Data Collections in Previous Years

Quantitative Data Collections:
The quantitative data collections involving statutory and voluntary youth service agencies are framed as trend studies.

Monitoring of Statutory Youth Service Agencies:
In 2009 and 2003, based on a two-tiered selection process, over 100 county, district and municipal youth welfare offices were sampled for a survey. This sampling approach ensured that the regional variations among youth welfare agencies are adequately represented.
As part of this surveys standardized questionnaires were sent out by mail; questions concerned the following topics:
• personnel situation
• professional development, on-the-job training, special qualifications, supervision
• funding situation
• local service offers (day care, advisory services, educational assistance, social services at the juvenile court, youth work, socio-educational provisions, etc.)
• new public management
• youth services planning
• cooperation between statutory and voluntary youth services
• cooperation with businesses
• educational measures for the protection of children and youth
• help planning process

Monitoring of Voluntary Youth Service Agencies:
Parallel to the study of statutory service agencies, a survey of voluntary youth service agencies and organizations was undertaken. Questionnaires were mailed out to residential care facilities and other entities delivering socio-educational services, to day care facilities, to the local offices of welfare organizations as well as local youth councils.
In view of the specific nature of the different types of organizations included in the survey sets of questions and item lists were tailored to each of the respective type of voluntary agency. The topics covered were:
• organizational structure
• personnel situation
• professional development, on-the-job training
• funding situation
• management strategies
• cooperation and networking
• commercialization of child and youth services
• services offered
• pedagogical philosophy of the organization

In a part of the surveys the questionnaire was sent in the traditional way by mail, another part of the surveys was conducted with an online questionnaire.

Qualitative Data Collections:
Study on Parental Work:
It was the goal of this study to find out why in many cases parental work proves to be so challenging for the child and youth service professionals, or in other words why professionals consider “welfare families” to be difficult. Special attention had to be paid to patterns of communication and interaction that develop between professionals and parents/care givers, as well as the question what might be the reason for often surfacing conflicts between the parties involved. Based on the findings recommendations have been formulated in order to improve current practice.
Qualitative, guided interviews have been conducted with professionals of socio-educational services, i.e., with staff of socio-educational facilities (partial or full-time residential care), with staff of youth welfare offices, with parents or care givers (custodian, guardian) respectively, as well as with children and youth receiving the service. In addition, the service professionals have been engaged in workshops in which preliminary findings of the study have been jointly reflected and interpreted. The workshop results, in turn, have been considered in the final analysis of the data. Since the structures of communication and interaction between service professionals and parents were of key interest in this study, also participant observations have likely been carried out during meetings of professionals with parents or during parent group meetings.

Study on Participation of Children and Youth in Residential Care:
Qualitative, guided interviews with key actors in partial and full-time residential care services were conducted on the topic of participation of children and youth in these services. Interviewees were staff members from statutory and voluntary child and youth service agencies as well as parents and/or care givers (persons who exercise the right of care or custody). Several workshops with social workers were held, and the results of these were included in the data analysis. Also, documents from different institutions and organizations were analyzed.
Central questions of the analysis were:
• Which conception of participation guides the work of professionals in child and youth welfare services?
• Which obstacles arise regarding the implementation of participation in everyday practice?
• Which difficulties do social workers have to overcome in order to initiate participation processes?
• Which strategies and procedures have been developed by the organization in order to ensure participation?
• Which approaches do social workers employ that [help to] ensure participation?


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Deutsches Jugendinstitut
Nockherstr. 2
81541 München