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Be prepared and do the best you can: a focus group study with staff on the care environment at Swedish secure youth homes
Institute of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2815-7547
Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden;Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Division of Building Design, Chalmers University of Technology, and Centre for Healthcare Architecture, Gothenburg, Sweden.
University of Borås, Faculty of Police Work.
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2023 (English)In: International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, ISSN 1748-2623, E-ISSN 1748-2631, Vol. 18, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on the care environment of secure youth homes run by the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care, where youths up to 21 years old are placed according to law due to extensive care needs or sentences.

 

Purpose

This study examined staff members’ experiences of the institutional care environment within secure youth homes.

 

Methods

Data were collected through three focus group discussions with 17 staff members at two secure youth homes. Subsequently, a thematic analysis was conducted.

 

Results

The analysis indicated two main themes: risk management and damage control in a restricted environment and compensating and reconstructing ordinariness—trying to make the best of it; each theme had three subthemes. The care environment seems to be experienced by staff as characterized by conflicting demands, thus constituting a gap between needs and what is possible to achieve—a balancing act that constitutes a constant struggle.

 

Conclusions

The staff members’ constant struggle could be interpreted as conflicting moral and instrumental demands; they know what the youths need, but the environment of the secure youth homes demands the decorous behaviour of sociomaterial control practices—rather than care practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 18, no 1
Keywords [en]
Institutional youth care, sociomateriality, focus group discussions, thematic analysis, care environment, Erving Goffman
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-29444DOI: 10.1080/17482631.2023.2168234ISI: 000924372900001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85147235011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-29444DiVA, id: diva2:1736408
Available from: 2023-02-13 Created: 2023-02-13 Last updated: 2024-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Thodelius, Charlotta

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