Listening to the voice of children: systemic dialogical coaching inviting to participation and partnership in social work

Ann-Margreth E. Olsson

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragSammanfattning (abstract)


A study in and about systemic coaching in social work – systemic, and, as it unfolded, dialogical coaching (DC), with focus on what the conducted coaching brought forth, generated and created in the context of social work and for the members of the participating social welfare organisations, how the coaching inspired social workers to invite clients and especially children into partnership, making their voices heard, both in the written text and in the process of social investigations.


The study was integral parts of commissions (and vice versa) of the County Administrative Board of Scania, Sweden, in my profession as systemic consultant and supervisor in Sweden. It was a study in how dialogical communication could improve how social workers, listening to the children’s invitation, could make children’s voices more heard in social investigations. In all, 55 social workers in seven municipalities participated in this dialogical participatory action research (DPAR) study, conducted for more than five years in all.


The focus on communication and dialogue in the coaching changed and developed the participants’ approach in relation to clients and one another and others.  In the emerging awareness of how we reciprocally and reflexively co-create occurrences and outcomes, including who we become in relation to one another, the participating social workers’ awareness of the impact of their own contributions, and their own importance in relation to children and other clients, also improved. The expressions listening ears and listening questions were invented, capturing my, the coach’s, participation of placing myself completely at the other participants’ disposal, completely accessible in the mutual responsiveness in the moment – being here and now in the present. The systemic methods and techniques were reflexively influenced and adapted from within the relational dynamic of joint actions in the dialogical interplay, becoming living tools in both the social workers’ practice and mine as coach and researcher.


KonferensThe Joint Nordic Conference on Welfare and professionalism in Turbulent Times 11-13 augusti 2011 arrangerat av: The Association of Icelandic Social Workers, The Association of Icelandic Social Pedagogues, ÍSForsa (The Icelandic Association on Research in Social Work), Department of Social Pedagogy at The University of Iceland and The Faculty of Social Work at The University of Iceland will jointly organize the conference in cooperation with Nordisk Forum for Social Pedagogues, Nordic Forum for Social Workers, FORSA-Norden and Nordisk Social Högskole committee.
Period80-01-01 → …

Nationell ämneskategori

  • Medicin och hälsovetenskap (3)
  • Samhällsvetenskap (5)


  • barn
  • coach
  • dalog
  • deltagande
  • klient
  • lyssnande frågor
  • partnerskap
  • samtal
  • skydd
  • socialarbetare
  • socialsekreterare
  • socialt arbete
  • systemisk
  • utredning
  • välfärd


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