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Young people in limbo: perceptions of self-presentations when being assessed in secure accommodation
Linnéuniversitetet, Institutionen för socialt arbete (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4530-8215
2016 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 6, no 1, 22-37 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

In Sweden, young people are assessed in institutions at the request of the social services, a situation that can be described as being in limbo, in a state of uncertainty. Using the concepts of self-presentation and institutional processes in total institutions, this research aims to analyse young people’s perceptions of being assessed in secure accommodation. The empirical material consists of repeated interviews with 16 adolescents assessed in secure accommodation. Three situations were identified in which the young people felt that their self-presentations were in some way in or out of their control: the placement situation; the assessment situation and the assessment-outcome situation. The youths perceived their self-presentations to be influenced by the setting (i.e., the institution). In addition, there were two parts to being in limbo: being on site in the institution and being distant from the social services. The young people’s experience of being assessed in an institution was characterized by feelings of a loss of control over self-presentation and of their perceptions of themselves.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, no 1, 22-37 p.
Keyword [en]
adolescents, assessment, residential care, institutional process, presentation of self, total institution
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29813DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2015.1099051OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-29813DiVA: diva2:922744
Available from: 2015-11-06 Created: 2016-04-22 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Transit i samhällsvården: När unga utreds på särskilda ungdomshem
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Transit i samhällsvården: När unga utreds på särskilda ungdomshem
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Transit in out-of-home care : Assessments of young people in secure accommodations
Abstract [en]

This thesis is about assessments of young people in secure accommodations. Institutional assessments relate to the paradox in child welfare of combining control and care. The procedure raises questions about their implications for young people, their caseworkers and evolving care trajectories. Although institutional assessments of young people have a historical heritage, research about their implications is lacking. The aim of the thesis is to explore young people’s and their caseworkers’ experiences of assessments in secure accommodations and their implications for young people’s care trajectories. Methods used are primarily repeated interviews with 16 young people during a period of two years and one interview with their caseworkers. Surveys about 85 youths, participatory observations and written assessments are also included. This thesis takes an interactionist approach and the material has been analysed with the main concept of care trajectory along with the concepts of self-presentation, total institution, institutional identity and texts as coordinators.

The results are presented in four papers. The concluding analysis shows that assessments in secure accommodations can be divided into three elements: the practice, the text and the placement. These three elements have different implications for the young people and the caseworkers. For the young people the practice and the placement converge into an assessment universe that, with the text, intensifies their shaping of self-identity. The young people’s experiences are characterised by lack of control over their self-presentations, the present and the future. For the caseworkers, the practice has implications for their understanding of the young people’s individual troubles, the text for negotiating with other actors and the placement in their efforts to achieve change in the young people’s troublesome situations. The assessments’ implications for stability and foreseeability in the young people’s further care trajectories are limited. Moreover, the procedure of assessing young people in itself contains instability through involving several professionals in different parts of the assessment and decision-making process. Despite lack of stability, the thesis reveals that some young people experience the assessment as a place for self-development and where the course of the care trajectory changes to the better.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2015. 128 p.
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations, 233/2015
Keyword
young people, assessments, child welfare, secure accommodations, institutional care, care trajectory, total institution, institutional identity, social work
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-29814 (URN)978-91-87925-84-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-12-11, Myrdal, Hus K, 351 95 Växjö, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-22 Last updated: 2016-04-25Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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