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Child and family welfare research


Child and family welfare is a well-established theme in social work at the School of Social Work, Lund University. Research projects in this field of research have in general their focus on one of the three areas: child – family – welfare. The concept child includes individuals up to age 18 (by way of exception 20) and their childhoods. The concept family includes different compositions of adults with children. The concept welfare includes care provided by the state or another organisation for people in need.

The CFWR at the School of Social Work have different designs and theoretical approaches. The different designs include, for example, prospective and retrospective, comparative and experimental, cross-sectional and longitudinal designs. The theoretical approaches include both inductive and deductive reasoning. The CFWR can be categorised into three categories corresponding to child, family and welfare:

Research on children and childhood

Focus on different childhoods, living conditions and everyday life; children’s rights, perspective and participation; children in vulnerability, at risk or in need; children’s experiences of social work interventions and out-of-home care; the impact of class, gender and ethnicity.

Research on family and parenthood

Focus on families with children, cohabitant or separated parents, parenthood in natural, adoptive and foster families; “good enough” parenting and vulnerable families; families with social and mental health problems; parental perspectives on children, care and social work interventions; the impact of class, gender and ethnicity.

Research on welfare, interventions and service organisation

Comparative studies of family policy, family practice and child welfare systems, focus on family support programs, foster care and residential care; implementation and outcome of prevention and treatment programs; impact of children’s advocacy centres; assessment and child welfare decisions; professional social work and social worker discretion.