Conversational contexts: Investigating the dynamics of relationships between clients and professionals in child welfare

Annemiek Harder, Christopher J. Hall, Carolus H.C.J. Van Nijnatten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


The effectiveness of interventions has become an important object of scientificstudy in child welfare and often a prerequisite for funding of child welfare programmes. Many studies on the effectiveness of interventions aimed at supporting families at risk and behavioural change of youth have suggested that features of the relationship between professional and client, and the characteristics of the professional, are decisive for the interventions’ effectiveness. There are, however, few studies of what is important in terms of relational skills, personal characteristics or communication strategies. In this special issue, we focus on the dynamics of relationships between child welfare workers and clients (i.e. young people and/or their parents) by using direct observation and close analysis of naturally occurring processes. The contributions to this special issue have a ‘bottom up’ and a ‘top down approach’ in analysing relationships. The first part uses a ‘bottom up’ approach and reports on conversations between youth and family treatment parents in treatment homes. Using a ‘top down’ approach, the second part specifically focuses on Motivational Interviewing skills of care professionals in their interactions with youth. The third part covers the interactions between parents and professionals in the context of child protection using a ‘bottom up’ approach.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Child & Family Welfare
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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