Hidden Loss in Parent Carers: Enhancing Social Workers’ knowledge and Skills through an Online Experiential Workshop
thesisposted on 13.12.2021, 15:52 authored by Elaine BrennanElaine Brennan
Title: Hidden Loss in Parent Carers: Enhancing Social Workers Knowledge and Skills through an Online Experiential Workshop.
Background: Social workers working in children’s disability primarily focus on supporting parent carers to adjust to their changed circumstances. Research suggests that parents experience loss and grief-related emotions when their child is born with a disability. Living with this type of non-finite loss may remain hidden or unclear.
Problem Description: There is limited information on whether social workers identify loss and grief in parent carers and how this need is addressed. There is no specific training or practice guidance for social workers working in this area.
Methods: Action Research using an Appreciative Inquiry approach was used.
Process: Fifteen social workers working for a national disability organisation participated in the study. All completed a forced-choice survey. Five subsequently participated in a semi-structured interview. Survey and interview findings were used to construct an online experiential workshop.
Results: All participants recognised the presence of loss and grief in parent carers and provided a range of interventions to address this. Differences in practice priorities were identified. Resource issues impacted on social workers capacity to plan specific targeted interventions.
Conclusion: The study found that social workers were addressing loss and grief in parent carers but not in a systematic way across the organisation. Consideration of training needs, the development of a practice guidance and adequate resourcing is required. Social workers valued the workshop input on grief and loss models and the opportunity to reflect and consider practice issues.
First SupervisorDr Una Molloy
Second SupervisorOrla Keegan
CommentsA thesis submitted in part fulfilment of the degree of MSc in Loss & Bereavement, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. 2021
Published CitationBrennan E,. Hidden Loss in Parent Carers: Enhancing Social Workers’ knowledge and Skills through an Online Experiential Workshop [MSc Thesis] Dublin: Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; 2021
Degree NameMSc Loss and Bereavement
Date of award01/09/2021
- MSc Loss and Bereavement