Title

Promoting Occupational Justice Using an Appreciative Inquiry Approach with Key Stakeholders at a Day Shelter for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

1

Location

Pre-function area and Great Room 1B

Start Time

19-10-2017 7:00 PM

End Time

19-10-2017 9:00 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Key Words

  • Occupational Injustice
  • Homelessness
  • Empowerment

Objectives

  • Recognize the occupational science concepts that drive thinking about translational research and intervention.

  • Understand how using an Appreciative Inquiry approach creates space for change that diminishes power differentials between service providers and users.

  • Understand how social and physical environments pose barriers to empowerment and transitioning and that Appreciate Inquiry may dismantle barriers to occupational justice.

Statement of Purpose

Individuals experiencing homelessness have significant insight, knowledge and ability to identify solutions to address homelessness and poverty-related issues (Hammell, 2016). However, they are generally not asked about their needs or wants nor are they consistently consulted on the most effective ways to deliver programs and services. In fact, evidence indicates that they are routinely excluded from decision-making that affects their daily lives (Sakamoto et al., 2008). The purpose of this phenomenological study was to use an inclusive, strengths-based approach rooted in organizational behavior (Appreciative Inquiry) to determine perceptions of key stakeholders (shelter attendees, staff, and board members) regarding a day shelter environment's role in supporting empowerment for engagement in occupations and transitioning out of homelessness. Based upon these perceptions, environmental enhancements were made to support occupational engagement and reduce injustice.

Description of Methods (participants, data collection, analysis)

Researchers conducted seven focus groups with shelter stakeholders. Based on the 5-D cycle (define, discover, dream, design, and destiny) of Appreciative Inquiry, a focus group interview guide was developed. The interview guide was designed to 1) define the focus of the inquiry, 2) determine positive ways the shelter currently supports empowerment and transition, 3) elicit a vision for the future, 4) elicit ideas for promoting, planning and prioritizing an ideal organization and 5) explore sustainability of proposed environmental changes. Responses to the interview were analyzed using a constant comparative approach (Glaser, 1965). Emergent themes were used to develop suggestions for a variety of enhancements to the shelter environment. Final enhancements were prioritized and selected by the stakeholders. Interventions included changes to the physical and social environments to facilitate engagement in health promoting occupations. Post-intervention satisfaction surveys completed data collection.

Report of Results

Themes that emerged regarding empowerment included topics such as at-homeness, choice and voice, and pay it forward. Analysis yielded themes for transitioning including belongingness, bridge to the outside, and environmental reciprocity. These themes echo and are supported by concepts from the occupational science literature including “doing, being, and becoming” and occupational justice.

Implications Related to Occupational Science

Individuals experiencing homelessness are subject to occupational injustices (Chard, Faulkner, & Chugg, 2009) including those described by Townsend and Wilcock such as marginalization and deprivation (2004). Using an Appreciative Inquiry lens may help to mitigate occupational injustices that stem from systems of service provision.

Discussion Questions

  • How can we more effectively bridge the gap between occupational science and occupational therapy to better appreciate how systemic oppression/occupational injustice contribute to/hinder empowerment and transitioning for individuals who are experiencing homeless?

  • How can we apply the Appreciative Inquiry approach to other marginalized populations and what are the benefits of doing so to enhance occupational participation and occupational justice?

References

Chard, G., Faulkner, T., & Chugg, A. (2009). Exploring occupation and its meaning among homeless men. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72(3), 116-124.

Glaser, B. (1965). The constant comparative method of qualitative analysis. Social Problems, 12(4), 436-445.

Hammell, K. W. (2016). Empowerment and occupation: A new perspective. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 83(5), 281-287. doi:10.1177/0008417416652910

Sakamoto, I., Khandor, E., Chapra, A., Hendrickson, T., Maher, J., Roche, B., & Chin, M.(2008). Homelessness—diverse experiences, common issues, shared solutions: The need for inclusion and accountability. Toronto, ON: Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto.

Townsend, E., & Wilcock, A. (2004). Occupational justice and client-centered practice: a dialogue in progress. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(2), 75-87.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 19th, 7:00 PM Oct 19th, 9:00 PM

Promoting Occupational Justice Using an Appreciative Inquiry Approach with Key Stakeholders at a Day Shelter for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness

Pre-function area and Great Room 1B

Key Words

  • Occupational Injustice
  • Homelessness
  • Empowerment

Objectives

  • Recognize the occupational science concepts that drive thinking about translational research and intervention.

  • Understand how using an Appreciative Inquiry approach creates space for change that diminishes power differentials between service providers and users.

  • Understand how social and physical environments pose barriers to empowerment and transitioning and that Appreciate Inquiry may dismantle barriers to occupational justice.

Statement of Purpose

Individuals experiencing homelessness have significant insight, knowledge and ability to identify solutions to address homelessness and poverty-related issues (Hammell, 2016). However, they are generally not asked about their needs or wants nor are they consistently consulted on the most effective ways to deliver programs and services. In fact, evidence indicates that they are routinely excluded from decision-making that affects their daily lives (Sakamoto et al., 2008). The purpose of this phenomenological study was to use an inclusive, strengths-based approach rooted in organizational behavior (Appreciative Inquiry) to determine perceptions of key stakeholders (shelter attendees, staff, and board members) regarding a day shelter environment's role in supporting empowerment for engagement in occupations and transitioning out of homelessness. Based upon these perceptions, environmental enhancements were made to support occupational engagement and reduce injustice.

Description of Methods (participants, data collection, analysis)

Researchers conducted seven focus groups with shelter stakeholders. Based on the 5-D cycle (define, discover, dream, design, and destiny) of Appreciative Inquiry, a focus group interview guide was developed. The interview guide was designed to 1) define the focus of the inquiry, 2) determine positive ways the shelter currently supports empowerment and transition, 3) elicit a vision for the future, 4) elicit ideas for promoting, planning and prioritizing an ideal organization and 5) explore sustainability of proposed environmental changes. Responses to the interview were analyzed using a constant comparative approach (Glaser, 1965). Emergent themes were used to develop suggestions for a variety of enhancements to the shelter environment. Final enhancements were prioritized and selected by the stakeholders. Interventions included changes to the physical and social environments to facilitate engagement in health promoting occupations. Post-intervention satisfaction surveys completed data collection.

Report of Results

Themes that emerged regarding empowerment included topics such as at-homeness, choice and voice, and pay it forward. Analysis yielded themes for transitioning including belongingness, bridge to the outside, and environmental reciprocity. These themes echo and are supported by concepts from the occupational science literature including “doing, being, and becoming” and occupational justice.

Implications Related to Occupational Science

Individuals experiencing homelessness are subject to occupational injustices (Chard, Faulkner, & Chugg, 2009) including those described by Townsend and Wilcock such as marginalization and deprivation (2004). Using an Appreciative Inquiry lens may help to mitigate occupational injustices that stem from systems of service provision.

Discussion Questions

  • How can we more effectively bridge the gap between occupational science and occupational therapy to better appreciate how systemic oppression/occupational injustice contribute to/hinder empowerment and transitioning for individuals who are experiencing homeless?

  • How can we apply the Appreciative Inquiry approach to other marginalized populations and what are the benefits of doing so to enhance occupational participation and occupational justice?