University of Limerick
Breen_2017_Staff.pdf (2.11 MB)

Staff experiences of applying a social pedagogical intervention within a residential childcare setting in Ireland

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posted on 2022-10-07, 10:15 authored by Emma Breen
Introduction: Social pedagogy is a discipline underpinning direct work with young people and families across Europe. The concept of social pedagogy is ambiguous and diverse. Due to its complexity, it is difficult to generalise about this framework. Social pedagogy is expressed in various national traditions formed by country-specific social, political, economic and cultural conditions. A significant interest in the concept has arisen in residential childcare settings in the United Kingdom (UK) of late and more recently within Ireland. There is a noticeable dearth of research focusing on how social pedagogy has been adapted and experienced by staff working within children’s residential settings in the Irish context. Method: Using a qualitative lens, eleven residential staff members from one organisation, based within the mid-west region of Ireland, were interviewed. The research aimed to illuminate staff experiences and the nuances of these experiences. Results: A thematic analysis approach was employed and a number of themes and sub-themes emerged from the data collected. The main themes identified included; ‘Understanding Social Pedagogy’, ‘Emotional Impact of the Role’, ‘Organisational Features’ and ‘Challenges related to Implementation of the Model’. Discussion: Findings are discussed in relation to the literature reviewed and also implications for future practice, research and policy



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Ryan, Patrick





Department or School

  • Psychology

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