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The working alliance between homeless young adults and workers: A dyadic approach

Author

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  • Altena, Astrid M.
  • Krabbenborg, Manon A.M.
  • Boersma, Sandra N.
  • Beijersbergen, Mariëlle D.
  • van den Berg, Yvonne H.M.
  • Vollebergh, Wilma A.M.
  • Wolf, Judith R.L.M.

Abstract

The development of a strong working alliance between homeless young adults and their social workers is seen as a critical component in the recovery process. The purpose of this study was to examine the composition of the working alliance between homeless young adults and their social workers, and its association with self-determination, resilience and quality of life. A sample of 102 homeless young adults and 32 social workers from ten Dutch shelter facilities participated. Homeless young adults were interviewed twice: when entering the facility (baseline) and sixth months after baseline or when care ended earlier. Social workers were questioned about the working alliance at follow-up. Data were analyzed by using a one-with-many design. Results showed that homeless young adults who generally reported strong alliances with their social worker, do not have a social worker who generally reported strong alliances (generalized reciprocity). In addition, if a young adult reported to have an especially strong alliance with his worker, this worker did not necessarily reported to have a strong alliance in return (dyadic reciprocity). Homeless young adults who perceived a stronger working alliance with their social worker than other young adults, who were supported by the same social worker, improved more on self-determination than young adults who reported to have a weaker alliance. Our results indicate that the working alliance is important in achieving outcomes. A dialogical approach should be encouraged in which young adults feel valued and safe enough to express their expectations and to build a strong working alliance.

Suggested Citation

  • Altena, Astrid M. & Krabbenborg, Manon A.M. & Boersma, Sandra N. & Beijersbergen, Mariëlle D. & van den Berg, Yvonne H.M. & Vollebergh, Wilma A.M. & Wolf, Judith R.L.M., 2017. "The working alliance between homeless young adults and workers: A dyadic approach," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 368-374.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:73:y:2017:i:c:p:368-374
    DOI: 10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.01.015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zolkoski, Staci M. & Bullock, Lyndal M., 2012. "Resilience in children and youth: A review," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2295-2303.
    2. Thompson, Sanna J. & McManus, Holly & Lantry, Janet & Windsor, Liliane & Flynn, Patrick, 2006. "Insights from the street: Perceptions of services and providers by homeless young adults," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 34-43, February.
    3. Kidd, Sean A. & Miner, Susan & Walker, Diana & Davidson, Larry, 2007. "Stories of working with homeless youth: On being "mind-boggling"," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 16-34, January.
    4. Thompson, Sanna J. & Pollio, David E. & Eyrich, Karin & Bradbury, Emily & North, Carol S., 2004. "Successfully exiting homelessness: experiences of formerly homeless mentally ill individuals," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 423-431, November.
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