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Open Access Het spanningsveld tussen ‘front-’ en ‘backstage’ in intensieve pedagogische thuisbegeleiding

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The tension between ‘front-’ and ‘backstage’ in intensive pedagogical home-based family support. A multiple case study

Both in Flanders and in the Netherlands, there is a growing attention to family preservation programs. Research on family preservation is, however, mainly conducted within a positivist framework. Because of that, we have gathered some insights into overall trends, but we have very little detailed information about the day-to-day practice of family preservation. What happens when a social worker and a family are face-to-face? What are the underlying mechanisms that influence the impact of a family preservation program? In this study, we use a multiple case-study with a triangulation of different ethnographical methods to build knowledge about the complex and dynamic tension in which family preservation programs take shape. We illustrate the discrepancy between how an intervention is displayed ‘front stage’ (in case-files, reports, registrations) and what happens ‘back stage’ (during the face-to-face contacts). We describe how, at the beginning and at the end of a treatment process, the focus on the ‘front stage’ influences the attunement between a social worker and a family. In between, however, the social worker undertakes small but significant actions at the ‘back stage’ of the intervention process, which are regarded as extremely helpful by the families. By shedding light on what happens beyond case-files, reports and registrations, it becomes possible to open the black box of social interventions and enrich the conceptual framework of ‘what works’ in family preservation. In addition, by working collaboratively between researchers, social workers and families, a collaborative research community is formed and local improvement processes are enhanced.
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Keywords: case-study; evidence based practice; family preservation; multi-level; what works

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: November 21, 2017

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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