Narratives of Photographic Records of the Practices of Social Educators of a Residential Group Home for Children and Adolescents

Narrativas dos Registros Fotográficos das Práticas de Educadores Sociais de uma Instituição de Acolhimento para Crianças e Adolescentes

Narrativas de los Registros Fotográficos de las Prácticas de Educadores Sociales en una Institución de Acogida para Niños y Adolescentes

Sidney Issao Ito Adriano Valério dos Santos Azevêdo About the authors

Abstract

The social educator offers a set of practices aimed at children/adolescents in institutional care. This study aimed to analyze the practices of social educators based on narratives of photographic records in a residential group homes for children and adolescents in the Southern Brazil. Ten adults participated. Photographic recording and narrative interview script were used and analyzed based on the acquired data. The care provided surpassed the assistance for basic needs, a relevant aspect for practices carried out in a humanized and comprehensive manner. Favorable conditions were identified for the expression of play through creativity, and recognition of life history and aspects of development. The results indicated involvement in care, and this can strengthen continuing education strategies in line with current public policies.

Keywords:
children and adolescent code; photography; child institutionalized; children rights

Resumo

O educador social oferece um conjunto de práticas direcionadas para crianças/adolescentes na situação de acolhimento institucional. O presente estudo teve como objetivo analisar as práticas de educadores sociais provenientes das narrativas dos registros fotográficos numa instituição de acolhimento para crianças e adolescentes no Sul do Brasil. Participaram 10 adultos, e utilizou-se a técnica do registro fotográfico e roteiro de entrevista narrativa, que foram analisadas por meio da teoria fundamentada nos dados. O cuidado proporcionado superou a assistência às necessidades básicas, aspecto relevante para práticas realizadas de maneira humanizada e integral. Foram identificadas condições propícias para a expressão do brincar por meio da criatividade, e reconhecimento da história de vida e aspectos do desenvolvimento. Os resultados indicaram envolvimento no cuidado e isto pode fortalecer as estratégias de formação continuada congruentes com as políticas públicas vigentes.

Palavras-chave:
estatuto da criança e do adolescente; fotografia; criança institucionalizada; direitos da criança

Resumen

El educador social cuenta con un conjunto de prácticas dirigidas a niños/adolescentes en acogimiento institucional. El presente estudio tuvo como objetivo analizar las prácticas de los educadores sociales a partir de las narrativas de registros fotográficos en una institución de acogida para niños y adolescentes en el Sur de Brasil. Participaron diez adultos, y se utilizó la técnica de registro fotográfico y guion narrativo de entrevista, la cual fue analizada a partir de la teoría fundamentada en los datos. La atención brindada superó la asistencia a las necesidades básicas, aspecto relevante para las prácticas realizadas de manera humanizada e integral. Se identificaron condiciones favorables para la expresión del juego a través de la creatividad, y el reconocimiento de la historia de vida y aspectos del desarrollo. Los resultados indicaron involucramiento en el cuidado, lo que puede fortalecer estrategias de educación permanente coherentes con las políticas públicas vigentes.

Palabras clave:
estatuto del niño y del adolescente; fotografia; niño institucionalizado; derechos del niño

In Brazil, care practices for children and adolescents in social vulnerability and abandonment conditions were reformulated after the promulgation of the Statute of the Child and Adolescent (Law No. 8,069, 1990Lei No. 8.069, de 13 de julho de 1990. (1990, 13 de julho). Dispõe sobre o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente e dá outras providências [Provides for the Statute of Children and Adolescents and other measures]. Diário Oficial da União, seção 1. ). Thus, they were recognized in the condition of subjects of right in particular condition of development, and the referral to care facilities represented a protective measure, of exceptional and provisional character (Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome [MDS], 2009Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome. (2009). Orientações técnicas: Serviços de acolhimento para crianças e adolescentes [Technical guide lines: Welcoming services for children and adolescents]. Retrieved from https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publicacao/assistencia_social/Cadernos/orientacoes-tecnicas-servicos-de-alcolhimento.pdf
https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publi...
).

Thus, the residential group home is configured in a differential context for the psychosocial development of children and adolescents in these institutions and, in this scenario, new mechanisms have been created based on the ECA, for example, the insertion of social educators and the set of activities aimed at comprehensive care (Law No. 8,069, 1990Lei No. 8.069, de 13 de julho de 1990. (1990, 13 de julho). Dispõe sobre o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente e dá outras providências [Provides for the Statute of Children and Adolescents and other measures]. Diário Oficial da União, seção 1. ). Social educators are responsible for providing basic conditions of food, health, education, hygiene and affection, and they must have at least a high school degree and specific training (Costa, Santos, Santos, & Lima, 2018Costa, C. F., Santos, T. F., Santos, V. S., & Lima, L. A. G. (2018). Entre a instituição e o lar: Uma odisseia com educadores [Between the institution and the home: Na odyssey with educators]. Revista Pesquisas e Práticas Psicossociais, 13(1), e1208. Retrieved from http://www.seer.ufsj.edu.br/index.php/revista_ppp/article/view/2838
http://www.seer.ufsj.edu.br/index.php/re...
; MDS, 2009Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome. (2009). Orientações técnicas: Serviços de acolhimento para crianças e adolescentes [Technical guide lines: Welcoming services for children and adolescents]. Retrieved from https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publicacao/assistencia_social/Cadernos/orientacoes-tecnicas-servicos-de-alcolhimento.pdf
https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publi...
). One of the main tasks is to mediate possibilities that enable the learner to develop autonomy to become a transformative agent (Accorssi1, Schwengber, & Bamberg, 2019Accorssi, A., Schwengber, D., & Bamberg, C. L. F. (2019). Educadores sociais como agentes de transformação: Reflexões a partir de um centro social localizado na região metropolitana de Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul [Social educators as transformation agents: Reflections from a social center located in the metropolitan region of Porto Alegre, State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil]. Revista de Educação Popular, 18(2), 186-208.doi:10.14393/REP-v18n22019-46853
https://doi.org/10.14393/REP-v18n22019-4...
). Therefore, according to the authors, the social educator should develop reflections during their practices.

We highlight the need to reflect on the aspects that involve the removal of the child/adolescent from their family, the possible effects on socio-emotional development, and the role of the social educator in this context. In this sense, all efforts are directed to maintain the child with the family, employing such removal as an exceptional measure, in situations of serious risk to physical and/or mental integrity (MDS, 2009Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome. (2009). Orientações técnicas: Serviços de acolhimento para crianças e adolescentes [Technical guide lines: Welcoming services for children and adolescents]. Retrieved from https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publicacao/assistencia_social/Cadernos/orientacoes-tecnicas-servicos-de-alcolhimento.pdf
https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publi...
). However, there is a significant number of children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability in referred to institutional care facilities.

Millions of children and adolescents worldwide live in institutions separated from their families due to poverty, ill treatment, abuse, neglect, discrimination, gender inequality, war, natural disasters, disability, migration, and social exclusion (Lumos Foundation, 2021Lumos Foundation. (2021). In the name of care and protection: Child institutionalisation in Latin America and the Caribbean. London, United Kingdom: Author. Retrieved from https://lumos.contentfiles.net/media/documents/document/2021/05/In_the_Name_of_Care_and_Protection_-_LAC_.pdf
https://lumos.contentfiles.net/media/doc...
). In Brazil, the number of institutionalized children/adolescents is higher than 30,000 (Conselho Nacional de Justiça [CNJ], 2021Conselho Nacional de Justiça. (2021). Sistema Nacional de Adoção e Acolhimento - SNA [National Adoptionand Reception System - NAS]. Retrieved from https://paineisanalytics.cnj.jus.br/single/?appid=ccd72056-8999-4434-b913-f74b5b5b31a2&sheet=4f1d9435-00b1-4c8c-beb7-8ed9dba4e45a&opt=currsel&select=clearall
https://paineisanalytics.cnj.jus.br/sing...
), requiring psychosocial practices to meet emerging demands. Therefore, there are recommendations for these practices to be articulated to the principles and guidelines of the current public policies, which can develop the social educators’ qualification.

We stress the commitment in the established relationships and, in this sense, the proximal process-defined as the reciprocal and continuous interaction, which becomes progressively more complex-is the main type of interaction influencing human development, defined based on the changes and continuities that occur throughout the life cycle (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 793-828). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.). In view of this, Bernardes and Marin (2019Bernardes, J. W., & Marin, A. H. (2019). Intervenção com educadoras sociais no contexto de acolhimento institucional: Relato de experiência [Intervention with social educators in the context of shelters: Report of experience]. Revista da SPAGESP,20(2), 117-130. Retrieved from http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1677-29702019000200009
http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/scielo.php?scr...
) emphasize the relevance of a careful look at institutional sheltering, referring to the quality of care provided by social educators. This aspect is important for the development of interventions and research to verify the related contributions.

The analysis of quality of care highlights the relevance of scientific investigations with social educators, because research was conducted on the following aspects: socio-educational planning (Souza, Moreira, & Pereira, 2017Souza, F. C. S., Moreira, K. A., & Pereira, M. R. (2017). A interdisciplinaridade na prática dos educadores sociais do programa de criança Petrobras [The interdisciplinary practice of social educators at the children programme at Petrobras]. Polêm!ca,17(2), 54-67.doi:10.12957/polemica.2017.29608
https://doi.org/10.12957/polemica.2017.2...
), training (Strong, 2018Strong, D. M. (2018). Supporting the “Casa Lar” social educator: A case study of a consultation using intercultural know ledge translation. Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional, 26(3), 692-701. doi:10.4322/2526-8910.ctoRE1704
https://doi.org/10.4322/2526-8910.ctoRE1...
), and the role of this professional in the residential group home (Costa et al., 2018Costa, C. F., Santos, T. F., Santos, V. S., & Lima, L. A. G. (2018). Entre a instituição e o lar: Uma odisseia com educadores [Between the institution and the home: Na odyssey with educators]. Revista Pesquisas e Práticas Psicossociais, 13(1), e1208. Retrieved from http://www.seer.ufsj.edu.br/index.php/revista_ppp/article/view/2838
http://www.seer.ufsj.edu.br/index.php/re...
). Furthermore, the literature has explored the association between social educator and institutionalized child or adolescent (Jiménez, 2017Jiménez, M. V. J. (2017). La figura del educador social como tutor de apego em los hogares tutelados para menores en situación de protección [The figure of the social educator as a guardian of attachment in the sheltered homes for minors in a situation of protection]. RES, Revista de Educación Social, (25), 236-244. Retrieved from https://eduso.net/res/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/figuratutorapego_res_25.pdf
https://eduso.net/res/wp-content/uploads...
; Pedroso, Lobato, & Magalhães, 2016Pedroso, J. S., Lobato, C. P., & Magalhães, C. M. C. (2016). Playing and reality: Verbalizations of children in situation of institutional sheltering. Psicologia em Estudo, 21(4), 711-721. doi:10.4025/psicolestud.v21i4.31806
https://doi.org/10.4025/psicolestud.v21i...
).

Thus, this study analyzed the practices of social educators based on the narratives of photographic records in a residential group home for children and adolescents in the Southern Brazil. This research is original and the obtained outcomes will be relevant to the scientific and social sphere, considering the possibility of contributing to the planning of actions for social educators consistent with the demands that will be identified.

Method

Participants

The following inclusion criteria were established: social educators with more than six months of work of both genders and who accepted to participate in the research. Professionals with less than six months of work were excluded from the sample, considering that we sought to meet those who were familiar with the residential institution routines.

For convenience, the research focused on social educators who worked in a public institution in the form of residential group home intended to shelter children and adolescents in a situation of personal and/or social risk. The chosen institution was created on 08/20/1998 and since then it offers the sheltering service. In total, 13 professionals were identified at the facility, but after employing the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 10 individuals composed the final sample. By analyzing the interviews, we found that saturation was achieved, because the speeches were repeated. Thus, the sample number was sufficient as it reached what is proposed to be sampling by saturation of qualitative investigations (Fontanella, Ricas, & Turato, 2008Fontanella, B. J. B., Ricas, J., & Turato, E. R. (2008). Amostragem por saturação em pesquisas qualitativas em saúde: Contribuições teóricas [Saturation sampling in qualitative health research: Theoretical contributions]. Cadernos de Saúde Pública, 24(1), 17-27. Retrieved from https://www.scielosp.org/article/csp/2008.v24n1/17-27/pt/
https://www.scielosp.org/article/csp/200...
).

The study sample was composed of nine women and one man. Average age was 36.5 years, five individuals were married, one was divorced and four were single. Eight people had complete secondary education, one had incomplete tertiary education and two had complete tertiary education. Income ranged from one to two minimum wages. Working time varied from one to five years, and nine subjects participated in courses for social educators, which shows a positive aspect in training.

Instruments

In this research we used the photographic record technique, which refers to a possibility of research in qualitative studies (Jovchelovitch & Bauer, 2008Jovchelovitch, S., & Bauer, M. W. (2008). Entrevista narrativa [Interview narrative]. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Orgs.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans., pp. 90-113). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes . ). The image, with or without sound, offers a powerful record of temporal actions and real events (Loizos, 2008Loizos, P. (2008). Vídeo, filme e fotografias como documentos de pesquisa [Video, film and photographs as research documents]. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Orgs.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans., pp. 137-155). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes . ). The participant was asked to register, freely, five photos of their practices in the institution considering the following slogan: What does my practice represent in this sheltering institution? Then, an interview was scheduled to discuss the visual material and the content of the pictures.

Photography can trigger memories that an interview would not and although social research is typically associated with theoretical and abstract questions, there are contributions through primary data and visual information, justifying the use of photographic recording (Loizos, 2008Loizos, P. (2008). Vídeo, filme e fotografias como documentos de pesquisa [Video, film and photographs as research documents]. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Orgs.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans., pp. 137-155). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes . ). However, according to Loizos (2008Loizos, P. (2008). Vídeo, filme e fotografias como documentos de pesquisa [Video, film and photographs as research documents]. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Orgs.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans., pp. 137-155). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes . ), such records constitute representations of a larger complex of past actions. In this sense, the importance of triangulating data, interviews and photographic records, is highlighted.

Also, narrative interview with an open question was used, aiming to explore the meanings of the participants’ photographs. The narrative interview consists of the production of data with questions that can vary in their sequence, and aims to know the subjective experiences, which enables access to knowledge about practices and processes through the narrative stimulus (Flick, 2013Flick, U. (2013). Coleta de dados: Abordagens quantitativa e qualitativa [Data collection: Quantitative and qualitative approaches]. In Introdução à metodologia de pesquisa: Um guia para iniciantes [Introduction to research methodology: A beginner’s guide] (M. Lopes, Trans., pp. 107-132). Porto Alegre, RS: Penso.). The narrative interview’s basic idea is to reconstruct social events from the perspective of informants (Jovchelovitch & Bauer, 2008Jovchelovitch, S., & Bauer, M. W. (2008). Entrevista narrativa [Interview narrative]. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Orgs.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans., pp. 90-113). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes . ). The authors explain that through narrative people remember situations and show possible explanations and articulations.

Procedure

Data collection. Firstly, the general conditions for participation in the research were presented to the participant. For example, they would have to take five photos of the practices conducted in the residential group home in the average time of eight days. Eleven professionals returned a week later, and at this time, the narrative interview was used to analyze each photograph. All participants were interviewed in the premises of the institution, according to availability and scheduled time. One participant was excluded from the sample for bringing photographs from a virtual environment, so the sample consisted of ten participants. The interviews were recorded and then fully transcribed. Each participant presented the photographs highlighting the central and specific elements. The researcher asked where the photo was taken, what motivated the photographic record and the assigned meanings.

Data analysis. The analysis of photographs was based on the scientific literature recommendations on qualitative research with text, image, and sound (Bauer & Gaskell, 2008Bauer, M. W., & Gaskell, G. (2008). Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans.). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes. ). To this end, we used the theory based on the data to analyze the photographs and the narratives from the interview. Grounded Theory is a methodology in which the central focus is the inductively generation of new ideas or hypotheses based on the data (Gibbs, 2009Gibbs, G. (2009). Codificação e categorização temáticas [Thematic coding and categorization]. In Análise de dados qualitativos [Analyzing qualitative data] (R. C. Costa, Trans., pp. 29-78). Porto Alegre, RS: Artmed. ).

This data analysis was performed by the coding procedure, that is, the representation of the operations by which the data are fragmented, conceptualized, and reintegrated in new ways (Flick, 2004Flick, U. (2004). Uma introdução à pesquisa qualitativa [Na introduction to qualitative research] (J. E. Costa, Trans., 2nd ed.). Porto Alegre, RS: Bookman. ). In this interpretation process, Flick (2004Flick, U. (2004). Uma introdução à pesquisa qualitativa [Na introduction to qualitative research] (J. E. Costa, Trans., 2nd ed.). Porto Alegre, RS: Bookman. ) explains that open coding is a procedure that express data and phenomena in the form of concepts, and in selective coding there are improvements in the analysis for the elaboration or formulation of the theory. During the analyses of the photographic records, open coding was used to identify the central elements (people, objects, physical space), later we sought to verify specific points through selective coding, allowing the construction of thematic categories. Furthermore, we analyzed the photographic framing, specifically the position and angle of people, objects and places.

In the second moment, the coding process was used to analyze the participants’ narratives regarding the photographs, allowing the construction of subcategories. Then, in the analytical exploration of descriptions, the meanings of each subcategory were interpreted and the thematic elements were identified. The production of data occurred in a procedural way, allowing the formulation of results in a dynamic way. In the analysis process, fictitious names were used to preserve the secrecy and identity of participants. Independent raters choose the categories, subcategories and elements of analysis, reaching consensus among them.

Ethical Considerations

This Research was approved by the management board of the residential group home and by the Research Ethics Committee of the Universidade Tuiuti do Paraná (CAAE: 18562019.0.0000.8040). The professionals were individually invited to participate in the research, after signing the informed consent form. The material obtained from the interview, questionnaires, and photographs were used solely for the research, and will be destroyed/discarded within two years. The data was collected from 02/05/2020 to 05/06/2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results

Figure 1 presents the four thematic categories and subcategories constructed after the data analysis.

Figure 1
Categories, subcategories and themes of the photographic records.

Photographs of children and adolescents

In this thematic category, images related to moments of meal, fun, and carrying out school activities in the residential group homes were observed. A photograph of the mealtime was recorded, in which the social educator Adriana photographed a child, front and full body, holding a glass in the cafeteria, and it was described: “(…) it was our identification with them, in the way of serving, the care” (Adriana). It is possible to infer that the social educator identifies with the task of assisting the child in feeding, since it is an aspect of comprehensive care.

In the records of eight photographs on the fun, we could identify the frame of the full body of those children in the following activities: playing foosball, cycling, painting, playing ball, drawing, playing with LEGO, and other physical activities. The social educator Maria photographed a child and a teenager playing foosball in the game room, and this moment represented resilience: “(…) P. has a lot of difficulty with numbers (…), but when he’s playing (…) in the scorekeeper where he marks his score, if someone tries to fool him he will know [laughs], he is getting over his limits every day (…)” (Maria).

Antonia’s photo featured five hands of two children and three teenagers who joined their fingertips to form a star, which meant friendship: “(…) it was a girls-only round of conversation (…) it is friendship (…) to unite, they used to quarrel a lot, they used to argue [laughter] (…) it got better” (Antonia).

By presenting the meanings of resilience and friendship regarding the photographs of playing, we can infer that social educators consider affection in the relationships between children/adolescents, which represents the propitious element of personal and social development that potentiates the mobilization of efforts to face adverse situations.

Four photos of children performing school activities were presented with a frame of the individuals’ full bodies. Social educator Aline photographed two children and a teenager leaning on a table, which meant cooperation: “(…) the issue of educational activities is a [pause] is a very important method (…) when L. [support teacher] is not here we are responsible for the activities, she leaves the material for us, you know? So we give them (…) it’s their cooperation, right? (…) one helping the other with the activities” (Aline).

Regarding the meaning of cooperation, the availability of social educators to build interpersonal relationships favorable to the development of socio-emotional skills of children and adolescents was identified.

Photographs of interactions between social educator and children and adolescents

In this category we could identify several interactions established in the institution, for example, activities that relate playing, food, support to school activities, and aid in health-related aspects. Five photographs about playing were recorded, in which we found that the social educators were sitting, and in the other photos there were records in various places, for example, the cafeteria, the balcony, the courtyard and support to school activities room.

An example refers to the social educator Maria, who took a vertical photo, playing with two children sitting at a table in the cafeteria, which represented collaboration: “(…) I saw collaboration, let’s say so, because these children always disagree [laughs], and at that time they were not. It depends on the way you play the game or the way you talk to them (…)” (Maria). Moreover, it also meant understanding: “(…) they invited F. to play and F. accepted, so it was a good movement on her part to accept (…) understanding, let’s say so, because she was going to the bathroom to start her shift” (Maria).

By considering the meanings of collaboration and understanding about the photographic records of playing, we could understand that, in playing, social educators are developing interactions that enable the daily monitoring of the child/adolescent in the development of bonds.

In Patricia’s photo there were two children playing in a merry-go-round, and the photographic frame encompassed the whole body of the children, representing care and protection: “I was taking care of them playing (…) in the merry-go-round, because they can’t do it by themselves, sometimes they fall, right? Because they spin fast, I sat down with him so he could play with G.” (Patricia)

Four photos were identified in which social educators helped children/adolescents during feeding, and in general babies were recorded, on the other hand, other photos showed social educators sitting and standing. For example, Aline took a photo standing in the cafeteria with three children sitting and eating, which represented care at the pandemic: “the care with food (…) also this moment of care that we, the educators, have with the children, we wear gloves, mask, because of Corona virus, right?”(Aline)

Maria was sitting while feeding two babies on the balcony, and together with another social educator they highlighted the moments of joy: “(…) they can be babies, children, teenagers, if we set the table out there for lunch it is the greatest joy [laughter]” (Maria).The responsibility for the tasks aimed at promoting the satisfaction of children and adolescents was evidenced, since the participants presented the meanings of care and their repercussions on the mood of the institutionalized individuals.

Two photos of an educator suggested the support to school activities. Each photo had a different frame, because one photograph included the professional’s whole body, and the other framed her face. Sandra took a profile photo, sitting reading a storybook for a child and a teenager, they were sitting at a table in the study room, which meant satisfaction: “this is a moment of reading in the learning room (…) they like when I read for them (…)” (Sandra).

We could verify in the social educators the dimension of repercussions of work with positive influence on the promotion of the social well-being of the institutionalized people, by expressing the sense of satisfaction about the photos of the support to school activities.

A photo was recorded at the time of assistance to the child’s health, because Patricia photographed a child facing, sitting on her lap performing nebulization in the room, and health meanings were assigned: “(…) he depends on us to perform nebulization, so he can recover (…) from the cough (…) so that they recover more quickly” (Patricia). In this way, we could perceive the protagonist action of social educators when the child is ill, since the meanings of comprehensive protection were assigned.

Photographs of physical space

In this category, the environments of the institution were recorded: the courtyard, the corridor, the living room, the dining room, and the bedroom. Two photographs focused on the courtyard: the first had a rectangular framing, and the second had a square shape. Aline photographed, in square format, a free area of the facility highlighting the playground with swing, merry-go-round and slide, representing entertainment: “their outdoor activities (…) is the part that children like the most (…) it amuses them, not only television, but playing games” (Aline). Social educators value this moment of entertainment in the courtyard due to the positive effects on children’s satisfaction.

Regarding the institution corridor, the social educator Jose took a photo in which drawings of rabbit footprints on the floor were recorded, between the room and the cafeteria, representing playful aspect: “(…) imagining the rabbit visiting every Casa Lar leaving a gift for everybody (…) they just can’t wait for this moment(…)” (Jose). The significance of the playful aspect in relation to the photographic record of the corridor revealed the appreciation for spaces that arouse the interest of children to play.

Two photographs from the living room identified sofas. In the first photo framing was used showing details of sofas, and in the other photo the organization of elements was in the general plan. Thus, sofas, a bookshelf and a television were identified, and in this way, there was interaction between the objects and the environment. Antonia took a picture of this place in the general plan, representing reunion: “they are gathered, like, when you are doing some other type of activity, like, everybody on their own, right? And when they are watching a movie they all stay there (…)” (Antonia).

Three photos addressed the cafeteria, where they presented parts of tables and the food. An example refers to Ana who photographed food arranged in this place, which represented interaction: “(…) it is a moment that everyone is there together, talking, interacting (…)” (Ana). When considering the meanings of the reunion and interaction, it can be inferred that social educators are contributing to the children’s social development.

The bedrooms were recorded in four photographs, containing beds and stuffed animals, and specifically, each recording was carried out in a different room. For example, in Ana’s photograph there was a room with a bed, bookshelves, shelves and toys, representing individuality: “their bed represent safety, their individuality at that moment (…)” (Ana). We could show that social educators are available to record photos of different rooms, which demonstrates sensitivity to this space that is intended for children’s rest.

Photographs of the sheltering institution objects

In this thematic category objects used in the institution were identified, for example, bottle of alcohol gel, television, notebook with each child’s and adolescent’s development, diaper basket, and bulletin board.

A photograph of the bottle of alcohol gel was identified, and the social educator Fernanda presented a photo in which the framing included the whole object, representing prevention: “(…) protecting children, doing our part with alcohol gel (…) not only with them but also with the co-workers” (Fernanda). By presenting the meaning of prevention, we can interpret that social educators are responsible for promoting children’s and adolescents’ health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two photographs showed a television in the side frame, but in different environments, as one was recorded in the living room and the other in the bedroom. Social educator Camila recorded a photograph of a television set above a shelf, representing joy: “(…) when they’re watching their cartoons they get pretty excited, you know? It is joy, they are happy (…)” (Camila).

We verified the social educator’s sensitivity in relation to what makes the child happy, considering that the participants expressed the meanings of joy in the photographs of the television set.

In the only photograph addressing the notebook of records on the evolution of the child and adolescent, which refers to the history of physical, social, and emotional development, the social educator Fernanda took a picture of this material on a shelf located in the nursery, representing the communication: “our daily work, right? Communicating with the other educators (…)” (Fernanda). Considering the meaning of communication, we could perceive the care aimed at the information that favors the provision of adequate care for each child/adolescent.

There was a photograph of a diaper basket that was above a bookshelf in the baby’s room, which represented organization: “(…) showing that their stuff is also part of the organization and that their stuff have correct places (…)” (Camila). This organization facilitates the realization of activities and values the respect and individuality of each child.

Regarding the photographic record of the bulletin board, a photo was identified in which this object was located in the cafeteria, which meant involvement: “(…) the celebrations, festivities (…) everyone gets involved and helps in some way” (Fernanda). Regarding the sense of involvement, the value of interactions favorable to the sociocultural development of children and adolescents was identified.

Discussion

Regarding photographs of children and adolescents, the moments of eating, playing and school activities were recorded, these were represented by the thematic elements of cooperation and resilience. In the present research we could perceive the clarity of social educators that the care in the residential group home exceeds the meeting of basic needs, because it promotes socialization and sharing of educational information in order to develop new forms of learning.

In a research that investigated the work activity of the social educator in a residential group home, we verified the recognition of stimulus to the collective dimension considering the contributions to professional performance (Girotto & Amador, 2018Girotto, W. M., & Amador, F. S. (2018). Cartografando a atividade do educador de um abrigo institucional [Mapping the activity of the educator of na institutional shelter]. Revista Pesquisas e Práticas Psicossociais , 13(1), 1-17. Retrieved from http://www.seer.ufsj.edu.br/index.php/revista_ppp/article/view/2857/1885
http://www.seer.ufsj.edu.br/index.php/re...
). Similarly, the social educators of our research recognized the work activities conducive to favorable conditions for the realization of residential group homes.

In the photographs of the interactions social educator/child and adolescent we could perceive the inclusion of play and food. Such situations have characteristics that enable the development of play as a strategy for building social skills. In another study, social educators realized that they must meet the needs of the institutionalized child by offering food, smiles and cuddles, and the opportunity for the child to interact with different people (Gabatz, Schwartz, & Milbrath, 2019Gabatz, R. I. B., Schwartz, E., & Milbrath, V. M. (2019). Institutional care giver experiences in child care. Escola Anna Nery, 23(2), e20180195. doi:10.1590/2177-9465-EAN-2018-0195
https://doi.org/10.1590/2177-9465-EAN-20...
).

In this sense, the effective participation of participants of this research in the direction of play provided the exercise of social relations between children and adolescents. Thus, the interest of social educators in comprehensive care to the needs of children was evident.

In this study, support for school activities and assistance in health aspects, including emotional aspects, were verified. In addition, among the ten members of this study, nine participated in courses for social educators, which represents a positive aspect for the development of practices. In the study that sought to investigate how care presents itself in the daily life of social educators, adequate working methods were identified, however, in general the concern was focused on educational resources related to learning, and this became one of the only work objectives (Carvalho, Razera, Haack, & Falcke, 2015Carvalho, C. F., Razera, J., Haack, K. R., & Falcke, D. (2015). Acolhimento institucional: Considerações sobre a forma como o cuidado subjetivo se apresenta no cotidiano de trabalho dos educadores sociais [Residential care: Considerations on how subjective care is presented in the daily work of social educators]. Aletheia, (47-48), 51-63. Retrieved from http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/pdf/aletheia/n47-48/n47-48a05.pdf
http://pepsic.bvsalud.org/pdf/aletheia/n...
). Thus, a viable strategy is formative supervision as a fundamental part of the continuing education of the social educator, seeking to use it for daily practice (Silva & Santos, 2019Silva, G. H., & Santos, V. A. G. (2019). Análise crítica e reflexiva sobre uma experiência socioeducativa com famílias em situação de vulnerabilidade social [Critical and reflective analysis of a socio-educational experience with families in a situation of social vulnerability]. Lumenet Virtus: Revista Interdisciplinar de Cultura e Imagem, 10(24), 22-44. Retrieved from http://www.jackbran.com.br/lumen_et_virtus/numero_24/gersonsilva_vanessasantos.html
http://www.jackbran.com.br/lumen_et_virt...
).

The social educators of this research developed practices in an expanded way considering the general aspects that involve care. In this way, we can notice the use of guidelines submitted by the public policy through a friendly attitude, according to the Technical Guidelines of the Services of Shelter for Children and Adolescents of the Ministry of Social Development and Fight against Hunger (MDS, 2009Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome. (2009). Orientações técnicas: Serviços de acolhimento para crianças e adolescentes [Technical guide lines: Welcoming services for children and adolescents]. Retrieved from https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publicacao/assistencia_social/Cadernos/orientacoes-tecnicas-servicos-de-alcolhimento.pdf
https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publi...
), the social educator is recommended to develop the clarity of their role in affectively connecting with children and adolescents seeking to build a family-like atmosphere.

Therefore, the participants of this research realized the importance of offering shelter by identifying ways to interact through affective bonding. In a systematic review of empirical studies of social educators, the authors in the research identified bonds with children and adolescents (Ito & Azevêdo, 2021Ito, S. I., & Azevêdo, A. V. S. (2021). Educadores sociais em instituições de acolhimento destinados a crianças e adolescentes: Revisão sistemática [Social educators in shelters intended for children and adolescents: Systematic review]. Contextos Clínicos, 14(1), 276-303. doi:10.4013/ctc.2021.141.13
https://doi.org/10.4013/ctc.2021.141.13...
). In this sense, development occurs through progressively more complex processes of interactions between an active, evolving biopsychological organism and people in its immediate external environment (Bronfenbrenner & Morris, 2006Bronfenbrenner, U., & Morris, P. A. (2006). The bioecological model of human development. In W. Damon & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Vol. 1. Theoretical models of human development (6th ed., pp. 793-828). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.). Thus, the relevance of the relationship of social educators with people in a sheltering situation is highlighted, and with this, the importance of promoting the development of these individuals.

Regarding the category of photographs of physical space, the courtyard, corridor, living room, cafeteria and bedroom were identified, and the interaction and the playful aspect were highlighted. The experience of playing in the context of the sheltering institution represents for the child a way to enter the concrete reality, which allows to develop the notion of transforming agent of their social context (Pedroso et al., 2016Pedroso, J. S., Lobato, C. P., & Magalhães, C. M. C. (2016). Playing and reality: Verbalizations of children in situation of institutional sheltering. Psicologia em Estudo, 21(4), 711-721. doi:10.4025/psicolestud.v21i4.31806
https://doi.org/10.4025/psicolestud.v21i...
).

Thus, we observed that the performance of the participants of this research facilitates the expression of the child’s play, which occurs through creativity and interaction in the institutional sheltering environment. Thissocialization is related to affective bonding, as this fact was verified in research on the implication of affection in human development processes (Bianchin & Gomes, 2018Bianchin, L. F., & Gomes, K. M. (2018). O desenvolvimento da empatia e vínculo afetivo em crianças e adolescentes abrigados [The development of empathy and affective attachment in children and adolescents sheltered]. Revista de Iniciação Científica, 16(1), 41-54. Retrieved from http://periodicos.unesc.net/iniciacaocientifica/article/view/4271
http://periodicos.unesc.net/iniciacaocie...
). Thus, these authors recommend that in the context of asheltering institution, it is necessary that caregivers offer institutionalized children a bond regulated by constant interactions based on trust.

Photographs of the sheltering institution objects were represented by the thematic elements of protection and communication. Protection represents an assignment carried out by social educators, since it is a task with the aim of providing the guarantee of rights to people in situations of vulnerability and social risk (Bauli & Müller, 2020Bauli, R. A., & Müller, V. R. (2020). Educação, educação social e educador social [Education, social education and social educator]. In Educador social no Brasil: Normatização e profissionalização [Social educator in Brazil: Standardization and professionalization] (pp. 23-104). Chapecó, SC: Livrologia.). Therefore, we could verify in the photographic records the performance of activities that aimed at the comprehensive protection of children and adolescents.

Communication was another element identified, in contrast, a study on the work experiences of social educators found that they did not have an articulating space of ideas and experiences, which made it difficult to reach their professional activities (Bassoli & Figueiredo, 2020Bassoli, E. N., & Figueiredo, V. C. N. (2020). Challenges of the work of female social educators in shelters. Revista Ibero-Americana de Estudos em Educação, 15(3), 2396-2410. doi:10.21723/riaee.v15iesp3.14448
https://doi.org/10.21723/riaee.v15iesp3....
). On the other hand, the performance of professional activities based on the recommendations of public policies allows to develop comprehensive care, which was identified in the present research.

Among the main activities developed by the social educator is the organization of individual records on the development of each child and/or adolescent preserving their life history (MDS, 2009Ministério do Desenvolvimento Social e Combate à Fome. (2009). Orientações técnicas: Serviços de acolhimento para crianças e adolescentes [Technical guide lines: Welcoming services for children and adolescents]. Retrieved from https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publicacao/assistencia_social/Cadernos/orientacoes-tecnicas-servicos-de-alcolhimento.pdf
https://www.mds.gov.br/webarquivos/publi...
). The communication strategy used by the social educators of this research through the notebook is a form of effective development of the work, and presents in itself the aspect of humanization and appreciation of the individual in a perspective of integrality. Thus, there is recognition of the life history and aspects that integrate the development of each child/adolescent in the sheltering institution.

The objective of this research was achieved, since it was possible to analyze the meanings of the photographic records of social educators regarding their practices in a sheltering institution. These practices involved interactions with children and adolescents, which included, in a symbolic way, the records of individuals in sheltering situation, the physical spaces and objects of the shelter. In qualitative research, images bring out memories of the interviewee, which can help in conducting interviews (Loizos, 2008Loizos, P. (2008). Vídeo, filme e fotografias como documentos de pesquisa [Video, film and photographs as research documents]. In M. W. Bauer & G. Gaskell (Orgs.), Pesquisa qualitativa com texto, imagem e som: Um manual prático [Qualitative researching with text, image and sound: A practical handbook] (P. A. Guareschi, Trans., pp. 137-155). Petrópolis, RJ: Vozes . ).

Social educators offered forms of social interaction with children/adolescents through affective bonding and expressed clarity that care outweighs assistance to basic needs. Thus, it was an important aspect for the construction of comprehensive care.

We identified the promotion of the expression of play through creativity, as well as the recognition of the life history and aspects that integrate the development of each child/adolescent in the sheltering institution. The sharing of educational information in the basic activities of care (feeding, playing) aimed at the development of new learning was highlighted. And in this way, social educators recognized the work activities that provide conditions for sheltered individuals to build coping strategies in the face of situations involving institutional sheltering, for example, in moments of play.

In Brazil, there are difficulties in carrying out the protective measures provided for by ECA, and thus, there is a need for the principles of this legislation to be implemented to meet the demands of children and adolescents in institutional care. In this study, positive results of the practices of social educators were presented, but the difficulties and limitations related to comprehensive care were not reported. However, this care is not always offered in a similar way in other places, because with regard to the Brazilian reality diversity, there are probably institutions that replicate the traditional punitive models, but the place studied presents a differentiated panorama of practices that stand out for humanized care. Regarding the limitations, the present qualitative study was conducted in only one residential group home, and was based on self-reported data that may present relationships with the effects of social desirability and other types of response biases.

In general, the results identified that social educators are involved in the care of the child/adolescent, and this represents an important point for the strengthening of continuing education strategies, so that the consolidation of activities and ties are discussed in order to improve the practices of these professionals. This study contributed to promote advances in scientific production via triangulating data with the technique of photographic records and interviews, therefore, for future studies we suggest the conduct of research-intervention through longitudinal monitoring. Practical applications of the results of this study contribute to implement what is proposed by the current regulation, specifically on the strategies used by social educators in residential group homes.

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  • Support: article derived from the master’s dissertation of the first author under the supervision of the second, defended in 2021, in the Graduate Program in Forensic Psychology of Universidade Tuiuti do Paraná.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    06 May 2022
  • Date of issue
    2022

History

  • Received
    06 Sept 2021
  • Reviewed
    25 Oct 2021
  • Reviewed
    06 Dec 2021
  • Accepted
    16 Jan 2022
Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia Av.Bandeirantes 3900 - Monte Alegre, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 16) 3315-3829 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil
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