Journal Article

The Effects of Family Group Conferences on Social Support and Mental Health for Longer-Term Social Assistance Recipients in Norway

Ira Malmberg-Heimonen

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 41, issue 5, pages 949-967
Published in print July 2011 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcr001
The Effects of Family Group Conferences on Social Support and Mental Health for Longer-Term Social Assistance Recipients in Norway

Show Summary Details

Preview

Although family group conferences (FGCs) are primarily known from child welfare services, they have also been used in several adult contexts. Nevertheless, we lack reliable evaluations addressing the effects of FGCs in general, and their effects in adult settings in particular. This study analyses, using a randomised controlled design, the social support and mental health effects of FGCs in social services in Norway. A total of 149 longer-term social assistance recipients were randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. In addition to the usual social services, the intervention group participated in the FGC process. The results indicate that the intervention group demonstrated significant increases in life satisfaction and decreases in mental distress and anxiety and depression. Also, important positive trends were evident for emotional social support and social resources. These findings indicate the potential benefits of FGC for adults more generally and the importance of mobilising and remobilising social networks for longer-term social assistance recipients.

Keywords: Field experimental study; randomised controlled study; family group conference; social assistance recipients; mental health; social support; life satisfaction

Journal Article.  7160 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.