Working relationally to promote user participation in welfare services for young disabled children and their families in Iceland

Jóna G Ingólfsdóttir, Thurídur Jóhannsdóttir, Rannveig Traustadóttir
2018 Nordisk Välfärdsforskning  
Despite the avowed aims of the Icelandic legislation to provide family-centred and inclusive services, families raising disabled children commonly express their experiences of fragmented services provided more on the terms of the service providers than the users. This article is based on data derived from an on-going qualitative multi case-research in three municipalities in Iceland. The aims of the paper are 1) to identify the main contradictions that explain tensions and dilemmas within the
more » ... rvice system as experienced by the parents, and 2) to suggest potential solutions for improving practices in accordance with family-centred inclusive policy and enhanced user participation. The cultural-historical activity theory was applied as an analytical framework. Three activities central to the wellbeing of the children and their families were identified as the unit of analysis, and contradictions within the activities were located and classified by following the expansive learning theory. Based on our findings we propose Edwards's three 'gardening tools' of relational practices as innovative and appropriate concepts for the necessary changes needed. By utilising these tools, the disabled children and their families are brought to the forefront and the professionals enhance their expertise in partnership with all stakeholders.
doi:10.18261/issn.2464-4161-2018-01-04 fatcat:6a4jqslwezenjexduceo4qdvke