A narrative approach to social work intervention with adolescents who have been exposed to sexual abuse
Adlem, Anri Gretha
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The motivation for the study had its origin in the fact that sexual abuse in South Africa seems to be a formidable problem which has a detrimental effect on the adolescent’s development and functioning. Social workers have to deal with sexual abuse often and do not always have the necessary programmes and skills acquired to follow through therapeutic intervention with these victims. Therefore this study focused on the development, implementation and evaluation of a narrative social work intervention programme where sand play techniques were integrated in the narrative process. The research problem formulated was that many adolescents suffer from the effects of sexual abuse and therefore the aim of the study was to develop and evaluate a narrative social work intervention programme for adolescent survivors of sexual abuse. The study served to broaden the body of social work knowledge by means of meaningful quantitative and qualitative enquiry. Quantitative data were obtained through the use of questionnaires and qualitative data through the use of combined sand play and narratives as approaches. Four (4) participants were included in a series of 10–15 sand play sessions. Only the data of one (1) participant was used for data–analysis. Two (2) sessions were used for general assessment and building of therapeutic relationship and an additional session was used for an interview with the parent(s). The researcher undertook mixed method research where the quantitative and qualitative approaches were combined into the research methodology of the single study. Intervention research was used as basic methodology. Purposive sampling was used in the selection of the research subject for this study. Collected data was analyzed according to Tesch’s approach to qualitative data analysis (Creswell, 1994). The researcher applied the developed social work intervention programme with four (4) adolescent participants who had allegedly been sexually abused. The sand play sessions were audio recorded and evaluated by means of data analysis. The findings of this study emphasized the psycho–social impact of sexual abuse on survivors of sexual abuse. This thesis reflects the contribution and impact that the social work intervention programme had on the adolescent survivor of sexual abuse. This programme was found to be a valuable tool that can be used in intervention with adolescents and could add to the knowledge of social workers and other professionals working with the survivors of sexual abuse. The research can be recognized as a positive demonstration of the value of a narrative social work intervention programme. Recommendations regarding future implementation of the narrative social intervention programme have been made.
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