Finding a Fit: Family Realities and Service Responses Series (2003, 2007)
Faculty of Social Work
When service providers and parents engage with each other to improve family circumstances, do they have similar impressions of what is important and what is helpful? Our purpose in interviewing parents who have been involved in child protection services and their service providers was to understand how parents and service providers view each other, their interactions, and the services they are engaged in. We were also interested in the “official record”—the files that describe parents, children, their needs, and the services provided in response. A comparison of the perspectives of service providers, parents, and files highlights some of the barriers and assumptions at work when service providers and parents engage with each other to improve family functioning. Contrasting these three versions of events highlights how differences are bridged or maintained.
To begin our matched comparison of parent, file, and service provider realities we present a “case study” summarizing a parent’s perspective, the corresponding service provider’s perspective, as well as an excerpt taken from this particular parent’s file with the Children’s Aid Society. This offers a glimpse of the data that was used to form the basis for the report. It illustrates the nature of the information, the types of comparisons undertaken, as well as more generally to provide a sense of the three perspectives included.
Frensch, K. M. & Cameron, G. (2003). Bridging or maintaining distance: a matched comparison of parent and service provider perceptions (pp. 1-23, Summary Report). Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University, Partnerships for Children and Families Project.