A study exploring the meaning of culturally competent practice with care leavers in Cornwall
relationship based practice
L500 Social Work
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AbstractThe experiences of young people leaving care in rural areas is not a topic widely researched or written about in the general discourse surrounding care leavers. The neglect of the specific needs of this group leads to universal decisions regarding practice and policy being applied without consideration given to their different needs. In particular, the cultural needs of this group of young people requires specific attention due to the demographic composition of rural areas which often comprise lower numbers of diverse cultural groups than urbanised areas. This thesis describes a qualitative research study into the experiences of young people leaving care in Cornwall using the theoretical lens of cultural competence. The study comprised a series of interviews and focus groups with care leavers to explore their experiences of working with professionals and the impact of a rural environment. Further interviews and focus groups were held with professionals and strategic staff to gain a fuller understanding of the context of Cornwall and specific challenges to practice. In total, 19 care leavers were involved in either the focus groups, interviews or both; 21 professionals were involved in the focus groups; and interviews with four strategic members of staff took place. The numbers of care leavers involved is small in comparison to the overall care leaver population of Cornwall, however the findings of the study provide a useful foundation from which to draw conclusions regarding practice in this area. Culture and culturally competent practice are complex concepts to define with variation between individual interpretations. This study identified several key issues for young people in terms of interactions with professionals which could be defined as culturally competent practice. Views from professionals and strategic staff highlighted the specific challenges of achieving culturally competent practice in rural areas. The study concludes by taking account of both sets of views and making recommendations for practice and further areas of learning.
CitationPellow-Firth, S. (2018) ‘A Study exploring the meaning of culturally competent practice with care leavers in Cornwall’. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Leadership of Children and Young People’s Services
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