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Two student essays about volunteer accompaniment and the professionalization of volunteering on the subject of countering mistreatment are now available. (April 2018)

Themes: Students

Over the years, the Chair welcomed many students, offering them the opportunity to realise their essay project on a specific aspect of countering mistreatment towards older adults. This was the case for Isabelle Maillé and Jordan Bédard-Lessard who have joined the ABAM-MF project (Action bénévole auprès des aînés maltraités au plan matériel et financier) as part of their masters studies.

Isabelle has just finished her masters of social work at the University of Laval under the co-direction of Sophie Éthier and Marie Beaulieu. Her masters thesis is about L’expérience d’accompagnement au sein des organismes à but non lucratif (OBNL) des personnes aînées en situation de maltraitance. Here is the abstract:

“With an exploratory nature and a qualitative approach, this study has the goal of understanding the experience of older adults accompanied by a volunteer or a psychosocial practitioner from a non-profit organisation in a mistreatment situation. One-on-one semi-structured interviews with 11 older adults who were accompanied by a volunteer or a psychosocial practitioner from an NOP for a mistreatment situation took place. Leaning on the sociology of experience theoretical framework of Dubet (1994, 2007), a thematic analysis (Paillé and Mucchielli, 2012), followed by a cluster analysis (Schnapper, 2005, 2012) allowed to propose a theoretical model which shows how accompaniment experience in NOP of mistreated older adults occurs . Two variables influence their accompaniment experience, the way they have internalised the need to request for help and the way they experienced the interactions with volunteers and psychosocial practitioners from NOP. Four distinct types of accompaniment experience were found: beneficial-accompaniment, positive-accompaniment, threatening-accompaniment and discontinuous-accompaniment.” (Maillé, 2018 p. iii) (Free translation) Because of the excellency of her thesis, the University of Laval awarded her with the distinction on the Honour Roll of the Faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales.

Consult Isabelle’s maters thesis to learn more.

Jordan finished is masters studies in social work at the University of Sherbrooke under the direction of Marie Beaulieu. His masters thesis is about La professionnalisation de l’action bénévole dans la lutte contre la maltraitance matérielle et financière envers les personnes aînées. Here is the abstract:

“In this thesis, the issues of professionalizing volunteering actions in countering material and financial mistreatment towards older adults will be analysed. With the help of a secondary analysis of the collected data as part of the project on Action bénévole dans la lutte contre la maltraitance matérielle et financière envers les aînés, leaded by the Research Chair on Mistreatment of Older Adults, the research aims to better understand the characteristics of the volunteers and employees active in the sector, the roles taken by the latter, as well as elaborating a reflection on freedom, the flexibility and the volunteers’ power to act. The analysis is based on interviews with members from the 5 Canadian non-profit organisations specialised in countering mistreatment (64 participants), an extensive organisational documentation and sociodemographic questionnaires. The bioecological model (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) favor an analysis where the individual, organisational and societal discourse intertwine. The results emphasises the involvement of retired volunteers with specialised socio-professional profiles. The previous professional experience favors taking role on the matter of coordination, prevention, identification and intervention. It seems that nonetheless a strong focus on the mobilisation of volunteers with professional experience could make it less accessible. Involvement in predefined roles improve the quality of offered services to users, but diminishes the flexibility and freedom of volunteering actions. The thesis offers a reflection on the articulation between the technical and militant dimensions of volunteering actions.” (Bédard-Lessard, 2018 p. i) (Free translation)

Consult Jordan’s masters thesis to learn more.