Articles

De effectiviteit van het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën in jeugd- en opvoedhulp en maatschappelijk werk

Authors:

Abstract

SUMMARY

 

The effectiveness of the Social Network Strategy (SNS) in youth care and social work

Background: The transition in the social domain of Dutch government policy is forcing social work institutions to work more efficiently and effectively. Three priorities in the field of youth policy are: (1) greater individual responsibility on the part of the client; (2) empowerment; and (3) support from the client’s social network. A newly implemented approach, known as the Social Network Strategy, seems promising because it focuses explicitly on stimulating clients’ empowerment and cooperation with a social network. Many social workers and therapists have recently been trained in the application of the Social Network Strategy, but research into the effectiveness of Social Network Strategy is lacking. The main aim of this study is to conduct a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT), a research design which consists of an experimental group and a control group which receive different kinds of assistance, in order to test the effectiveness of Social Network Strategy among Dutch families who were clients of one of two participating youth care or social work agencies.

 

Method/Design: A total of 96 families with young persons aged between 8 and 18 years participated in this study. Families were randomly assigned to the experimental approach (n = 49, Social Network Strategy) or control condition (n = 47, care as usual). Families were surveyed prior to any intervention, after three assistance sessions and post assistance. The primary outcome measure of this study was behavioural problems, while secondary outcome measures are empowerment, support from a social network and parenting stress. The alliance between the social worker/therapist and parents was tested as a potential moderating factor. It was hypothesized that families assisted by the Social Network Strategy would show a stronger reduction in behavioural problems and parenting stress and an increase in empowerment and support from a social network compared to families that receive care as usual. Additionally, we expected that the quality of the alliance between the social worker/therapist and parents would moderate the success of the support provided in both groups.

 

Discussion: Our analyses showed that young persons in both the experimental group and the control group showed a significant reduction in behavioural problems and higher levels of empowerment and support from the social network after the support, but that the effect was not higher for the young persons assisted using the Social Network Strategy. Only in Entrea, an organization for child and youth care, did parents report a significantly greater reduction in their child’s problems in the experimental group (Social Network Strategy) than in the control group (care as usual), but only in cases where the parents perceived the relationship with the care worker as good. Finally, for both the Social Network Strategy group and the care as usual group, a reduction in parenting stress was found in Entrea. These findings indicate that promoting individual empowerment and cooperation with a social network within the Social Network Strategy in Entrea has the potential to be a more effective and efficient way of reducing behavioural problems in young persons. Both the Social Network Strategy and care as usual increase empowerment and support from a social network in short term. To identify the key elements and long-term effects of Social Network Strategy, more quantitative and qualitative (follow-up) research is desirable.

 

SAMENVATTING

 

De effectiviteit van het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën in jeugd- en opvoedhulp en maatschappelijk werk

Dit onderzoek betreft de effectiviteit van het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën (SNS). SNS is een recent geïmplementeerde veelbelovende benadering in de (jeugd)hulpverlening en het sociaal werk, waarbij de hulpverlener faciliteert dat de cliënt samen met familie en sociaal netwerk zelf besluiten neemt, plannen maakt en de voortgang van de uitvoering daarvan bewaakt. Het Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) onderzoek is uitgevoerd bij 96 gezinnen met kinderen van 8 tot en met 18 jaar oud die hulp ontvangen bij Entrea Jeugd- en Opvoedhulp of NIM Maatschappelijk Werk (sinds 12 oktober 2017 is Sterker sociaal werk de gezamenlijke naam voor NIM Maatschappelijk Werk en Swon het seniorennetwerk). Uit het huidige onderzoek blijkt dat (1) de eigen kracht en (2) steun van het sociaal netwerk volgens de primaire opvoeders ongeveer evenveel toenemen bij het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën als bij de gebruikelijke hulp (“care as usual”). Bij Entrea nemen we een betekenisvolle afname van opvoedingsbelasting waar voor zowel het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën als de care as usual (3). Er wordt op deze uitkomstmaten dus geen verschil in effectiviteit van de hulpverleningsvorm gevonden. Wel blijkt het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën bij Entrea effectiever dan de care as usual in het verminderen van klachten van jeugdigen (4), gerapporteerd door de primaire opvoeder. Kwalitatief en kwantitatief vervolgonderzoek is wenselijk om antwoord te geven op de vraag waarom werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën (bij Entrea) effectiever is in het verminderen van klachten van jeugdigen en om uitspraken te kunnen doen over lange termijn effecten van het werken vanuit Sociale Netwerk Strategieën.

Keywords:

Social Network Strategyproblems of youthparental stressempowermentsocial networkallianceyouthparentsfamily
  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 4
  • Page/Article: 6-27
  • DOI: 10.18352/jsi.532
  • Published on 19 Dec 2017
  • Peer Reviewed