Please note that there are two different conference venues:
June 14/15 - Century City Conference Centre
June 16 - Kirstenbosch Conference Centre (transportation available)
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Thursday, June 15 • 08:00 - 09:30
The resilience of service providers and health professionals in diverse settings - Steve Reid, Janet Giddy, Pamela Fisher, Rob Cover

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Symposium Summary
The resilience of service providers and health professionals in diverse settings

Presenters: Steve Reid, Janet Giddy, Pamela Fisher, Rob Cover
Based on three studies conducted in South Africa, Australia and the UK, this symposium considers understandings and enactments of resilience among diverse groups of service providers (professionals, semi-professionals and community volunteers) working with young people in situations of adversity. The findings suggest that adversity can prompt innovative and creative practices.  

Symposium Abstracts
Resilience alone is insufficient : health systems need innovation and advocacy 
Janet Giddy (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
Co-Authors: Jenny Nash, Steve Reid 
Introduction: Advocacy and innovation are important components of resilience. We were interested in understanding the responses of newly qualified health professionals confronted with the effect of severely limited resources for health services that seems unjust, as well as the health service’s response to their efforts in addressing the challenges
Methods: This project presents data from qualitative interviews with 20 newly qualified health workers undergoing their compulsory year of community service in South Africa, with the aim of understanding the process of resilience and advocacy within the health system. We selected community service health professionals who had been allocated to sites that were not of their choice, as representing a situation of adversity. We also explored the idea of “vicarious resilience” in a context of poverty and inequality.
Findings: The major themes were concerned with dealing with expectations, culture shock, clinical workload, adaptability, personal attributes, and the process of change over time. A number of participants described specific crises as examples of innovation and advocacy that significantly shaped their responses to the community service year and their subsequent careers. 

Emerging approaches to community resilience in the UK
Presenter: Pamela Fisher (Leeds Beckett University, UK) 
Introduction: Precariousness has become the new norm for many citizens in the UK and the restructuring of public services has seen public agencies withdrawing from a range of provision, throwing emphasis on the capacity of communities to devise ways of addressing their own priorities, including new forms of engagement and activism 
Methods: This study, based on semi-structured interviews with 11 CMs, investigates the work of a community mediation service (CMS) in Sheffield, UK. The CMs (often former ‘gang’ members) work on a mainly voluntary basis with young people in order to prevent conflict within and between groups of children and young people of white British, South Asian and Roma heritage. 
Findings: The study shows how CMs enact resilience innovatively, whilst rejecting objective detachment and traditional private public boundaries. Specifically, the CMs associate resilience with a situationally ‘open time’ praxis that draws on values-based and affective engagement. This points to an innovative, context specific and values-based approach to fostering community resilience.

Social Strategies, Digital Media and Social Change: Resilience of health workers and service providers working with LGBTI youth in Australia
Presenter: Rob Cover (University of Western Australia, Australia) 
Introduction: Little is known of how service providers working with sexually-diverse young people perceive and manage their own resilience, and how they understand the relationship between resilience, care of self, and provision of care to others.  The resilience of service providers has an impact on outcome for clients, co-workers, families, communities.  
Methods: The study interviewed twenty service providers, including health practitioners, social/youth workers, volunteers with support organisations and those who otherwise work in everyday mental health.  Three domains of resilience among those working with vulnerable youth were identified: (i) deliberate personal and social strategies for resilience from social networks to aloneness; (ii) a range of situational resources in the workplace from role models to training programs; (iii) the emergent use of digital media and digital networks from increasing understanding of younger persons to providing informal peer networks of support. 
Findings: This presentation addresses reasons why the perception of resilience in each of these three domains differed depending on ‘classification’ of youth health service provision work (professional, semi-professional, volunteer) and the distinctive circumstances of each of these classifications in producing resilient service provision environments in both recognised and unorthodox employment scenarios.   


Rob Cover

The University of Western Australia
avatar for Pamela Fisher

Pamela Fisher

Principal Lecturer, Leeds Beckett University
Pamela's is based on critical sociological perspectives to deviance, resilience and wellbeing amongst marginalised communities. Her definition of marginalised communities includes groups disadvantaged for reasons including social disadvantage, stigma, mental health, disability, and... Read More →

Steve Reid

Steve Reid is a family physician with a background in rural health and a doctorate in education, currently director of Primary Health Care at the University of Cape Town. He is involved in medical education and human resources for health, and is particularly interested in the development... Read More →

Thursday June 15, 2017 08:00 - 09:30 SAST
Room 10 Century City Conference Centre