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HyperRESEARCH aids Orphans

Gay Graham of the School of Social Sciences and Law of the Dublin Institute of Technology used HyperRESEARCH for the analysis of the research data for his January 2011 Ph.D dissertation entitled "What Critical Success Factors are Necessary and Sufficient for Provision of Development Care for Each Young Person in Irish Residential Care and Youth Care?" HyperRESEARCH's simplicity and power helped identify "five critical success factors of Irish residential child and youth care [that] are presented as being central to the active achievement of developmental care for all young people in Irish residential care."

Gay elaborates on the research in the dissertation abstract, stating "This study seeks to better understand the organisational factors that impact on provision of frontline residential care in Ireland. An historical overview of Irish residential youth care clarifies factors which shaped it by contriving to establish a system of residential youth care which catered for large numbers of children in institutions run by Catholic religious orders. A social risk model of care prevailed in Ireland, focused on the segregation and control of children by enforcement of a regimented, sectarian regime. Despite the fact that the Irish Child Care Act 1991 which currently regulates residential child and youth care mandates youth care services to provide developmental care for residents (s18.3), this study recognises that remnants of a former model can outlive the model itself. Current understanding of developmental child and youth care acknowledges interconnectedness between systems in the ecological environment of the developing child. This study therefore seeks better understanding of how decisions taken at the exo or broader organisational level of residential youth care services impact the lived experience of the young person in residential care. The study is guided by a constructivist perspective. Its relativist ontology, subjectivist epistemology and hermeneutic methodology guided the selection of research respondents from first-line residential care managers and their line managers (referred to in the study as directors of frontline services). Purposive sampling which used a nomination technique yielded 17 respondents from eight different residential services across the four regions of the Health Service Executive (HSE). The narrative accounts of all respondents, gained from use of semi-structured interviews, yielded rich data on their experience of providing care for young residents. HyperResearch (a computer aided software package for qualitative analysis) aided coding and content analysis of all narratives. Critical success factors, a 'new managerialist' construct, was used as a framework for organisation and presentation of the data. Five critical success factors of Irish residential child and youth care emerged and are presented as being central to the active achievement of developmental care for all young people in Irish residential care. Six out of the eight participating residential services were found to be providing developmental care for their young residents. The two services deemed not to be providing developmental care were structured as rigid bureaucratic organisations which were micro managed by senior administrative managers who prioritised the goals of the service over the needs of individual young people. The six services providing developmental care were structured as either simple structures (Mintzberg 1983) most commonly found in smaller voluntary services, or self-contained task structures (Galbraith 1977) within the broader HSE structure. Both of these organisational design structures provided the necessary protection for the frontline residential service from bureaucratic decisions taken at the broader organisational level. These services succeeded in providing developmental care through their directors who had both authority and domain expertise, effectively monitoring the commitment of frontline staff to on-going prioritisation of needs-led care for young residents."

The full PDF of the dissertation can be found online here.


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