girl i a hoodie holding a sign with the text "help"

Project: Early coordinated initiatives for children who may be vulnerable to, or find themselves involved in, criminality

The objective of this study is to discuss and analyze cooperation processes in a pilot development project, building on GIRFEC, “Getting it Right for Every Child”, a model that originally started in Scotland.

Project information

Project manager
Agneta Mallén, Lund University
Other project members
Veronika Burcar Alm and Goran Basic, Linnaeus University
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University; Lund University
Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention
Pedagogy, sociology, social work, social psychology (Department of Pedagogy and Learning, Faculty of Social Sciences)
Research in Inclusion, Democracy and Equity (RIDE)

More about the project

Research questions:

1) What success factors may be identified for successful collaboration in the development project?

2) What challenges to collaboration in the development project may be identified?

3) How is the development project experienced by the children/young people participating?

4) How are the new professional roles and working methods in the development project experienced by the staff taking part?

Within the framework of the pilot project, early coordinated initiatives mean that staff from schools, health care and social services collaborate with the goal of creating an entity around initiatives for children and young people who are in need of support from several actors. This requires participants to develop knowledge and skills about long-term collaboration and coordination. The target group for the GIRFEC-based pilot project is children and young people under the age of 16 who show early signs of what is described as unfavourable development. In this pilot project, child health care, preschool, primary school, child psychiatry and social services work together. The GIRFEC model, which this pilot project is built upon, is based on the idea that the activities have a common structure - common tools, professional roles and a common terminology - which should make it easier for all children and young people to be discovered and to receive support early in the event of what is described as unfavourable development.

The term ‘to collaborate’ has positive connotations, but in practice, it means that those taking part need to negotiate their opinions to be able to collaborate. Moreover, an unusually large number of partners must be brought together. Within the framework of this research project, we would like to investigate how the actors involved interact in the collaboration process, how they share information with and influence one another, and what this means for the children, who are at its centre. Even if the collaboration partners in the development project are in agreement over what is best for the child, they may have different views of how to achieve it. In this research project, we wish to investigate how such dilemmas are dealt with in the collaborative process.

This study will include gathering and analysis of three types of qualitative empirical material. In the research project, we will:

(a) Participate in all project meetings with the participants to investigate the collaboration process in the project meetings by means of participant observation.

(b) Conduct interviews with participants and managers in the development project to analyse how collaboration is manifested in the new professional roles and working methods.

(c) Conduct interviews with children and young people ages 12–15 years who are taking part in order to investigate their experiences of the development project.

The project is part of the reseach in the group Research in Inclusion, Democracy and Equity (RIDE).