Support-nets

A participative Action-research into the Value of a Mutual Support Group to overcome Social Isolation.

Authors

  • Jenny Zwijnenburg TRANZO, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University
  • Tine van Regenmortel TRANZO, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Netherlands; and HIVA and Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium
  • René Schalk TRANZO, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Netherlands; Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

 

In several European countries people, with psychiatric and other disabilities, live less frequently in institutions and more often in the community. Social isolation is  a widespread problem among this group and is therefore a problem with which community oriented social workers are increasingly confronted. Mutual support groups can be a way for social workers to support socially isolated people. This paper reports on a participatory action research into the method Support-nets. In this method a mutual support group is set up specifically for people that share the problem of social isolation. The aim of the study was to gain insight in how participants and social workers give substance to mutual support to overcome structural social isolation. Results show that in a Support-net, every participant is enabled to actively contribute. This makes participants feel that they are valued members of a social group. Based on this shared identity, people offer each other different types of social support, thus alleviating their isolation. 

Author Biographies

Jenny Zwijnenburg, TRANZO, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University

Science Practitioner

Tine van Regenmortel, TRANZO, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Netherlands; and HIVA and Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium

Professor of Social Work

René Schalk, TRANZO, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Tilburg University, Netherlands; Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Professor, Human Resource Management

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Published

2021-04-03

How to Cite

Zwijnenburg, J., van Regenmortel, T., & Schalk, R. (2021). Support-nets: A participative Action-research into the Value of a Mutual Support Group to overcome Social Isolation. Social Work and Social Sciences Review. Retrieved from https://journals.whitingbirch.net/index.php/SWSSR/article/view/1538

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Articles