Users' participation in Child and Family Social Work is widely acknowledged as a central and hard-to-reach issue for successful and effective intervention. The article considers a methodological proposal in pursuing participation, called Participative and Transformative Evaluation (PTE) that uses instruments and data as a means of reflection and negotiation between all the actors involved, in order to justify choices and make decisions. The PTE is realised inside the Programme of Intervention for Prevention of Institutionalization (P.I.P.P.I.), involving 144 child care and protection cases (198 children) in nine Italian cities, in order to prevent out-of-home child placement and reduce child neglect. Inside the P.I.P.P.I. a series of case studies were developed to achieve an in-depth understanding of the effective processes undertaken by participants with families. The case selected for this article has been chosen because it reflects a best practice in using the PTE as well as the participation path and is undertaken following the indications of the Critical Best Practice. It allowed an in-depth understanding of the mother's and professionals' viewpoints about what built the success in their practice. During the discussion three components are considered: the technical solutions offered by research or science (technical components) become meaningful when participants not only apply them, but act upon them, building, internally, the meanings to be enacted (internal component). In the case study this came about through dialogue between people, and through negotiation and reflection on competence, visions and values (communicative component).
Children and Youth Services Review – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2017
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