119 research outputs found

    The Nuts and Bolts of Risk Assessment: When the Clinical and Actuarial Conflict

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    The aim of this research was to examine the thought processes that practitioners follow when they are conducting risk assessments. Weighing up the probability that an individual will inflict harm requires the practitioner to apply clinical and actuarial approaches, and integrate static and dynamic information. This is a complex and inexact task, and one that has been found lacking in reviews of serious further offences. This research focused on a small, atypical subgroup of risk assessments; those where the actuarial information is at odds with the clinical judgment. The results indicated that practitioners are more likely to override actuarial information that indicates a low risk of harm rather than a high one, confirming the existence of the ‘precautionary principle’. The research also produced some important messages for practice, particularly a reluctance to reduce sexual offenders’ risk of harm even when evidence of all types was compelling, and conversely, a willingness to reduce non-sexual offenders’ risk on the basis of only flimsy dynamic evidence, and counter to actuarial pointers. The research concludes that a more sophisticated understanding of the evidence around dynamic factors would enhance assessments

    Probation officers and child protection work; what does 'think family' look like in practice?"

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    This research was an examination of 31 probation service cases that required some level of child protection work. The work was undertaken for a large metropolitan probation trust to establish the characteristics of child protection cases, and evaluate standards of practice. The sample was found to be predominantly low or medium risk. It was characterized by widespread domestic violence, and mothers struggling to parent on their own. Substance misuse was a very common feature, and to a lesser extent poor mental health. A great deal of impressive practice, as well as some poor practice was encountered, and the cases provide much instruction as to just what a ‘think family’ approach means. Probation officers were excluded from multi-agency work in a worrying number of cases

    Integrating attachment theory into probation practice; a qualitative study

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    This research examined how a sample of English Probation Officers (POs) applied attachment theory as they supervised service users. Using an action research methodology over six months the research identified aspects that were readily utilised (the idea that POs can sometimes represent a secure base figure, and that attachment histories were significant). However, others offered little utility (the concept of mentalization as a facility rooted in early attachment, and the classification of attachment style). The reasons for this are explored, and the process by which specialist research knowledge is applied by non-specialist practitioners is considered

    Using attachment theory with offenders

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    Attachment theory has routinely been considered essential for those working with children. However, contemporary literature and research on attachment offers some compelling insights for work with offenders, particularly in the way that empathy is developed and mood is regulated

    Albion Woodbury Small and Education

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    "To die is better for me", social suffering among Syrian refugees at a noncommunicable disease clinic in Jordan: a qualitative study.

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    BACKGROUND: The conflict in Syria has required humanitarian agencies to implement primary-level services for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Jordan, given the high NCD burden amongst Syrian refugees; and to integrate mental health and psychosocial support into NCD services given their comorbidity and treatment interactions. However, no studies have explored the mental health needs of Syrian NCD patients. This paper aims to examine the interaction between physical and mental health of patients with NCDs at a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic in Irbid, Jordan, in the context of social suffering. METHODS: This qualitative study involved sixteen semi-structured interviews with Syrian refugee and Jordanian patients and two focus groups with Syrian refugees attending MSF's NCD services in Irbid, and eighteen semi-structured interviews with MSF clinical, managerial and administrative staff. These were conducted by research staff in August 2017 in Irbid, Amman and via Skype. Thematic analysis was used. RESULTS: Respondents describe immense suffering and clearly perceived the interconnectedness of their physical wellbeing, mental health and social circumstances, in keeping with Kleinman's theory of social suffering. There was a 'disconnect' between staff and patients' perceptions of the potential role of the NCD and mental health service in alleviating this suffering. Possible explanations identified included respondent's low expectations of the ability of the service to impact on the root causes of their suffering, normalisation of distress, the prevailing biomedical view of mental ill-health among national clinicians and patients, and humanitarian actors' own cultural standpoints. CONCLUSION: Syrian and Jordanian NCD patients recognise the psychological dimensions of their illness but may not utilize clinic-based humanitarian mental health and psychosocial support services. Humanitarian agencies must engage with NCD patients to elicit their needs and design culturally relevant services
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