The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher - latest Issue
Volume 28, Issue 1, 2016
Source: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 1 –2 (2016)More Less
This issue of The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher marks the end of Professor Jean Triegaardt's term as editor. Prof Jean took over from Professor Leila Patel from the start of 2010 and a dedicated editor for six years. She continued to advance the journal's high levels of academic and intellectual rigour, further establishing it as a leading source of research excellence in social work. In addition, Prof Jean championed the journal's focus on social development as the national welfare strategy that holds together social work, other social service professions, other disciplines and a wide range of role players in the welfare field. The Board of The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher extends its heartfelt thanks to Prof Jean for her service to the social work community in South Africa and wishes her well in her 'retirement'.
Sustaining family rountines after transitioning into parenthood : couples' perceptions assisting factorsSource: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 3 –17 (2016)More Less
The aim of this qualitative study was to explore what assists couples in sustaining family routines after the transition to parenthood. Participants were recruited from two day-care centres in Cape Town, South Africa. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 couples, mostly from low-income households, who had gone through this transition between one and four years previously. Grounded theory analysis revealed one major theme, Factors that decrease task and temporal complexity, with seven subthemes: Support from the wider family network; Couple cooperation and tag-teaming; Planning and pre-empting future problems; Adhering to schedules; Facilitative characteristics and skills of individual family members; Parents' sense of commitment and responsibility towards family members; and idiosyncratic accommodations. Results underscore the need for professionals to help parents gain support from relatives; strengthen partner teamwork; foster schedule consistency; improve skills such as planning; foster their caretaker self-concepts; and facilitate context-specific problem-solving.
Coping, resilience and post-traumatic growth : adverse childhood experiences and social work studentsAuthor Glynnis DykesSource: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 18 –35 (2016)More Less
This qualitative case study explored the perceptions of third-year social work students at a selected university in South Africa regarding the effects of having endured adverse childhood experiences. Findings showed the beginnings of positive life lessons that can emerge from having endured adverse experiences. Findings also confirmed the process of coping with these experiences that included outcomes of resilience and burgeoning post-traumatic growth. Implications are discussed especially regarding the place and development of coping, resilience and post-traumatic growth in social work education and social work practice. Recommendations include the professional use of self and self-awareness through mindfulness teaching practices.
The roles of agency and structure in facilitating the successful transition out of care and into independent livingSource: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 36 –52 (2016)More Less
The vulnerability of young people leaving residential care has been widely noted in the literature, prompting research on the process of transitioning out of care and triggering debates between the roles of agency and structure in youth transitions. Care-leaving research and programmes from the West have tended to give primary attention to structural interventions, centred on the notion of 'corporate parenting'. By contrast, South African research on care-leaving has tended to emphasise the agency of young people in exercising resilience in sub-optimal contexts. This article analyses findings from recent South African care-leaving research on the contributions of agency (particularly resilience at the micro level) and structure (particularly interventions at the macro level) to the successful transition out of care and into independent living. Evidence confirms the importance of considering both agency and structure, as well as the interaction between them.
The thorny issue of status disclosure to children living with HIV : the case of HIV positive children living in a child and youth care facility in Johannesburg, South AfricaSource: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 53 –68 (2016)More Less
There is a dilemma regarding HIV/AIDS disclosure to children born and living with HIV/AIDS in residential settings. Since the advent and accessibility of Anti-Retroviral Therapy, most children born HIV positive live longer and have healthier lives. Some of these children find themselves in Need of Care due to abandonment, orphanhood and neglect or abuse, and are placed in alternative care such as a Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC). Social Service Workers are then faced with this dilemma around disclosure of their HIV status, due to the complexities around the consequences of such a disclosure, and the absence of clear policies in this regard. The study explored the perceptions of social service workers regarding disclosure of HIV status to children born HIV positive living in a CYCC in Ekurhuleni, South Africa. The findings indicate that HIV status disclosure is a complex but essential process as it reinforces children's ability to adhere to medication and dispels anxiety and suspicion within themselves around their status. Recommendations relate to community education and awareness programmes, policy and practice changes and makes suggestions for future research.
Source: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 69 –84 (2016)More Less
The culture of gang violence has become deeply entrenched in South Africa. The present study explored the experiences of non-gang school-going adolescents regarding gangs and gangsterism in Hanover Park in the Western Cape. A qualitative exploratory approach was used. Data collection instruments were focus group discussions supported by qualitative semi-structured interviews involving 18 adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18 from two secondary schools in Hanover Park, Cape Town. The data were thematically analysed. The results have shown that the presence of gangs affects the learners' school attendance, restricts their mobility, increases bullying at school and seriously disrupts family and community life.
Author Sello SitholeSource: The Social Work Practitioner-Researcher 28, pp 85 –101 (2016)More Less
This article reports on a study that was conducted amongst a group of fourth year under-graduate Social Work students who embarked on a research project for the first time. The aim of this study was to explore the challenges that fourth year students face when doing research for the first time. The study's objectives were to understand the challenges and experiences of students and to determine the best ways to help students undertake their projects as easily as possible. The approach for this study was qualitative. The design was phenomenological and descriptive. The population for this study was 120 enrolled under-graduate (fourth year) final year Social Work students. An availability sample of 10 students took part in this study. The findings indicate that, amongst other things, students experienced challenges in formulating a research problem, understanding the role of the supervisor, accessing library resources and translating knowledge into practice. The recommendations emanating from the study are, inter alia, that supervisors need to be consistent in giving feedback and there needs to be a contract between the student and the supervisor.