Welcome to the website of the DFG Research Training Group “Consequences of Social Services Work”. On our website you can find information about the concept of the research training group, the qualification programme and the work of doctoral students and Postdoc, the applicants and other participants.
Social services work has the central goal of improving the participation opportunities and options for action of the addressees. In public, political and academic contexts, it is increasingly expected to provide evidence of whether or how social services actually achieve their goal. So far, relevant studies have largely followed individual disciplinary logics, so that a heterogeneous landscape of research has emerged. The Research Training Group integrates these different approaches so that the Research Training Group can deal with basic questions of impact research from an interdisciplinary perspective. The young researchers learn about the complexity of impact research and acquire expertise in concrete forms of social services work, so that they can position themselves excellently in a research context that is both nationally shaped and internationally highly relevant.
The five central questions of impact research will be used to realize the interdisciplinary foundation of the Research Training Group and to relate the individual studies of the Research Training Group to each other.
Research Projects of Doctoral Students & Postdoc
Using the example of the “Jugendstrafvollzug in freien Formen” (a technical term for a specialised institution for young prisoners in Germany that provides a certain degree of self-determination during the process of resocialisation), this proposed research project intends to focus on young prisoners as addressees of these educational and resocialization measures. The specialised institutional format is supposed enable the addressees to take on responsibility in regard to their own consequential measures and position themselves as actors during the process of their resocialisation based on their individual background and available resources. The research utilises a qualitative-reconstructive research design to investigate individual consequences for the addressees, while taking the educational-supportive framework of a youth prison into account. Therefore, this multidisciplinary study project touches upon educational science as well as theories related to legal sciences.
In Germany probation service as part of social work in the criminal justice system represents the most important alternative to the penal system. According to the law, the live circumstances of the convicted person play an important role in the suspension of sentence (section 56 of the German criminal code). Following the guidelines from the DBSH (a German professional association of social work), the relatives of the person on probation are also included in the practical probation period. This doctoral thesis focusses on the interface between probationary service work and the social network of its addressees and considers potential interactions. The research project aims to discover implications and consequences the probation service might have for its addressees and their social relations. For this purpose a qualitative network research using case comparison will be conducted.
In this dissertation project the perspective is taken that social action, which includes meaningful action related to other persons, is always marked by a bodily aspect. Therefore it is assumed that also social services work, which is oriented towards its addressees, is bodily steeped. Which consequences of social services work arise in the context of bodily representation, construction and possible transformation of social order is an empirically open question. Based on the work of socio-pedagogical fan projects, the qualitative research design aims to show how the social services work is embodied by the addressees and how the consequences affect the construction/transformation of the addressee’s social reality. Especially the bodily impulse and experience of the fans in the context of football and the accompanying work of the fan projects establish the opportunity to explore the embodied consequences of social services work in differentiated manner.
Increasing social segregation has been observed in urban areas in Germany for several years. In response, policies often focus on neighborhoods that are considered ‘disadvantaged’ and socially unstable. Numerous social programs and measures are being promoted to upgrade and stabilise the urban districts and improve the living conditions of the local population. The group of addressees potentially includes anyone who lives in these ‘disadvantaged’ areas. Based on the place of residence, problem-oriented social characteristics are attributed to the residents and a need for support is derived. By integration perspectives from sociological urban research and research on the consequences of social services work, the project investigates the consequences of specific (political-social) attributions as well as the implementation of these specifically area-related social services for the addressees.
Although symptoms of poverty in Germany are socially covered and the medical and therapeutic care system should in principle be open to everyone, current empirical analyzes of social inequality in the course of illness indicate that people living in an economically disadvantaged context are significantly underserved. What this means subjectively for the addressees of health-related social services work and the consequences in relation to the use of the medical and/or therapeutic care system has not yet been empirically investigated in detail. Therefore it is at the center of this research project.
The main purpose of residential child care (Heimerziehung) is to ensure the wellbeing of children and adolescents as well as to promote their development, education and participation. In addition, child and youth welfare services shall improve upbringing conditions in birth families. In impact studies on residential child care, which focus on the biographical development of young people, co-operation with (birth) parents is recognised as an important impact factor. Careleaver research and discourses on ombudsmanship in child and youth welfare offer an increasing insight into young people’s perspectives on residential child care (and other forms of upbringing support). How (birth) parents experience residential child care is empirically underrepresented in youth welfare research. The research project focuses on this perspective and examines the consequences of residential child care for parents as addressees of this social services work.
According to german child and youth welfare statistics, the number of procedures initiated by schools to assess a risk to the well-being of a child (§ 8a SGB VIII, German Child and Youth Welfare Code) has risen significantly in recent years. If a child’s welfare is endangered, placement in residential youth welfare services often follow. Which mechanisms are relevant that pupils become addressees of (residential) child and youth welfare services, is an empirically open question. By using a dispositive analysis this habilitation project will focus how the ‘dispositive of the addressee of forms of residential youth welfare services (co-)initiated by schools’ is constituted in its powerful connections. In this way, primary and secondary consequences that arise within this complex process for the addressed pupils and other dimensions of the dispositive, e.g. school, youth welfare department or residential child and youth care, can be taken into account.
5 Central Questions
- How can consequences of social services work be conceptualized?
- How do consequences emerge?
- How are users involved in the constitution of consequences?
- How can consequences be researched methodologically an methodically?
- How does social services work interact with the identity of users?
The Young Researchers are supported by an interdisciplinary team from social pedagogy, psychology and sociology. Researchers from Germany and abroad are integrated into the Research Training Group, to realize broad international and interdisciplinary support. This corresponds to the fact that research into the consequences of social services work cannot be carried out by a single method or discipline, but rather refers to complex fundamental questions that need to be addressed in the academic exchange between different disciplines and research approaches.
The participating scientists have been working together for a long time on the research questions of the Research Training Group. A preliminary study was also carried out, the central findings of which were published by Beltz Juventa in 2017: “Folgen sozialer Hilfen. Theoretische und empirische Zugänge”. On this page you will find an overview of relevant publications of the participants.