CARL Research Reports 2019

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    Understanding collaboration in the context of a social inclusion, equality and human rights multiagency alliance
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2019-11) Kenealy, Claire; Galvin, Martin; Veale, Angela; CARL Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance; Civil Society Organization
    The overall aim of this community based research (CBR) project is to understand inter-organisational collaboration in the context of a social inclusion, equality and human rights alliance. This research was undertaken in collaboration with Cork Equal and Sustainable Communities Alliance (CESCA), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in Cork City and Community Academic Research Links (CARL) in University College Cork (UCC). CESCA is an alliance of eighteen Third Sector groups in Cork City which was established in 2014 to collaborate together to address and enhance equality and inclusion in Cork City. CARL supports research in the community by acting as a support and linkage between CSO’s and research students and their research supervisors in UCC. The research is underpinned by two research questions that derived from CESCA. Firstly the research asks how effective is working together as an alliance as opposed to operating as individual organisations. The second question asks: what are the component parts needed to make an alliance successful. The theoretical underpinning of this research is activity theory (Engestrom 1987), and social capital theory (Bourdieu1992; Putnam 1993, 2001). The research adopted an interpretivist qualitative methodology (Flick 2006). Semi-structured interviews (Strauss and Corbin 1990) and participant observation (Schmuck 1997) were the methods used for data collection. Thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke 2006) was the approach adopted for analysis of the data. The research finding are presented as two themes based on contradictions (Engestrom 1987) identified in the data analysis. These are Strategic Networking versus Tokenism, and Collaboration versus Competition.
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    The barriers towards the uptake and retention of hearing aids in the 70+ years population
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2019-05-31) O'Regan, Amy; Laoide-Kemp, Siobhan; Cork Deaf Association; Civil Society Organization
    Background: Age-related hearing loss known as ‘presbycusis’ is the third most prevalent chronic health condition affecting older adults. The most suitable treatment option available is amplification using hearing aids, however the uptake and retention of the device is considerably low. Research has been conducted previously on the factors preventing the uptake and retention of hearing aids but not within an Irish based context or for a particular age group. Research Aim: The aim of this study was to identify the patient-centred barriers preventing the uptake and retention of hearing aids for members of the Cork Deaf Association (CDA) who were 70+ years of age. It was conducted in co-operation with Community Based Academic Research Link (CARL) initiative in University College Cork (UCC). CARL facilities scientific research collaboration with local community organisations. The community group chosen for this project was the Cork Deaf Association. Methods: The study was a survey-based pilot study. A mixed-methods research design was used to collect the data. The data was gathered using a questionnaire that was disturbed to 26 members of the CDA. The quantitative research findings were represented using statistical analysis. The qualitative data was analysed using a latent thematic approach. Results: 16 members of the CDA responded to the questionnaire. The results indicated that all of the participants who wore hearing aids reported that they improved their quality of life. However, a number of common issues emerged such as discomfort from hearing aid earmolds, difficulty using the telephone with hearing aids and general displeasure when positioning and removing the hearing aid. Conclusion: The findings indicate the need for further counselling to ensure effective use of hearing aids, a stronger patient-centred relationship with the Audiologist and a wider availability of information to avoid common problems arising.
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    Spaces places and young people: exploring the youth voices of Fairhill
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2019-04-18) Groarke, Jayne; Rice, Rachel; Fairhill Community Association; Fairhill Youth Facility Working Group; Civil Society Organization
    This research was a community-based participatory project involving University College Cork, Community Active Research Links Project (CARL), Fairhill Community Association, Cork City Council and Cork City Partnership. The community partners requested research to be conducted with young people in Fairhill to identify their needs, to determine whether a youth facility was needed and if so, what young people felt it should offer. Six participants (residing in a highly populated, disadvantaged urban area of Cork city and between the ages 12-18) were recruited from a number of youth services in and around Fairhill. The participants took the researcher on a tour around the area while the researcher simultaneously conducted a semi-structured interview (walking-interviews). The young person chose the route and what places they wanted to visit. The data gathered was thematically analysed. This research highlights the importance of youth participation. The findings indicate that there is a need for a youth facility in Fairhill as well as further community development and young people’s involvement in community decision-making.
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    An exploratory study on workplace violence and its effect on residential disability social care workers in Ireland: a mixed method approach
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2019-07) Mech-Butler, Agnieszka; Swift, Róisín; Bantry White, Eleanor; Social Care Ireland; Civil Society Organization
    Social care workers working in the area of residential disability services in Ireland are at a high risk of workplace violence. Current literature provides limited knowledge about the supports and coping strategies available and utilised by Irish social care workers who are affected by this problem. This mixed method study consists of two parts. Part (a) is based on surveys completed by individuals (quantitative study) and part (b) includes interviews conducted with the participants (qualitative study). The survey inquired about a participant’s experience of workplace violence in a residential disability service. In addition, it aimed to identify the effects of workplace violence and the supports which are most useful among affected workers. Lastly, it queried whether organisations provide enough supervision and training to lessen workplace violence. It looked at the prevalence of workplace violence in this study and what needs to be improved for social care workers working in residential disability services. The aim of this study was to determine if social care workers had access to supports from their organisations when they were affected by workplace violence. It also examined whether the supports were formal (structured from organisation/management, which include supervision or debriefing) or informal (from a spouse/partner, or colleague) within residential disability settings and if this was enough to alleviate the stress that comes with workplace violence. The findings from the quantitative study highlighted that workers felt workplace violence was underreported. The reasoning was the fear for professional capacity as well as fear of criticism from colleagues and time-consuming reporting procedures. Unfortunately, from this research over 70% of participants felt that organisations were not addressing the issue; which has negative consequences on the workforce. The qualitative part of this research focused on semi-structured interviews to explore the experiences of social care residential workers in disability settings who have experienced violence in the workplace. Using thematic analysis, the results identified the ‘context in which workplace violence occurs’ and ‘preferred strategies and supports’ used by staff following an incident. Concerns were raised in relation to a culture which normalises workplace violence. This culture appears to impact on the supports that are offered by some organisations within the disability sector. Furthermore, social care workers highlighted that they mostly rely on the support of peers and work colleagues, who share similar experiences of workplace violence. Findings of this study suggest that open communication between staff and management is essential to ensure that staff feel adequately supported and the problem of workplace violence is being adequately tackled by the organisations. This will ensure that people who use the services receive the best quality care and support. Suggested recommendations that could promote safe working environment are provided within this report to encourage for workplace violence to be addressed universally.
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    An investigation of intensive home based parenting support services offered by Barnardos South Cork City
    (Community-Academic Research Links, University College Cork, 2019-04-18) Dore, Mary; Halton, Carmel; Barnardos South Cork City; Civil Society Organization
    This research explore parent’s experience of receiving home based parenting support services and investigates whether it is an effective model of intervention in creating positive and lasting change in the lives of children and families. It also investigates alternative approaches to improve parental engagement with the service and approaches that Barnardos might use to better engage parents in adapting/changing how they respond to their children’s needs. The research is underpinned theoretically by social constructivism, an interpretivist approach and a community based research process. Five recipients of Barnardos South Cork City home based parenting support service were interviewed and each participant’s narrative was thematically analysed and recorded authentically using direct quotes. Feedback received from participants was extremely positive and it clearly identified learning curves for participants in terms of knowledge and skills acquired as a result of support received from Barnardos South Cork City. Positive outcomes were evident for both parent and child. The findings demonstrate that the relationship with the support worker is highly valued as is the availability of the worker to provide support in the home and in some situations via telephone, email and in the Barnardos office. Suggestions for alternative approaches to encourage participants to engage with the service and or in creating positive change for children were limited. Participants were satisfied with the support received and minor tweaking was suggested in relation to learning methods, with an emphasis placed on visual aids. Some participants focused on efforts to engage other family members, namely male father figures and the operation of a distinct support service to encourage engagement from these members. The inclusion of children in some support sessions was also suggested. The benefits of home based parenting support were referred to by other participants during interviews.