The third workshop for the social workers and the researches
In May 2020, the third workshop of the Consent project was held with the child welfare social workers from the three cooperative municipalities. Because of the COVID-19 it was organised online. Researchers presented latest results and the findings were reflected together with the social workers.
Project presentations in the Finnish Social Work Research Conference 2020
The Finnish National Social Work Research Conference – Welfare 2020 – was held at the University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, in February 2020. The members of Consent research team had several presentations in the conference.
Tuija Eronen and Rosi Enroos organised a special workshop about child welfare and well-being. In this workshop Johanna Korpinen talked about informed consent in care order decision-making, Tarja Pösö about the appeals made to the court concerning the restrictions of contacts of children in care, and Rosi Enroos about children’s views towards the care order described by the social workers.
In addition, Rosi Enroos, Tuija Eronen, Johanna Korpinen and Tarja Pösö had a joint presentation Twofold care order decision-making described by social workers in a workshop Child welfare 2020.
The presentations evoked discussions and reached several different audiences, such as researchers, teachers, students and social workers.
Care day seminar at the Tampere University
February 2020 Care day seminar was held at the Tampere University (in Finnish). Care Day 2020 was on February 21st. Care Day is the world’s largest celebration of children and young people with care experience. Care experience includes children and young people who are or were cared for by family members with the support of social workers; by foster carers; or children and young people from children’s homes and residential units.
The second workshop for the social workers and the researches
In October 2019, the second workshop of the Consent project was held with the child welfare social workers from the three cooperative municipalities. The workshop focused on presenting and discussing about preliminary results. Especially, the issue of consenting in the care order context was approached from legal, interactional and social perspectives. The social workers from three municipalities were commenting the results and sharing municipalities’ different practices concerning the findings.
Care order decision-making workshop in the National Child Welfare Conference
In October 2019, the Consent research team arranged a workshop on decision making in child welfare with a theme “Not alone, but together” as a part of the Finnish national child welfare conference, organised by the Central Union for Child Welfare. The workshop was chaired by ministerial adviser Susanna Hoikkala from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
Professor Tarja Pösö opened the seminar and introduced care order statistics of different people taking part in the care order decision making in Finland annually. Postdoctoral researchers Rosi Enroos and Johanna Korpinen gave a presentation about Family relations in care order decision-making process.
Senior lecturer Elin Hultman from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, had a presentation on Professionalised, hybrid and layperson decision-making models in Nordic child protection – the present practice in Sweden compared with the systems in Finland, Norway and Denmark.
Professor of social welfare law Laura Kalliomaa-Puha from Tampere University talked about The responsibilities of the professional network -childrens’ rights in care order decision making. The presentation was prepared together with university lecturer Virve Toivonen from the University of Helsinki.
The workshop gathered a large audience – around 100 people – and there was a lively discussion about the presented themes.
Child welfare decision-making workshop in the Finnish Social Work Research Conference
The Finnish National Social Work Research Conference – Changing boundaries and responsibilities: global and local in social work – was held at the University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, in May 2019. The members of Consent research team, Rosi Enroos and Essi Julin, organised a workshop of child welfare decision making as a part of the conference. The presentations in the workshop addressed the theme of decision-making from different perspectives:
The (un)intended consequences of child abuse investigation processes for the families (Essi Julin, Tampere University),
The best interest of the child in the appeals of care order decisions by the parents and children (Virve Toivonen, University of Helsinki, Laura Kalliomaa-Puha and Tarja Pösö, Tampere University), and,
Family members’ consent and objection in care order decision-making (Rosi Enroos, Tampere University).
In addition, Tarja Heino from the National Institute for Health and Welfare, presented the forthcoming national project in order to gather the diverse experiences of children in care. The aim of the project is to develop the practices of hearing and taking into account the children’s opinions in substitute care.
The workshop participants were researchers, teachers, students, as well as, social workers. The presentations activated vivid discussions and the different views were shared.
The first workshop for the social workers and the researches
In February 2019, the first workshop of the Consent project was held with the child welfare social workers from the three cooperative municipalities of the project. The first workshop focused on the interaction in the administrative hearings and the nature of the documents concerning the care order decisions. The workshop aimed at a dialogue so that the researchers’ observations were mirrored, developed and criticised from the social work practice perspective. Different views were shared and the practices of three municipalities were discussed. From the research point of view, it was important to hear social workers’ comments, discussions and critiques about the analyses conducted, so that the nature of the data and the nature of the child welfare decision-making could be taken into account as well as possible. The project workshops’ discussions aim to give new views also for the municipal child welfare social workers.
International Interdisciplinary Scientific Advisory Group Meeting
In December 2018, the first meeting of the international advisory group of the Consent project was held at the Tampere University. Each member of the advisory group – Kenneth Burns from Ireland, Staffan Höjer from Sweden, Judith Masson from England and Marit Skivenes from Norway – presented the key features of the child welfare system and practices of their own country from a perspective of voluntary placements. It was clear that there are a variety of different practices and regulation concerning voluntary placements. The Consent team presented the project activities; so far collected data and the preliminary results of the first analyses. The discussions with the international interdisciplinary team were very fruitful in order to start the second full year of the research project.
Seminar about the child welfare work
On the 30th of November in 2018, the Consent project organised an invitation seminar called ’Children and families in vulnerable situations and helping in child welfare work – essential and (im)possible task’. The seminar was organised for the project partners, especially for the social workers, and held at the Tampere University. There were about 60 participants in the seminar.
The invited speaker was professor Jill Berrick from the University of Berkeley, California. She has written a book The Impossible Imperative. Navigating the competing principles of child protection (Oxford University Press 2018). In the book child protection social workers tell about their work in US and professor Berrick looks at the social workers’ descriptions from the perspective of central child welfare principles.
The participants had an opportunity to hear professor Berrick’s presentation based on the book. In addition, professor Jill Berrick and professor Tarja Pösö presented the short overview about the differences of the child welfare systems in the US, California and Finland. Even though the Finnish and Californian child protection systems differ considerably, the book reveals some matters surprisingly familiar also in the Finnish child welfare context. After the presentations there were commentary speeches held by the Finnish social workers and the project researches. The presentations and the comments inspired participants to a vivid discussion about the core elements of the child protection work.