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The (re)construction of home: Unaccompanied children’s and youth’s transition out of care
Högskolan i Jönköping, Hälsohögskolan, HHJ. SALVE (Socialt arbete, Livssammanhang, Välfärd).
2017 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation focuses on how perceptions of ethnicity and culture become meaningful in relation to the transition from care into independent living, studied from unaccompanied youths’, professionals’, and a methodological perspective. The findings from interviews with unaccompanied youth with experience of leaving care showed that thoughts about their ethnic minority background are constantly present in the young men’s lives. Their stories about preparing to leave care show a continuous attempt to make adjustments in order to fit into the Swedish society (Study I). The results based on interviews with professionals and observations at two residential care units indicated that ‘home’ is sometimes used as a metaphor when describing the residential care units. The home metaphor affected the staff in ways that it sometimes became difficult to separate private and professional matters. The clash between the residential care unit and the desire to create a home environment highlights the issue that programs executed in Sweden for unaccompanied young people were originally not made for them (Study II). Study III emphasised how transnational relationships form the unaccompanied youths view of past, present, and future time. This study highlighted the importance of how the professionals need to understand the unaccompanied children and youth and their situation as flexible (Study III). Finally, methodological reflections about research concerning ethnicity indicated the importance of reflecting on one’s own perceptions, the role as a researcher, and the benefits and limitations these different roles may have in the research process (Study IV).

The research was conducted using qualitative methods. The data collection methods entailed interviews with the youth (Study I), individual interviews, focus-groups, and observations with professionals (Study II and III), and discussions based on the data collected for study I-III (Study IV). Altogether, 11 youths (18-22 years) and about 20 professionals at the residential care units participated in the studies.

Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the individual interviews and the focus-groups. All interviews were transcribed verbatim for analysis. The empirical data from observations consisted of notes taken during everyday situations, as well as from short conversations with the professionals. The notes were analysed using qualitative content analysis. The combined results of study I-III were used as empirical data for the analysis in study IV.

This dissertation shows that (re)constructing a home is a central part of the care-leaving process for a migrant about to resettle in a new country. The greatest challenge the unaccompanied youth have to conquer during the transition from care to independent living is to fight against exclusion. The main purpose in (re)constructing a home appears to be the same for the youth and the professionals, namely, to reach a sense of safety and belonging. However, different conditions and points of departure may make it hard to agree on details such as what the meaning of belonging actually is, and if it is possible to develop a tailor-made solution. Researching issues of ethnicity comes with the responsibility to avoid reinforcing an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ and, in so doing, reinforce stereotypes.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare , 2017. , s. 125
Serie
Dissertation Series. School of Health and Welfare, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 078
Nyckelord [en]
unacccompanied, children, youth, culture, ethnicty, transitions, out-of-home care, home
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialt arbete
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34617ISBN: 978-91-85835-77-5 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-34617DiVA, id: diva2:1061770
Disputation
2017-02-03, Forum Humanum, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping, 13:00 (Svenska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2017-01-03 Skapad: 2017-01-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-01-11Bibliografiskt granskad
Delarbeten
1. Leaving Care with "Cultural Baggage": The Development of an Identity within a Transnational Space
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Leaving Care with "Cultural Baggage": The Development of an Identity within a Transnational Space
2014 (Engelska)Ingår i: Australian Social Work, ISSN 0312-407X, E-ISSN 1447-0748, Vol. 67, nr 1, s. 39-54Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The transition from care is a critical phase for care leavers in general, and even more complex for those who have arrived in Sweden as unaccompanied minors and belong to an ethnic minority group. The aim of this article is to examine unaccompanied minors' experiences of leaving care, and to explore the experience in relation to perceptions about ethnicity and culture within a transnational space. Interviews were completed with 11 care leavers who had been received in Sweden as unaccompanied minors. The results show that these young people have to deal with multiple adjustments. Conquering obstacles as care leavers involves not only resolving general issues such as reintegration into society, but also adjustment to perceived and created views of how to become Swedish. From the young people's point of view, this seems to be necessary to make a successful transition from care into adulthood.

Nyckelord
Out-of-home Care, Culture, Immigrants
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialt arbete
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25924 (URN)10.1080/0312407X.2013.863955 (DOI)000333986600004 ()2-s2.0-84897594472 (Scopus ID)
Tillgänglig från: 2015-02-18 Skapad: 2015-02-18 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-04Bibliografiskt granskad
2. Home sweet home? Professionals' understanding of 'home' within residential care for unaccompanied youths in Sweden
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>Home sweet home? Professionals' understanding of 'home' within residential care for unaccompanied youths in Sweden
2016 (Engelska)Ingår i: Child & Family Social Work, ISSN 1356-7500, E-ISSN 1365-2206, Vol. 21, nr 4, s. 591-599Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

The number of unaccompanied minors arriving in Sweden continues to rise. The majority are placed in residential care units. This qualitative study aims to increase the understanding given by the professionals to the concept of ‘home’ within the framework of residential care for unaccompanied young people. Data are based on participatory observations at two residential care units, followed up by individual interviews with staff. The findings confirm that the concept of home has a complex meaning involving both objective aspects such as physical buildings, and more subjective components that can be seen as state of mind. The staff's desire to offer an ‘ordinary home’ fails because of the surveillance, their dominant positions and especially due to the legal restrictions that were not initially meant for this target group. Unaccompanied young people have to be considered based on their own specific needs in order to make it possible for society to offer the most suitable care.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016
Nyckelord
child welfare, home, resdential care, unaccompanied minors/asylum-seeking children
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialt arbete
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-24832 (URN)10.1111/cfs.12183 (DOI)000386998800022 ()2-s2.0-84992415396 (Scopus ID)
Tillgänglig från: 2014-10-07 Skapad: 2014-10-07 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-12-05Bibliografiskt granskad
3. "In Sweden work is more important than the culture, actually!": The care leaving process for unaccompanied youths from the perspective of social workers
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>"In Sweden work is more important than the culture, actually!": The care leaving process for unaccompanied youths from the perspective of social workers
2015 (Engelska)Ingår i: Transnational Social Review, ISSN 2193-1674, E-ISSN 2196-145X, Vol. 5, nr 3, s. 241-257Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2014 about 7000 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in Sweden and a great part got to stay. Thus Sweden is one of the countries receiving the highest number in Europe. Previous research have shown that individuals with out-of-home care experiences belong to a vulnerable group. Besides that, young people with a migrant background sometimes experienced exclusion and discrimination. This study aim to explore social workers’ understanding of the unaccompanied youth’s minority backgrounds in relation to the process of leaving-care. With a qualitative approach data have been collected through focus-groups at two residential care units. Within this kind of Human service organizations the staff struggle with meeting the perceived needs of the youths based on their minority background. Alongside they are trying to teach what they considered as being good Swedish practices claimed being necessary when facing life outside care. A transnational perspective prevents an understanding of the unaccompanied youth’s context as static, but promotes rather a way of relating to both the youths past and present time in order to be prepared for the future.

Nyckelord
Unaccompanied minors, transnationalism, professionals, leaving-care
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialt arbete
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28348 (URN)10.1080/21931674.2015.1082778 (DOI)
Projekt
Unaccompanied youths, Out-of-home care placements and ethnicity (diss project)
Tillgänglig från: 2015-11-19 Skapad: 2015-11-19 Senast uppdaterad: 2018-04-20Bibliografiskt granskad
4. "För att du vet hur det är här" – metodologiska implikationer vid forskning om ensamkommande barn
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>"För att du vet hur det är här" – metodologiska implikationer vid forskning om ensamkommande barn
2016 (Svenska)Ingår i: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, ISSN 1104-1420Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt) Submitted
Nationell ämneskategori
Socialt arbete
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34616 (URN)
Tillgänglig från: 2017-01-03 Skapad: 2017-01-03 Senast uppdaterad: 2017-11-29

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