Working with Communities — Case Study of Coping

Workingwith Communities — Case Study of Coping

Workingwith Communities — Case Study of Coping


COPINGwas a three-year child-focused pan-European research project, havingbeen funded by the European Union. The research was undertaken by aconsortium comprising of one community partner organization and asingle university within the UK, Romania, Germany, and Sweden, andChildren of Prisoners Europe and the Quaker United Nations Office inSwitzerland. The focus on the challenges affected childrenaccompanying their mothers to prison. According to Brueggemann (2014)the children rights violation has triggered the project to beundertaken. Inmany parts of the world, the welfare of children accompanying mothersinto prison is cited an issue of great concern, especiallycharacterized by neglect and child right violation. The projectsucceeded in identifying different issues regarding the targetedgroup of children, yet the success was largely attributable to thequality of the relationships that the undertakers had with theclients and partners (NationalCoordinating Center for Public Engagement, 2017).

Whythe Case Study is Important in Understanding Micro-Social WorkPractices

Theproject is potentially significant in understanding the micro-socialwork practices because it presents some of the critical elementsgoverning the success in the context of working with communities.According to Herricand Indianos (2015),one of the notable elements is the nature of the social goals of theproject. Brueggemann (2014) asserts that objectives should be set andoriented when working with the community in order to address socialproblems.The core goal for COPING in this case was clear and focusedon the welfare of children accompanying their parents in prison.Indeed, thechildren often face adverse conditions related to neglect andviolation of fundamental rights, and the child suffering begins rightfrom the arrest of the mothers, and proceeds through trial and jail(Quaker Council for European Affairs, 2012). This suffering happensat the backdrop of the set out child rights. For example, while theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights, issued in December 1948,states every child has the right to access food, shelter educationand healthcare, the arrests of mothers are often accompanied byviolation of these basic rights. To a certain extent, the society hasacknowledged the concern of children of detained mothers and evenadvocated for measures to address their needs (NationalCoordinating Center for Public Engagement, 2017).While there have been marked reforms, but there is still a lot to bedesired, something the research was interested.The second notable element is the collaboration between the concernedagencies, spanning the network of the funding institutions andresearch bodies. The case of COPING spanned different partneringagencies including universities and community organizations in theUK, Romania, Germany, and Sweden, as well as the Children ofPrisoners Europe and the Quaker United Nations Office in Switzerland.The success of also mediated by the effectiveness of the engagementprocess (Herricand Indianos, 2015).In the case of COPING, the engagement strategy was it itself amultispectral approach, spanning the partnering agents, the inmatemothers, and children of prison.


Inconclusion, COPING lends itself practice model for working withcommunities. In particular, the project succeeded because it wasfocused on its objective of assessing the welfare of the childrenaccompanying their mothers to prison. The project also succeededbecause it involved the cooperation of different agencies. Lastly,the approach was not only multispectral but also sought to engage thechildren and the mothers in prison. In this regard, any projectinvolving working with communities and focused on success shouldborrow a leaf from the COPING.


Brueggemann,W. G. (2014). ThePractice of Macro Social Work.

Herric,S. &amp Indianos, L. (2015). The Book of Community: A practicalguide to working and living in community.Oxford Uninversity Press

NationalCoordinating Center for Public Engagement (2017). Children ofImprisoned Parents Interventions &amp Mitigations to StrengthenMental Health (COPING). Retrieved from

QuakerCouncil for European Affairs (2012) Women in Prison: A Review of theConditions in Member States of the Council of Europe UK Government:HM Prison Service. Prison Service Order 4801: The Management ofMother and Baby Units, Section 2.