Article Information

RESILIENCE RESOURCES AT THE FAMILIES AND CHILDREN RECEIVING THE STATE SOCIAL HELP

Vladlena Avdeeva (vladlena.avdeeva@gmail.com), Anastasiya Ruppel

The Sociological Institute of RAS — branch of Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Citation: Avdeeva V., Ruppel A. (2019) Resursy zhiznestoykosti u semey i detey, poluchayushchikh gosudarstvennuyu sotsial'nuyu pomoshch' [Resilience resources at the families and children receiving the state social help]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 22(3): 80–112 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2019.22.3.4

Abstract. Most social studies of children in the social welfare system focus on the problem situation and risk factors faced by a family and a child. The aim of this study is to analyze the interpretations of the resources of families with children who receive services in governmental centers for social assistance for families and children in St. Petersburg. The analysis was carried out from the parents' (or other legal representatives of children) and social workers' perspectives. The research sample includes 36 cases; each case is a story of a child receiving state social services. The case is formed on the basis of focused interviews with the parents and specialists. Within the qualitative data analysis, we identified interpretations of resilience resources of family and child according to the parents’ and specialists’ perspectives and compared these interpretations. Speaking about the family resources, specialists, in the overwhelming majority of cases, mean mothers’ motivation, her personal and behavioral traits, and the ability to provide children with everything they need. Men — fathers, stepfathers, and grandfathers completely fall out of the picture of family resources. Little attention was paid to the quality of parent-child relationships and relationships between the adult family members, as well as to the child’s resources. Parents told about resources of support from the relatives, family members, friends, and acquaintances, as well as their own personal traits. The comparison of these two interpretations showed that social workers underestimate the family’s and child’s resources. This underestimation could be explained by the features of the needs assessment system which does not include analytical methods for collecting information about the family, as well as gender and generational inequality, according to which a mother is responsible for the family well-being, and the child is seen as a part of the family but not an independent subject of assistance and active agent in the process of taking the family out of a difficult life situation. 

Key words: resources, resilience, risk and protective factors, social work, children, parents.

Acknowledgements

The research is executed within the "Social Trajectories of the Childhood in Modern Russia" project supported by a grant of the Russian scientific fund No. 16-18-10372.

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