The ties that bind: Using ethnographic methods to understand service engagement

Victoria Stanhope

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    While rates of disengagement from mental health services remain high, the Housing First program has succeeded in engaging those who are hardest-to-reach, people who have experienced long-term homelessness and co-occurring disorders. This study uses ethnographic methods to explore service engagement within Housing First, focusing on how social processes contribute to program effectiveness. Conducting participant observation and interviews, researchers followed 10 clients and 14 case managers from two treatment teams, over the course of a year. The study used symbolic interactionism as its theoretical framework. In data analysis, therefore, the researchers explored meaning-making within social exchanges. The sites and activities of the program provided a context that made it possible for case managers and residents to create shared narratives about residents' experiences related to housing. The variation of these sites and activities led case managers to permeate many aspects of clients' lives, playing roles similar to those of friends and family. The quality of the interaction became apparent from how case managers paid attention, listened, and communicated while engaging in these shared activities. This study illustrates that while the structural aspects of Housing First provided the context and opportunities for engagement, the quality of the interaction between the case managers and residents played a key role in engagement.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)412-430
    Number of pages19
    JournalQualitative Social Work
    Volume11
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

    Fingerprint

    manager
    housing
    resident
    Research Personnel
    symbolic interactionism
    Homeless Persons
    disengagement
    Program Evaluation
    Mental Health Services
    homelessness
    interaction
    social process
    participant observation
    health service
    data analysis
    mental health
    Observation
    Case Managers
    Interviews
    narrative

    Keywords

    • ethnography
    • housing
    • mental health

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

    Cite this

    The ties that bind : Using ethnographic methods to understand service engagement. / Stanhope, Victoria.

    In: Qualitative Social Work, Vol. 11, No. 4, 01.07.2012, p. 412-430.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{9dbb62880a2f42ed8269eeaf973ced8b,
    title = "The ties that bind: Using ethnographic methods to understand service engagement",
    abstract = "While rates of disengagement from mental health services remain high, the Housing First program has succeeded in engaging those who are hardest-to-reach, people who have experienced long-term homelessness and co-occurring disorders. This study uses ethnographic methods to explore service engagement within Housing First, focusing on how social processes contribute to program effectiveness. Conducting participant observation and interviews, researchers followed 10 clients and 14 case managers from two treatment teams, over the course of a year. The study used symbolic interactionism as its theoretical framework. In data analysis, therefore, the researchers explored meaning-making within social exchanges. The sites and activities of the program provided a context that made it possible for case managers and residents to create shared narratives about residents' experiences related to housing. The variation of these sites and activities led case managers to permeate many aspects of clients' lives, playing roles similar to those of friends and family. The quality of the interaction became apparent from how case managers paid attention, listened, and communicated while engaging in these shared activities. This study illustrates that while the structural aspects of Housing First provided the context and opportunities for engagement, the quality of the interaction between the case managers and residents played a key role in engagement.",
    keywords = "ethnography, housing, mental health",
    author = "Victoria Stanhope",
    year = "2012",
    month = "7",
    day = "1",
    doi = "10.1177/1473325012438079",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "11",
    pages = "412--430",
    journal = "Qualitative Social Work",
    issn = "1473-3250",
    publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
    number = "4",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - The ties that bind

    T2 - Using ethnographic methods to understand service engagement

    AU - Stanhope, Victoria

    PY - 2012/7/1

    Y1 - 2012/7/1

    N2 - While rates of disengagement from mental health services remain high, the Housing First program has succeeded in engaging those who are hardest-to-reach, people who have experienced long-term homelessness and co-occurring disorders. This study uses ethnographic methods to explore service engagement within Housing First, focusing on how social processes contribute to program effectiveness. Conducting participant observation and interviews, researchers followed 10 clients and 14 case managers from two treatment teams, over the course of a year. The study used symbolic interactionism as its theoretical framework. In data analysis, therefore, the researchers explored meaning-making within social exchanges. The sites and activities of the program provided a context that made it possible for case managers and residents to create shared narratives about residents' experiences related to housing. The variation of these sites and activities led case managers to permeate many aspects of clients' lives, playing roles similar to those of friends and family. The quality of the interaction became apparent from how case managers paid attention, listened, and communicated while engaging in these shared activities. This study illustrates that while the structural aspects of Housing First provided the context and opportunities for engagement, the quality of the interaction between the case managers and residents played a key role in engagement.

    AB - While rates of disengagement from mental health services remain high, the Housing First program has succeeded in engaging those who are hardest-to-reach, people who have experienced long-term homelessness and co-occurring disorders. This study uses ethnographic methods to explore service engagement within Housing First, focusing on how social processes contribute to program effectiveness. Conducting participant observation and interviews, researchers followed 10 clients and 14 case managers from two treatment teams, over the course of a year. The study used symbolic interactionism as its theoretical framework. In data analysis, therefore, the researchers explored meaning-making within social exchanges. The sites and activities of the program provided a context that made it possible for case managers and residents to create shared narratives about residents' experiences related to housing. The variation of these sites and activities led case managers to permeate many aspects of clients' lives, playing roles similar to those of friends and family. The quality of the interaction became apparent from how case managers paid attention, listened, and communicated while engaging in these shared activities. This study illustrates that while the structural aspects of Housing First provided the context and opportunities for engagement, the quality of the interaction between the case managers and residents played a key role in engagement.

    KW - ethnography

    KW - housing

    KW - mental health

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84863590871&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84863590871&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1177/1473325012438079

    DO - 10.1177/1473325012438079

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:84863590871

    VL - 11

    SP - 412

    EP - 430

    JO - Qualitative Social Work

    JF - Qualitative Social Work

    SN - 1473-3250

    IS - 4

    ER -