Stories and their value : exploring the role of storytelling in social care practice

McLean, Lavinia and Tuite, Emmett (2016) Stories and their value : exploring the role of storytelling in social care practice. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 15 (2). ISSN 1478-1840

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Identifying interventions which have universal application in residential care for children is challenging due to the complex nature of the needs encountered. The various forms of storytelling may offer an approach to intervention which is adaptable enough to serve a wide variety of purposes including assessment, relationship building, conflict resolution and information sharing. The current research identified the informal use of storytelling in a wide variety of contexts relevant to working with young people in residential services. This study adopted a mixed methods approach utilising both questionnaires and semi structured interviews with social care staff. This research identified the perceived benefits and potential challenges of adopting informal storytelling as an approach to both therapeutic and educational work with young people in residential care. The daily milieu of residential care offers particularly valuable opportunities to utilise a storytelling approach as an informal intervention with difficult to reach young people. This study outlines the possible potential of this approach to be extended across a range of children's residential services.

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