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A Phenomenological Study Into The Place Of Consultation In The Work Of Staff In Children’s Homes: How Much Is It An Organisational Construction?

K. Faull
Published 2012 · Medicine

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Residential work with young people is a complex and difficult job. CAMHS practitioners provide consultation support to staff teams in children’s homes. The study investigated the phenomenon of CAMHS consultation to residential staff within the context of a local authority setting. Focus groups were convened to gather data regarding how staff members understood consultation in the context of a local authority setting from four hierarchical levels within residential services. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was utilised to analyse the data into themes. A number of significant contextual themes emerged: the importance that staff members attach to maintaining and preserving relationships with their colleagues; the unclear and complex context of the work; and the sense of powerlessness that they experience. It is argued that these themes represent a culture that makes it difficult for members of staff to engage in the process of consultation, especially when focussed on staff relationships. The likely impact on the consultation process is discussed and some considerations for the clinical implications are suggested.
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