14 SES 13 B, Early Childhood Education and Play: Home and daycare contexts
The topic of evaluation in the extra scholastic educational field is an open challenge for educational research, in terms of building knowledge, practices and tools. The paper explore the subject focusing the attention about residential child and youth care.
Today residential care services are important resources for the protection and promotion of children and adolescents temporarily or permanently deprived of his or her family environment.
European recommendations highlight that the type of placement must primarily take account of the needs and best interests of the child, bearing in mind the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989). Particularly, the ‘Recommendation Rec(2005)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the rights of children living in residential institutions’ sets out a list of basic principles, specific rights of children living in residential institutions, such as:
- the right to maintain regular contact with the child’s family and other significant people;
- the right to an identity;
- the right to good quality health care adapted to the needs and well-being of the individual child;
- the right to participate in decision-making processes concerning the child and the living conditions in the institution.
To ensure the implementation of these rights, the Recommendation Rec(2005)5 suggests the following guidelines and quality standards:
- a small family-style living unit;
- an individual care plan, based on both the development of the child's capacities and abilities and respect for his or her autonomy;
- the stability of staff and high professional standards of the staff;
- a multidisciplinary teamwork and other means of support, including supervision and in service-training;
- an efficient system of monitoring, evaluation and external control of residential institutions.
The European standards Quality4Children (2010) are an important contribution, complementary to Rec(2005)5, towards the harmonization of childcare systems in Europe, based on the experiences and good practices of the people directly concerned. These Standards were launched at the European Parliament in June 2007 and are available in 27 languages.
The international literature about residential child and youth care has developed extensively during the last two decades. The need for outcomes-based studies and evidence-based practices is testified to by more international researches on the subject (Knorth E.J., Harder A.T., Zandberg T., & Kendrick A.J., 2008; James, 2015; Boel-Studt & Tobia, 2016).
In Italy, according to the legislation, all residential institutions for children are to be accredited and registered by the competent public authority. The law no. 149/2001 also stipulates that the organization of residential care should be “a family type” with high emphasis put on interpersonal relations.
The most recent national data estimate 3.352 residential care services and 22.975 children and young people living in residential institutions (Italian Authority for Children and Adolescents, 2017). Despite the relevance of these numbers, in Italy there are different approaches and lack of quality assessment guidelines.
Starting from this theoretical framework, the paper describes the first step emerged of the action-research project ‘Evaluate to improve the quality of residential care’- carried out in Sardinia by University of Sassari in collaboration with the Department of Juvenile and Community Justice – in order to set up a self-evaluation tool of residential care. Main research questions are:
- What quality criteria implicitly guide educational and professional practices in residential care services?
- How they can contribute to the participatory construction of self-assessment processes?
Main objectives of the the research are the following: - to build, in a participatory way, a self-assessment tool of the quality and effectiveness of educational interventions and care process in residential care services; - to encourage reflection, awareness and active involvement of residential care staff and child/adolescents and care leavers in a self-evaluation process; - to activate improvement paths in residential care services; - to validate and to test the reliability and effectiveness of self-evaluation tool. In the first phase of the research (June-December 2016) the action research strategy (R-A) was implemented. In fact, Action Research promotes a professional partnership between researchers and practitioners, focused on solving a problem or to improve educational contexts and institutions (Leeman, Y., Van Koeven E., & Schaafsma F., 2018; Zanniello G., 2016; Mortari L., 2007). The research involved 49 participants (educational staff of 15 regional residential care services, social workers and educators from the Centre of Juvenile Justice of Sardinia). Data were collected with a plurality of research instruments, such as: focus group; working group; brainstorming; interviews, audio recording of conversational situations and content analysis. The ongoing development and systematization of outcomes were constantly returned to the participants, with the dual purpose of receiving useful feed-backs and, at the same time, of reconstructing the sense of the research path. The C.I.P.P. Evaluation Model (Stufflebeam, 1989) is the conceptual framework for guiding the implementation of tool and guidelines for self-evaluation in residential care. Corresponding to the letters in the acronym C.I.P.P., this model's core concepts are context, input, process, and product evaluation. The purpose of the multidimensional model is not to prove but to improve. Other participatory evaluation models examined were: the Utilization Focused Evaluation (Patton, 2008); the Practical Participatory Evaluation (Cousins & Earl, 1992); the Transformative Participatory Evaluation (Estrella & Gaventa, 1998) and the Participatory Action-Research (Argyris & SchÖn, 1991). In the second phase of the research (January – September 2017) the first tool’s validation was carried out by a 20 residential care services in Sardinia (15 who participated in the R-A path and others 5 who will become part of the sample in the validation phase). The analysis of the self-evaluation reports produced by practitioners is currently underway.
The first outcome of the research is the preliminary version of the tool and guidelines for self-evaluation in residential youth and child care. Guidelines aim to support the stakeholders to identify strengths and weaknesses and good practices in care-taking process. Guidelines for self-evaluation are called C.A.M., that is the acronym, in Italian language, of Contesto (Context), Accompagnamento (Accompaniment) and Miglioramento (Improvement), which are the three main sections of the tool. The context is the background and the setting in which the educational processes are developed. The context section of tool includes five areas: the mission and managerial aspects; the care of the spaces; professional resources; the network work and the educational framework. The Accompaniment concerns dimensions of educational processes and practices. The Accompaniment section includes seven areas: the process of child/youth's admission; the observation phase; the child/youth participation; the individual care plan; the evaluation process; the support and involvement of the family; the leaving care process. The improvement section allows services to identify priorities (strengths and weaknesses) in order to develop an improvement plan. For each area of the self-assessment tool there are: quality requirements; indicators and rating evaluation scales. The data collected showed the performance of the residential care services involved for each quality area and the index of discrimination of indicators. This first phase of validation of the tool will allow the research team to verify its effectiveness and validity of use. The research developments are the large-scale validation of the instrument and its possible diffusion at the national level.
Argyris C., & SchÖn D. (1991). Participatory action research and action science compared. In W. F., Whyte (Ed.), Participatory action research. Newbury Park: Sage, pp. 85-96. Boel-Studt S., & Tobia L. (2016). A Review of Trends, Research, and Recommendations for Strengthening the Evidence-Base and Quality of Residential Group Care. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth,1, pp. 13-35. Council of Europe (2005), Recommendation Rec(2005)5 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the rights of children living in residential institutions Cousins J. B., & Earl L. M. (1992). The case for participatory evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 14, pp. 397-418. Cullen A., & Coryn C.L.S. (2011). Forms and functions of participatory evaluation in international development: a review of the empirical and theoretical literature. Journal of multidisciplinary evaluation, 7, pp. 32-47. Estrella M., & Gaventa J. (1998). Who counts reality? Participatory monitoring and evaluation: A literature review. Sussex, UK: IDS. IFCO, FICE International, & SOS Kinderdorf International (2010). Quality4Children Standards. Italian Authority for Children and Adolescents (2017), The protection of children and adolescents living in residential care. Leeman, Y., Van Koeven E., & Schaafsma F. (2018). Inter-professional collaboration in action research. Educational Action Research. 26, 1, pp. 9-24. James S. (2015). Attitudes, Perceptions, and Utilization of Evidence-Based Practices in Residential Care. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth, 2, pp.144-166. Knorth E.J., Harder A.T., Zandberg T., & Kendrick A.J. (2008). Under one roof: a review and selective meta-analysis on the outcomes of residential child and youth care. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, pp.123-140. Mortari L. (2007). Cultura della ricerca e pedagogia. Prospettive epistemologiche. Roma: Carocci. Patton M.Q. (2008). Utilization-Focused Evaluation. London: Sage. Stufflebeam D.L. (1983). The CIPP Model for program evaluation. In G.F. Madaus, M.S. Scriven, & D.L. Stufflebeam (Ed.), Evaluation Models. Viewpoints on Educational and Human Services Evaluation (pp. 117-141). Netherlands: Springer Zanniello G. (2016). La didattica tra storia e ricerca. Roma: Armando.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.