1 VU University Amsterdam (VU) (NETHERLANDS)
2 Youth Protection Amsterdam Area (NETHERLANDS)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN16 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 4666-4675
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.2123
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Child and Youth protection agencies have been established to protect children from unsafe home environments. In Amsterdam the Child and Youth Protection Agency developed an approach in which teammanagers (TMs) play a key role in guiding a team of case managers (coordinating all contacts with the family), a psychologist and a senior supervisor to assess cases and decide on the way forward. Guidelines are formulated but tailor-made solutions have to be developed in the teams. Does this imply that all TMs have to learn how to facilitate this process on their own? In this paper we describe and analyse a video reflection process that was designed and implemented to stimulate learning between team managers in order to improve TMs performances and youth care services.

An action research process was used to develop as well as analyse the video-based reflection approach. The approach entails 6 steps: the first 3 steps include peer reviews (n=16) by video recording TMs and reviewed by a peer, the fourth step concerns joint discussions by conducting focus groups (n=4). The fifth step is an evaluation (n=11) by conducting interviews and the last step includes integrating result by formulating recommendations for policy and practice. For the data-analysis coding schemes based conceptualization of work methods and management roles were developed that are used to analyse the videos and interviews.

First, we found that the video-based reflection approach supported the development of a shared vision on TMs' role. The videos clearly showed that the TMs had different ways of guiding the team meeting. There is different emphasis on the following roles; the role of expert, secretary, decisionmaker and facilitator. During the focusgroup discussions these differences were explored and related to the key mission of the organisation: “every child safe”. Alignment regarding the aspired role of a TMs took place and the role of facilitator became central, as is evident from the evaluation-interviews.
Second, through the reflection on the videos, eye-openers with regard to new skills and attitudes were identified rather than new knowledge. This finding was confirmed in the interviews.
Third, we found that the most important condition for video reflection is a ‘safe’ environment. With the start of this program many TMs were hesitant to participate. After the pilot more TMs were interested in participation. We hypothesize that this is due to the structure of the reflection videos with eye-openers, questions and comments. It turns out to be a comfortable situation to hear many eye-openers based on your own activities. It was also the constructive learning atmosphere during the focus group discussions that the fear for video registration was diminished.
Fourth, by comparing the focusgroup discussions with the evaluation-interviews one year later we found that issues that came up during the focusgroup discussion from a specific TM came back in the evaluation-interview, complemented with a review of their change proces. Based on this finding we were able to predict the learning process that has taken place with other TMs during the last year by looking at the focusgroup discussions.

Video-based reflection seems to be an effective way of sharing learning experiences between peer professionals in Youth Care. Remarkable is that in formal training it is primarily knowledge that is acquired but here skills and attitude have been changed.
Video reflection, Team Managers, Alignment, Perspective, Vision, Roles, Skills, Attitudes.