Interventions in a family preservation service, the narratives of single parent mothers

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Meneses, Adela
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This research study explores the experiences of single parent mothers with a family preservation service. Using a qualitative research approach, this study reports on interviews conducted with eight single mothers who parent a child with challenging behaviors. Examples of these behaviors are poor anger control, behavioral problems, impulsivity and behaviors associated with Attention Deficit Disorder with hyperactivity, Tourette Syndrome a d learning difficulties. Three questions guided this study: What is helpful and not helpful in counselling; What do the workers do that help the mothers to bring about changes in their family life; Do the experiences of gender and class affect women within the service context? if this is so, how? The findings of this study have been organized as an approach to practice developed from the women's narratives. Prominent components of this approach include: referral phase, introduction/goal setting, intensive work phase; follow-up phase, the client-worker relationship, other interventions and the change process. A description of each of these components is presented. The usefulness of the interventions is discussed in terms of the approach developed. Further, women's experiences dealing with the larger systems and parenting a child with challenging behaviors are explored. The implications of these findings for social work practice and research are discussed.