Social support networks of families with children in a difficult life situation

Social Assistance to Families and Children in St. Petersburg. The research problem is the lack of information on the resources of social support for families with children who receive services from the social protection system. The aim of our research was to describe and classify social support networks for children and families. The research methodology is based on the framework analysis. The research sample included 59 cases, each case included an interview with a child aged from 10 to 17 and an interview with his / her parent or legal guardian. When analyzing the research data we identified various types of social support for the family - instrumental, material, informational and appraisal support, identified people who provide these types of support, these were the family members and relatives, school teachers, coaches (in extra curricular activities), as well as specialists from social support centers and other organizations in the field of social welfare system. The data analysis also included the characteristics of these networks: their size, density, heterogeneity, and complexity. The most common types of support are instrumental, material and emotional. The child's grandmothers provide material and instrumental support for most families. Instrumental support, which may include assistance in the upbringing younger children, is provided to the parents by the child him or herself, and emotional support also comes from the children. A significant fact is the lack of emotional support in one third of all families from the sample, recognized as being in a socially dangerous situation, and the absence of any material support in some families in difficult life situations.

For citation: Feigina A. Ya., Avdeeva V.P. , Odinokova V.A., Rusakova M.M. Social support networks of families with children in a difficult life situation. St. Petersburg Sociology Today. 2020. N. 13/14. P. 86-107. DOI:10.25990/socinstras.pss-13-14.eccj-s536

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