Substance-abusing mothers, their children and child protection. Narratives and reflections.

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Title: Substance-abusing mothers, their children and child protection. Narratives and reflections.
Author: Veistilä, Minna
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Policy
Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Yhteiskuntapolitiikan laitos
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Samhällspolitiska institutionen
Date: 2008-04-23
Language: en
Thesis level: Licentiate thesis
Discipline: Social Work
Socialt arbete
Abstract: In this study I construct, together with mothers with substance abuse, narratives concerning the lives of the mothers and their children as well as the supportive child protection servicies they have received. The study belongs to the field of discussion of the support and care methods for substance-abusing mothers and their children. The purpose of this study is to develope professional methods and practicies for social workers within child protection work. My task is to study, a) what substance-abusing mothers tell me about their and their children´s lives and about the supportive child protection work they have received, and b) how a reseacher and a professional social worker studies these stories while building, together with the mothers, a picture about the child and his/her family as well as the supportive social work needed. The research material consists of thirteen interviews. I interview four mothers who have been clients of a central hospital`s substance abuse clinic during their pregnancy. These mothers have altogether five children under the age of five years. My research method, and also my method of analysis, is narrative reflection. With reflection I mean that as a researcher I place the thoughts and feelings that rise through my professional background into targets of research as well as the mothers´ narratives. We discuss them together in the interviewing situations. Narratives mainly help us in this study to reflect and analyze our discussion and me to report it. The most important result of this study was to make the narratives of these mothers and children visible. Social workers in child protection can through these stories learn a lot about what it is like to be a substance-abusing mother and her child, as well as about how these mothers feel about the support they recieve. This study showed the importance of early assessment of the need for child protection and the importance of developing working methods. The support that these mothers I interviewed got was not based on scientific information about early attachment relations nor the risks and protective factors of these families. Careful planning, long-term social work and the importance of social support were highly rated by these mothers. However, the special services that child protection provided for these families worked, according to this study, very well as social support. This study supports the fact that substance-abusing women and their children must be taken care for together and that the supportive social work must be provided mainly at the early childhood. Narrative reflection and a sensitive way of research showed to be a good choise for this kind of a child protection study. They made it possible to build an ethical, co-working-based study together with these mothers.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: child protection
substance abuse

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