Djurunderstött socialt arbete - effekter och vetenskaplig förankring
Sammanfattning: More and more often we hear about animals as a part of social work. The idea of animals having positive effects on peoples’ physical and psychological health seem to be generally accepted among both active practitioners in the human service professions and the general public. We established two main purposes. First we examined which effects of animal assisted social work the active practitioners identifies in their clients. We also ascertained if and how they explained the identified effects in a scientific manner. To fulfill our purpose we did some semistructured interviews with practitioners who are using the help of dogs and horses in their work with clients. We also analyzed the content of an amount of Swedish websites belonging to active practitioners and organizations in the field of animal assisted social work. Our results and analysis led us on to present some scientific declaration concerning the effects, but mainly discuss the lack of evidence and scientificity in the methods used, and the difficulties that could bring. Further discussions are presented concerning organizational management versus professional management, acting space and tacit knowledge. We also discussed the importance of evaluation and an element of standardized methods to legitimize animal assisted social work amongst field constituents. Conclusions drawn was that the field needs more large-scaled research done, both to legitimate and promote its methods.
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