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Kjellgren, M., Lilliehorn, S. & Markström, U. (2024). Adolescents’ perspectives on SSWs’ counselling practice in Swedish elementary schools: "plumb the depths and navigate to shore". Journal of Children's Services, 19(1), 20-37
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adolescents’ perspectives on SSWs’ counselling practice in Swedish elementary schools: "plumb the depths and navigate to shore"
2024 (English)In: Journal of Children's Services, ISSN 1746-6660, E-ISSN 2042-8677, Vol. 19, no 1, p. 20-37Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This study aims to gain a comprehensive understanding of adolescent’s experiences of individual school social work counselling in Swedish elementary schools.

Design/methodology/approach: The study encompasses interviews with 16 adolescents about their experiences of individual counselling with school social workers (SSWs). The data was analysed using conventional content analysis.

Findings: The main result was the adolescents’ desire “to navigate to shore” to speak freely about their whole lives with a professional SSW and find a “ safe haven,” […] where a trusting professional cared for and comforted them in counselling. The counselling contact contributed to increased knowledge about oneself. The results reveal the importance of the SSWs paying attention and listening to the adolescents’ narratives. The creation of a coherent life narrative enables to finally end counselling and “Cast off.”

Originality/value: The results highlight the importance of Swedish SSWs focusing on individual counselling sessions with adolescents to provide a setting for growth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2024
Keywords
Adolescent perspective, Counselling, Family factors, Ill-health, School social work
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-218649 (URN)10.1108/JCS-06-2023-0035 (DOI)001129363000001 ()2-s2.0-85179943145 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Umeå University
Available from: 2023-12-28 Created: 2023-12-28 Last updated: 2024-03-15Bibliographically approved
Kjellgren, M. (2024). Skolkuratorns samtalspraktik: en studie om individuella samtal med barn i den svenska grundskolan. (Doctoral dissertation). Umeå: Umeå University
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skolkuratorns samtalspraktik: en studie om individuella samtal med barn i den svenska grundskolan
2024 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
The counselling practice of school social workers : a study of individual counselling with children in Swedish elementary schools
Abstract [en]

This thesis fills part of the existing knowledge gap regarding school social workers (SSW) individual counselling practice. The overall aim is to investigate the individual SSW counselling in Swedish elementary schools, as part of the pupil health team (PHT). This will be achieved by exploring the following three basic research questions: What characterizes school social work regarding structure, process and interventions in individual counselling sessions held by SSWs with children? How do SSWs describe the difficulties and opportunities in school social work, interventions and performance, and collaboration with other actors in pupil health teams? What characterises SSWs’ individual counselling according to the adolescents’ experiences and expressed needs

This thesis consisted of four research studies. The first one concentrated on SSWs personal experiences of counselling children, in which focus group studies were conducted with 22 SSWs (four groups). In the second study, the SSWs described their experiences of being a part of a multi-disciplinary team, the PHT, during the focus group interviews. These two studies were analysed by content analysis. The third study consisted of a quantitative protocol study regarding child characteristics, counselling strategies and interventions analysed by descriptive statistics. The purpose on the fourth study was to increase knowledge about the individual counselling from the adolescents’ perspective. Individual interviews were conducted and analysed through content analysis.

This thesis highlighted the necessity for children to express themselves, in regards to their life situation, concerns and problems. SSWs could be one prominent actor in the children’s lives by providing individual counselling sessions. SSWs are described as the PHT psychosocial expert with specialised knowledge regarding the impact of negative psychosocial factors on children.In addition, this thesis concluded that available regulations and guidelines meant insure that children are listened and able to express their narrative in a safe and trustful school counselling environment are limited.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling fyller en del av den kunskapslucka som finns gällande skolkuratorers individuella samtalspraktik. Det övergripande syftet är att undersöka den individuella samtals praktik som skolkurator bedriver i den svenska kommunala grundskolan, inom ramen för skolans elevhälsoarbete. Tre grundläggande forskningsfrågor formulerades enligt följande: Vad kännetecknar det skolsociala arbetet med avseende på struktur, process och interventioner i skolkuratorns individuella samtal med barn? Hur beskriver skolkuratorer sina erfarenheter av hjälpande och försvårande aspekter i skolsocialt arbete, interventioner och utförande samt samverkan med andra aktörer i elevhälsoteamet? Vad kännetecknar skolkuratorns individuella samtal utifrån ungdomarnas erfarenheter och uttryckta behov?

Avhandlingen består av fyra delstudier vilka publicerats i vetenskapliga artiklar. Den ena studien koncentrerar sig på skolkuratorernas egna erfarenheter av individuella samtal med barn, baserad på fokusgruppsintervjuer som genomfördes med 22 skolkuratorer (fördelade på fyra fokusgrupper). I den andra studien beskrev samma grupp av skolkuratorer sina erfarenheter av att vara en del av ett multiprofessionellt team, elevhälsoteamet (EHT) under fokusgruppsintervjuerna. Dessa två studier analyserades genom innehållsanalys. Den tredje studien i avhandlingen består av en kvantitativ protokollstudie avseende barns karakteristika, samtalsstrategier och interventioner. Skolkuratorer (20 stycken) fyllde i ett protokoll efter avslutat samtal med ett barn. Totalt samlades 193 protokoll in baserade på samma antal unika barn och analyserades med deskriptiv statistik. Den fjärde studiens syfte var att fördjupa kunskapen om de individuella skolkurativa samtalen ur ungdomarnas perspektiv. Individuella intervjuer med ungdomar (15 år) genomfördes och analyserades sedan genom innehållsanalys.

Avhandlingen belyser nödvändigheten för barn att uttrycka sig själva, när det gäller sin livssituation, sin oro och sina problem. Avhandlingen visar att skolkurator kan vara en aktör för att hjälpa och avlasta barn genom individuella samtal. Skolkuratorer beskrivs som skolans och elevhälsoteamets (EHT) psykosociala expert, med fördjupad kunskap om psykosociala effekter och konsekvenser för barn.

En ytterligare slutsats i avhandlingen är att det saknas regler eller riktlinjer för skolkuratorns individuella samtal i svenska grundskolor. Det kan vara av vikt att sådana regler och riktlinjer upprättas, för att säkerställa att barn blir lyssnade och för att kunna uttrycka sin berättelse i en trygg och tillitsfull samtalsmiljö i skolan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, 2024. p. 129
Series
Studier i socialt arbete vid Umeå universitet : avhandlings- och skriftserie, ISSN 0283-300X ; 101
Keywords
School social work, School social counselling, mental ill-health, children, adolescents, Skolsocialt arbete, skolkurator, skolkurativa samtal, psykisk ohälsa, barn, ungdomar
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-222335 (URN)9789180703185 (ISBN)9789180703178 (ISBN)
Public defence
2024-04-19, Hörsal UB.A.220, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Forskningsfinansiär: Åre kommun

Available from: 2024-03-26 Created: 2024-03-14 Last updated: 2024-03-18Bibliographically approved
Kjellgren, M., Lilliehorn, S. & Markström, U. (2024). The counselling practice of school social workers in Swedish elementary schools. A focus group study. Nordic Social Work Research, 14(1), 18-31
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The counselling practice of school social workers in Swedish elementary schools. A focus group study
2024 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 14, no 1, p. 18-31Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article describes the counselling practice of school social workers (SSWs) with individual children. The work of SSWs is mainly about helping children and adolescents who for various reasons suffer from mental ill-health, school absenteeism or stress that make them unable to achieve their intended goals. SSWs preferably meet these children in individual counselling sessions. The aim of this article is to describe and analyse SSWs’ experience of counselling with children and to examine the characteristics of counselling practice. The data collection was conducted through four semi-structured focus group interviews with a total of 22 SSWs in four different regions in Sweden. SSWs provide counselling to children in order to bring about improved feelings or behavioural changes. It can be noted that SSWs put emphasis on both the counselling process and the alliance with the child. The interviews showed a common practice among SSWs regarding the structure of the counselling sessions, with certain steps and approaches being employed. However, the specific interventions differed and were characterized by an eclectic standpoint in which SSWs utilize a broad repertoire of therapeutic schools and techniques. Furthermore, a relational perspective emerged as a most prominent focus for the SSWs by re-emerging throughout the material. We believe that SSWs could benefit from theoretical perspectives on ‘contextual model’ and ‘attachment theory’ as ‘models of the mind’. Being emotionally close to the child and being able to follow their development requires a lot from SSWs, as both professional caregivers and as ‘safe havens’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2024
Keywords
attachment theory, contextual model, focus group interview, School social counselling, school social workers
National Category
Social Work Pedagogical Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-193175 (URN)10.1080/2156857X.2022.2041467 (DOI)001188388400007 ()2-s2.0-85125899332 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2022-03-17 Created: 2022-03-17 Last updated: 2024-05-10Bibliographically approved
Kjellgren, M., Lilliehorn, S. & Markström, U. (2023). School social work in sweden: Who are the children in counselling, and what support are they offered? a protocol study about individual counselling in elementary schools. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Open this publication in new window or tab >>School social work in sweden: Who are the children in counselling, and what support are they offered? a protocol study about individual counselling in elementary schools
2023 (English)In: Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, ISSN 0738-0151, E-ISSN 1573-2797Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the present study is to describe and explore the characteristics and content of school social worker’s (SSWs) individual counselling with children as these are imprinted in session protocols collected at Swedish elementary schools. Specific focus is placed on the character of the children’s concerns, the content of the SSW’s helping strategies, and challenges related to the alliance between the SSW and the children as experienced by the SSW. The study was based on data from a survey protocol of 20 SSW’s daily practice regarding their experiences in counselling children and adolescents. The data consisted of 193 protocols from the same number of unique individual sessions. Data were analysed through quantitative descriptive statistics. The data also contained a large proportion of open-ended textual answers, which were analysed through a qualitative summative content analysis. The counselling strategies were primarily divided into three parts, namely coaching, processing, and assessing. The most common practice elements used included elements of empowerment, alliance and relationship, and hope and trust. In counselling children, SSWs identified a broad range of problems in children’s overall lives. Many children suffered from their home situations, which also impinged upon the SSWs, who were affected by the children’s life narrative. Our results can help inform SSW policy and practices as SSWs assist vulnerable children through individual counselling that corresponds to their help-seeking behaviour and by offering a space for alliances and relationships.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Publishing Company, 2023
Keywords
Children’s concerns, Counselling strategies, School social work
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-214584 (URN)10.1007/s10560-023-00943-y (DOI)2-s2.0-85170847183 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Umeå University
Available from: 2023-09-28 Created: 2023-09-28 Last updated: 2024-03-14
Kjellgren, M., Lilliehorn, S. & Markström, U. (2023). Therapist, Intermediary or Garbage Can? Examining Professional Challenges for School Social Work in Swedish Elementary Schools. International Journal of School Social Work, 8(1), Article ID 4.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Therapist, Intermediary or Garbage Can? Examining Professional Challenges for School Social Work in Swedish Elementary Schools
2023 (English)In: International Journal of School Social Work, E-ISSN 2161-4148, Vol. 8, no 1, article id 4Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this article is to describe and analyse critical components that influence the role and performance of school social workers in the Swedish elementary school. Special attention will be paid to aspects related to formal regulations, professional self-understanding, and SSWs’ role in the interplay between professional domains involved in elementary school.

The data collection was conducted through four semi-structured qualitative focus group interviews with a total of 22 School Social Workers (SSWs) in four different regions in Sweden during the latter part of 2019.

The results reveal three main challenges for the SSW: 1. To navigate in a pedagogic and medical arena within a multidisciplinary team, 2. To manage ambiguity without formal regulations and in unclear settings and leadership, and finally, 3. To negotiate tasks at different levels, with a health promotional and preventive focus. The SSW ends up, mainly, in remedial work with individual children. The results also disclose SSWs hold a vague professional self-understanding position with little formal mandate to perform their work. We suggest that national guidelines for SSWs be developed, and that a common base of knowledge and education be established.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New Prairie Press, 2023
Keywords
School social worker (SSW), multidisciplinary team, counselling, professional self-understanding, formal regulations
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-204346 (URN)10.4148/2161-4148.1102 (DOI)
Available from: 2023-02-02 Created: 2023-02-02 Last updated: 2024-03-14Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-8581-6241

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