This dissertation is about psychosocial care for children and adolescents. We investigated the experiences of recently graduated social workers who work in residential youth care and how youth professionals in Aruba experience their collaboration. Furthermore, we investigated the outcomes of psychosocial care for children and adolescents after three years.
Our research shows that recently graduated youth care workers working in residential youth care would have liked more practical training, especially in dealing with serious problem behaviour such as aggression. Besides, the youth care workers reported to struggle with the way in which psychosocial care for children and adolescents is organised.
Regarding the outcomes of psychosocial care, we found that, overall, children and adolescents with psychosocial problems who received care had improved outcomes at follow-up. However, increased provision of care does not automatically lead to reduction of problems, and although overall psychosocial problems are reduced, a substantial subgroup had longer lasting problems.
We then investigated how adolescents themselves felt how they function in four life domains three years after the start of psychosocial care, namely: at school, in friendships, home life and in leisure activities. Adolescents who received care showed improved functioning in all domains. What is new here is that the functioning of adolescents apparently improves more than their problems decrease. This is a hopeful message because it indicates that psychosocial care helps them to deal with their problems.
V. (Vera) Verhage
prof. dr. S.A. Reijneveld; prof. dr. H.W.E. Grietens