experiences and views on the development of prevention activities in a district of Copenhagen.
The thesis analyzes the potential and the barriers that exist in the creation of participatory meetings between exposed young people and professionals in the social system.
The theoretical background for the project is the action research ideal of a democratic research process set to develop practice. Through the involvement of young people in the process as responsible individuals, the thesis explores what can be said to inhibit and promote their participation in the social work. Methodically, the thesis draws on the critical utopian action research notion of the “future-workshop” and its function as a transformational basis for social change from below. Additionally, a meeting is set up between the two involved groups with the purpose of concentrating on the experience of equality by focusing on the perspectives of the young.
The analysis shows how participation empowers young people. The understanding of the nature of this empowerment is deepened by interviews with both groups. A crucial point here is that empowerment is heavily dependent on how the social worker responds to the young as subjects. A significant potential for this kind of involvement is that drawing on the young people’s experience may change the social workers practices.
The thesis also identifies a number of barriers to youth involvement in social work. On this level, the social worker’s general view on humanity and more specifically on children is found to be of great importance.
Finally, the thesis discusses the potential of action research to penetrate such barriers in social work.
Publication date30 Jun 2012
Number of pages100
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet, Kandidatuddannelsen i Socialt Arbejde
ID: 65573403