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The need to construct a new model story
– Immigrated families with children with disabilities
within the Finnish public we...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015
Content
• Finnish public welfare services and immigration
• Development of integration
• Work diar...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015
Finnish public welfare services and immigration
Sivu 3
• The Finnish public welfare services have ...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015
Development of integration
• So-called integration services have been developed considerably durin...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015
Work diaries and narrative analysis
• Our research data consists of work diaries the integration a...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015
Research task
Sivu 6
• We construct two stories concerning fitting together public welfare service...
Conventional story
1) Immigrated children with their families cannot cope with everyday life and need help and support in
...
Reformistic story
1) Professionals working in welfare services do not know how to manage the complex situations of immigra...
Interpretation
• We interpret that the conventional story is a Finnish model story of integration
- With the concept of a ...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Sivu 10
• However, the conventional story is also restrictive and shackling due to the fact that i...
| ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015
Conclusions
Sivu 11
• The conventional and reformistic stories comprise two extremities - What kin...
References
• Act on the Promotion of Immigrant integration. L 1386/2010
• Buchert Ulla 2016: Kohti universalismin ja monin...
Thank you!
Ulla Buchert
ulla.buchert @kuntoutussaatio.fi
+358 44 7813139
Mirkka Vuorento
mirkka.vuorento@kuntoutussaatio.f...
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RIWC_PARA_A115 immigrated children with disabilities and their families within the finnish welfare services

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A115 immigrated children with disabilities and their families within the finnish welfare services

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RIWC_PARA_A115 immigrated children with disabilities and their families within the finnish welfare services

  1. 1. The need to construct a new model story – Immigrated families with children with disabilities within the Finnish public welfare services Senior researcher, DSocSc Ulla Buchert Researcher, MSocSc Mirkka Vuorento 27.10.2016
  2. 2. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Content • Finnish public welfare services and immigration • Development of integration • Work diaries and narrative analysis • Conventional story • Reformistic story • Interpretation • Conclusions • References
  3. 3. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Finnish public welfare services and immigration Sivu 3 • The Finnish public welfare services have been constructed and reconstructed during a long period of time, for citizens with certain kind of service needs and lingual, cultural and societal background (Buchert 2015) • Since 1990s’ increased immigration has brought to realm of the services also people who have not been taken into account while building the services • The present legislation (Non-discrimination Act 2014) guarantees equal access to public welfare services also for immigrated people, however, the right not always actualise in practice due to the fact that the services and immigrated people “do not fit” very well together • This incompatibility is problematic for both sides and is aimed to be solved by promoting integration (Act on the Promotion of Immigrant integration 2010) • Integration is understood commonly as adapting immigrated people to fit the services, not as modifying the services to fit immigrated people (Buchert 2016)
  4. 4. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Development of integration • So-called integration services have been developed considerably during the past two decades • The Vamlas Foundation (promotes equal opportunities and inclusion of children with disabilities) operates in the field of disability services, carried out an integration project called ETU • The ETU-project was aimed at developing integration work done with immigrated families with children with disabilities (i.e. Franz-Koivisto 2016; Vuorento, Franz-Koivisto 2016) • The integration advisor of the project worked about two years with 10 client families who have immigrated to Finland with child/children with disability or need for special support • The task of the integration advisor was to promote integration by offering bidirectional support by guiding and supporting both families and professionals working with them Sivu 4
  5. 5. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Work diaries and narrative analysis • Our research data consists of work diaries the integration advisor kept about her work with the client families (n=10) • Documentation includes i.e. families’ starting situation, contacts made by and needs expressed by the family as well as support, information, advice and help provided by the advisor for the families and professionals • Documentation is mainly descriptive, comprises families’ or professionals’ help requests, support given by the integration advisor and ensued results, does not comprise discussion related to the origin and implications of the problems • We analyze the work diaries by using narrative analysis, i.e. collect from the work diaries descriptions of cases and events, and use them to construct two stories, storyline of which gathers the parts together and gives them meaning (Polkinghorne 1995, Valkonen 2007) Sivu 5
  6. 6. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Research task Sivu 6 • We construct two stories concerning fitting together public welfare services and immigrated families with children with disabilities from the cases and events documented in the work diaries • Both stories share the same structure and storyline: 1) in the beginning it is justified why the services and families need to be fitted together, 2) the middle part reveals the means the integration advisor uses to promote this and 3) in the end it is reported what needs to be achieved before the integration advisor is able to detach herself from the work • However, the stories differ in perspective: In the first story the integration advisor promotes the fitting together by offering support to the families and in the second story by offering support to the professionals. We have named the stories a conventional story and a reformistic story.
  7. 7. Conventional story 1) Immigrated children with their families cannot cope with everyday life and need help and support in integrating to Finnish society. Families might be illiterate or their knowledge of Finnish language is limited, they have no understanding of the service system and they don’t understand the information and advice they get from service providers. This makes the use of services problematic. 2) The integration advisor clarifies the information of the service providers for the families, she takes care of their affairs and teaches them how to use services. She shares information about recreational activities for children, corrects misconceptions regarding income support, participates in meetings at hospital, sends text messages to remind about doctor’s appointments, guides how to deal with broken mobility aid, speaks for the family at school and encourages parents to deal with a social worker by themselves. The integration advisor also clarifies support for informal care, finds out about therapies available and investigates modifications needed for apartments. 3) It is possible for the integration advisor to detach herself from the work with the families when illiterate parents have learned to read and write and/or parents have learned Finnish, adequately enough to be able to navigate in the service system independently. They are able to find out solutions for their problems and know how to take care of things over the phone and in writing online. Parents are healthy and they have resources to take care of a child with special needs. Families are aware of their rights and responsibilities; they are determined to find solutions for possible problems and know where to seek help in case of need.
  8. 8. Reformistic story 1) Professionals working in welfare services do not know how to manage the complex situations of immigrated families with disabled children and need external support for their work. They don’t know how to support families with illiterate parents or with limited proficiency of Finnish. Professionals are not able to provide information, guidance and advice to families understandably enough, and they don’t take into account families’ need for personal customer services. 2) The integration advisor takes care of things on behalf of the professionals, assists them and teaches them how to manage things by themselves. She answers queries regarding situations of the families, conveys information from professionals to families and from families to professionals and advices teaching assistants to use plain language and other supportive means to facilitate interaction with families. She tells professionals at a hospital that it is their responsibility to reserve an interpreter and guides them how to reserve one and how to act with him/her. The integration advisor also instructs professionals to give information and advice to families regarding exemption from payments, therapies, medication, assistive tools and holiday activities taking into account their possible need for personal customer service. 3) It is possible for integration advisor to detach herself from the work with professionals when professionals have learned different kinds of ways to take into account possible illiteracy of parents, limited Finnish skills and social background of families. Professionals use family-centered and comprehensive approach, they have means to facilitate communication with families. They are asking the right questions and give adequate information for the families, understanding that they might have difficulties in perceiving their possibilities and responsibilities. When needed, they can arrange personal support for the family.
  9. 9. Interpretation • We interpret that the conventional story is a Finnish model story of integration - With the concept of a model story it is referred to stories, according to which certain situations are generally perceived and people in such situations are expected to behave in a certain culture or community (Hänninen, Valkonen 1998.) • Therefore, we argue that the conventional story is used generally to perceive integration-related situations and create expectations of behaviour in such situations - The story implements the spirit of Act on the Promotion of Immigrant integration (2010) - The story itself as well as included professional activities and practises appear familiar and worth pursuing
  10. 10. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Sivu 10 • However, the conventional story is also restrictive and shackling due to the fact that it is influenced by methodological nationalism, the use of national welfare state and its’ services as unquestioned sources of legitimacy (Hänninen, Valkonen 1998; Wimmer 2009; Wimmer, Glick Schiller 2002) - It is considered self-evident and taken for granted that the Finnish services remain unchanged, and the unquestioned way to solve the incompatibility between them and immigrated people is to adapt immigrated people to fit the services by means of integration services • The reformistic story challenges the conventional story as a cultural model story by being distanced from methodological nationalism; welfare state and its’ services are taken as a starting point, but without their national basis - It is considered instead, that the welfare services “belong to all” even though the present ”all” is defined differently than the earlier “all” due to increased immigration - From this perspective the appropriate way to solve the incompatibility between the services and immigrated people is to modify the services to suit also immigrated people
  11. 11. | ©Kuntoutussäätiö 2015 Conclusions Sivu 11 • The conventional and reformistic stories comprise two extremities - What kind of stories we want to tell about the Finnish society and public welfare services in the future? • Integration of the immigrated people is important and valuable, however, ability of the immigrated people to use the public services and benefit from them can not depend on the level of their integration - Many are in immediate need of assistance upon arrival to the country, some never fully integrate, but may still need, and have the right for, assistance and help • We need to construct a new model story, which does not follow either the conventional or reformistic story, but is situated somewhere in between - The need for integration services remains but change in professional work practices is also required
  12. 12. References • Act on the Promotion of Immigrant integration. L 1386/2010 • Buchert Ulla 2016: Kohti universalismin ja moninaisuuden yhteensovittamista. Sirpa Kannasoja, Marjo Kuronen, Tytti Poikolainen (toim.): Tutkiva sosiaalityö. Sosiaalityön aika. Talentia-lehti, Sosiaalityön tutkimuksen seura. • Buchert Ulla 2015: Maahanmuuttajuuden institutionaaliset kategoriat. Kuntoutussäätiön tutkimuksia 87/2015, Kuntoutussäätiö. • Franz-Koivisto Larissa 2016: Vammaisen lapsen ja hänen perheensä kotoutumisen tukeminen ETU-hankkeessa. Kuntoutus 1/2016, s. 60-64. • Hänninen Vilma, Valkonen Jukka 2005: Johdannoksi. Teoksessa Vilma Hänninen, Jukka Valkonen (toim.) Kunnon tarinoita. Tarinallinen näkökulma kuntoutukseen. Kuntoutussäätiön tutkimuksia 59/98, Kuntoutussäätiö, Helsinki. • Non-discrimination Act. L 21/2014 • Polkinghorne David E 1995: Narrative configuration in qualitative analysis. In J A Hatch, R Wisniewski (toim.) Life history and narrative. The Falmer Press, London. • Valkonen Jukka 2002: Kuntoutus, tarinat ja soveltava sosiaalipsykologia. Kuntoutussäätiön tutkimuksia 70/2002, Kuntoutussäätiö, Helsinki. • Valkonen Jukka 2007: Psykoterapia, masennus ja sisäinen tarina. Kuntoutussäätiön tutkimuksia 77/2007, Kuntoutussäätiö, Helsinki. • Vuorento Mirkka, Franz-Koivisto Larissa 2016: Maahanmuuttajataustainen vammainen lapsi ja hänen perheensä sosiaalityön asiakkaana. Teoksessa Jäppinen M, Metteri A, Ranta-Tyrkkö S, Rauhala PL (toim.) Kansainvälinen sosiaalityö. Käsitteitä, käytäntöjä ja kehityskulkuja. Sosiaalityön tutkimuksen seura, Helsinki. • Wimmer Andreas 2009: Herder’s Heritage and the Boundary-Making Approach: Studying Ethnicity in Immigrant Societies’. Sociological Theory 27: 3 September 2009, 244-270. • Wimmer Andreas, Glick Schiller Nina 2002: Methodological nationalism and the study of migration. Arc.europ.sociol., XLIII, 2 (2002), 217-240.
  13. 13. Thank you! Ulla Buchert ulla.buchert @kuntoutussaatio.fi +358 44 7813139 Mirkka Vuorento mirkka.vuorento@kuntoutussaatio.fi +358 44 7813140 Rehabilitation Foundation Pakarituvantie 4-5 (PL 39) 00410 Helsinki

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