The Relationship between Social Workers and Neglected Children in a Children’s Home
Children’s Homes are small communities which accommodate neglected and abused children who are placed there because their families face problems serious enough to lead to children’s removal; and staff who work or/and volunteer to support children’s upbringing. Social workers being members of this staff group apply their professional knowledge and they collaborate with these children in order to fulfil the above purpose. During this collaboration a relationship is developed between them. Until now this relationship hasn’t been examined in detail in the Greek context to explore if and how it could influence children’s life in the Home and in general. The aim of this research is to shed light on this relationship, to explore this bond and its dimensions in depth; to uncover what a social worker represents in neglected children’s life in the “Home”; and to show how this bond could affect child’s life in the “Home” but also in the future. This evidence could help to improve social work practice, by making known the power of this relationship which could be a useful tool at social workers’ disposal, for a better approach to working with children. The research took place in five (5) Children’s Homes in Greece with three different participant groups: children who are accommodated in the Homes, young persons who have left Homes and Social Workers who work in these Homes. In addition, data from children’s drawings and written thoughts were obtained on the theme of their relationship with the social workers. The relationship revealed itself to be strong and affectionate and its positive effects concern three big aspects of children’s lives: their adjustment in the Home, their emotional transformation and their sociability. The research’s results comprise children’s and social workers’ voice in Children’s Homes and reveal a message which should be recognised in social work because it can bring significant changes in children lives and improvements in Homes’ organization and operation.
- PhD