G4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)
Julkista lastensuojelun perhetyötä yksityiskodissa (2019)

Pohjolainen, Auli (2019). Julkista lastensuojelun perhetyötä yksityiskodissa. JYU dissertations, 51. Jyväskylä: Jyväskylän yliopisto. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7646-0

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Pohjolainen, Auli

eISBN: 978-951-39-7646-0

Journal or series: JYU dissertations

eISSN: 2489-9003

Publication year: 2019

Number in series: 51

Number of pages in the book: 1 verkkoaineisto (178 sivua) :

Publisher: Jyväskylän yliopisto

Place of Publication: Jyväskylä

Publication country: Finland

Publication language: Finnish

Persistent website address: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-39-7646-0

Open Access: Publication published in an open access channel

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication open access: Openly available


The purpose of this doctoral dissertation in social work is to illustrate the open care child
welfare support that is conducted in private homes. Family work in this study is seen as
essentially morally charged work, because the study’s theoretical background approaches
social work from a perspective of reflective, relation-based theory. The object of the study is
parents’ and family workers’ experiences of family work, especially within a private home
The research data were collected from eight family workers and eight parents from
six different families. These individual interviews were conducted as thematic interviews
in 2014 and 2015. The data were analysed using thematic content analysis, adapting a phenomenological-hermeneutic approach. The concept of moral agency served as an interpretational context while the thematic interviews were analysed by forming categories,
called ’meaning entities’.
These meaning entities attached to family work and home by the parents and the
family workers were mainly similar. However, some tension can be perceived from the
interview data. Both parties regarded respect, trust, joint planning and guided support as
central. According to my findings, relations of recognition and support are the working resources of public child welfare, which strengthen the identity of parenting and citizenship.
Family workers guided family members towards different services. However, these efforts
were recognized to be outside the scope of ordinary family work. Among the parents, this
citizenship-supporting service coordination was seen as an extra benefit. Reflective professionalism is a prerequisite of moral agency. The parents emphasised the traits of family
workers that can affect the work. These included confidentiality, patience and flexibility in
a family´s everyday life situations. Good family work can be described as jointly realised
action that is situational and engages the parents. From the perspective of the development
of moral integrity, the parents and the family workers had differing views on values, which
proved to be challenging in the homes. The tensions that appeared related to education
practices, working with other parties and/or the family members’ feeling of control at the
beginning of family work. The gender of the family worker was perceived to be linked to
the development of the children’s identity development. There were also differences in the
experiences of privacy between the parents and the family workers. Differences related to
the openness of the home environments and the topics of conversation.
According to the findings, relations of recognition provide a basis for accepting support in the situational, unforeseen, charged and multifaceted child welfare family work
conducted in private homes. Family work as institutional support and the supervision
work of child welfare can be seen as a social virtue, the goal which is to enable families to
live a good daily life and highlight the child’s best interests.

Keywords: family work; child welfare; child protection; non-institutional social care; home; parents; social workers; morals; human agency; privacy

Free keywords: family work; child welfare; child protection; moral agency; privacy; phenomenology; hermeneutics

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

Last updated on 2021-29-04 at 12:40