Revealing the freedom of movement and capacity to aspire of youngsters in residential youth care: Towards a socio-spatial citizenship climate

01 November 2021 → 31 October 2025
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Social policy
    • Social theory
    • Social work not elsewhere classified
Residential youth care lived citizenship socio-spatial lifeworld orientation
Project description

To improve the inclusion and citizenship of vulnerable youngsters in residential youth care in society, recent research focuses on the development of a positive living group climate. Key scientific and theoretical knowledge gaps are identified in existing research on this research topic: (1) interpersonal rather than socio-spatial relations, and (2) treatment motivation rather than youngsters capacity to aspire are bolstered. Theoretically underpinned by research in the academic discipline of social work at the intersection with citizenship studies, the central objective of the research project is to acquire innovative theoretical and empirical knowledge on the development of a citizenship climate in residential youth care. The innovative socio-spatial lifeworld orientation theory is used to examine how vulnerable youngsters experience and shape (1) their freedom of movement and (2) their capacity to aspire, related to the central question (3) how residential youth care can hinder or enable them to reveal this. A multi-method qualitative research approach is used, combining (1) ethnography, (2) participatory mental mapping, (3) biographical interviews, and (4) focus groups and relevant methodological contingency plans to offer rich and in-depth knowledge on the development of a socio-spatial citizenship climate in residential youth care.