Dr. Barbara Bräutigam is a professor of SG Social Work and SG Early Education with emphasis in the area of Psychology and Youth Work at the University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg in Germany. Dr. Matthias Müller is also a professor of SG Social Work and SG Early Education at Neubrandenburg with an emphasis in the area of Child and Family Welfare.
Together with their two research assistants, Katrin Hankel and Sarah Lüngen, they began a research project that aimed at improving home-based treatment in Germany. For this project they contact HBFT Partnership and sought to meet with us to discuss the process of creating trainings for professionals, and for perceptions of how to improve home-based treatment.
Initial Research Project
Our friends from Germany started their research project with the aim to collect data on forms of assistance, caregivers and methods of providing assistance in an outpatient, family-related setting and compare their results to standard practices in the United States. The analyzed results will serve as recommendations for the development of concepts for outreach work in Germany. The goal of the project is to develop an interdisciplinary concept which specifies the special opportunities and challenges of assistance in a domestic setting. From this research project, quality standards tope to be generated and, with them, situations for clients and professional caregivers can be improved. Their final goal is to create and offer further theme-related trainings for the "Home Treatment" sector in Germany.
Why they came to Kansas
Early last semester we received an e-mail from Dr. Bräutigam and Dr. Müller expressing interest in coming to Manhattan and meeting with HBFT Partnership to discuss the trainings we develop and offer to the community of home-based providers. We were very excited to host our German friends and create a partnership for future collaboration.
In mid-January, the research team made its way to the United States, first stopping in New York to talk with health care providers before coming to Kansas. When asked why they chose Kansas for their meeting with home-based treatment providers, they said that Kansas's rural areas had similar infrastructures to Germany's rural areas where they are hoping to improve provided care.
Visit with Home-Based Treatment Providers
On January 15th, HBFT Partnership sat down with the German research team along with representatives from K-State's Social Work department, Smart Start program, Early Head Start, and various therapists who are currently providing home-based family treatment. During this visit, such topics of how we create our trainings and the mechanics of organizing such trainings were discussed, along with different issues therapists face while providing home-based work that need to be considered. The main goal of this visit was to explore practitioners' experiences in home-based work and their perceptions and attitudes towards what is helpful to them in trainings and some issues that need attending to in order to provide thoughtful, informed care. After we finished visiting with local healthcare professionals, the German research team headed to Topeka to meet with the Kansas Department of Ageing and Disabilities (KDADs), an HBFT partner, to learn about the process of working with state government to implement a program that will help develop and provide trainings.
For HBFT Partnership, the opportunity to meet and discuss aspects of home-based treatment with professionals from Germany was a wonderful experience. We will continue to communicate with our new friends and we plan to remain in a collaborative partnership with them around home-based treatment.