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Title: Strength-based approach in social work: professionals' experiences in working with refugee youth in Nakivale refugee settlement, Uganda
Authors: Turda, Ileana-Maria
Orientador: Muhangi, Denis
Musinguzi, Laban Kashaija
Keywords: Refugees
Strength-based approach
Professionals experiences
Issue Date: 22-Jun-2017
Citation: TURDA, Ileana-Maria - Strength-based approach in social work: professionals' experiences in working with refugee youth in Nakivale refugee settlement, Uganda [Em linha]. Kampala: Universidade Makerere, 2017. Dissertação de mestrado. [Consult. Dia Mês Ano] Disponível em www:<>.
Abstract: The aim of the research was to explore the area of social work practice with refugee youth in Nakivale refugee settlement, Uganda, in relation to the use of strength-based approach. Hence, the focus was on the professionals and their experiences in working with the youth, covering the area of strengths and resources, both personal and those acknowledged in their clients, the guidelines used and their approach towards youth. Moreover, on a deeper sense, I tried to observe how professionals’ strengths, values and attitudes are transferred into practice. The research is constructed around the sensitive contexts of refugee settlements and refugees, with a focus on the youth and children as predominant groups in the overall population of refugees in Uganda. The same applies for Nakivale refugee settlement. Within this context and drawing from social work literature, the strength-based approach has been used as theoretical framework. The data was collected through qualitative methods, namely, semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and participatory observations, using ethnography as a research design. The main sample consisted of 25 professionals from 6 organizations active in the settlement, focused on the work with youth on different areas of practice and service provision (HIJRA – Humanitarian Initiative Just Relief Aid, War Child Canada, ARC – American Refugee Committee, FRC – Finnish Refugee Council, Tutapona and Windle Trust Uganda). Therefore a purposeful sampling was used. Further on, the voices of the youth were captured through FGDs to enriched the findings. The biggest limitation is the dimension of professionals in relation with social work, since the field of practice includes different areas connected to social work, humanitarian and social sciences. The findings show that the strength-based approach is being used by professionals in their practices. Hence, it is reflected through their attitude towards their clients, through their values, motivations and their passion expressed both for work and humanity. They own the necessary strengths, resources and qualities in order to overcome both personal and work related challenges. Professionals are able to recognize the strengths and resources of their clients and promote them. Emphasizes are made on strong and positive attitudes, genuine relationships, faith and spirituality as a resource and the strength encountered in love, hope and dreams. Reflections made on refugee youth highlight that they are acknowledged as resourceful and resilient. The youth voices are strengthening and confirming the findings. Hence, I conclude that the strength-based approach as a whole is being used by professionals in their practice with the refugees and refugee youth and at a macro level, the aim of self-reliance policies follows the same direction.
Peer reviewed: yes
Designation: Mestrado em Erasmus Mundus em Serviço Social com Famílias e Crianças
Appears in Collections:T&D-DM - Dissertações de mestrado

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