Event Title

The Perspective of Human Services Professionals on the Inclusion of Dogs in Services

Location

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

Start Date

19-4-2016 3:30 PM

Description

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of human services professionals who included a dog in their services. SUBJECTS: Licensed human services professionals (n=6) from various fields including social work, criminal justice, and education who have included a dog in their profession in the past or currently. METHODS: Participants were located via online searches and contacted via phone. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to collect the data. ANALYSES: Using the transcriptions of the interviews, a qualitative analysis with open and axial coding was completed. RESULTS: Five themes emerged from the data collection- obstacles or challenges required to include a dog in one’s career, the impact perceived by the professional on the person being served, desired characteristics of the included dog, how the dog was impacted, and specific issues and/or populations the professionals found that dogs were the most helpful with. CONCLUSIONS: Results reveal how the benefits of including a dog can be adopted into various human services fields, how human services professionals including a dog in their occupation can best protect themselves, and what areas would be most helpful for researchers to focus on in the development of this practice.

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Apr 19th, 3:30 PM

The Perspective of Human Services Professionals on the Inclusion of Dogs in Services

Hager-Lubbers Exhibition Hall

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of human services professionals who included a dog in their services. SUBJECTS: Licensed human services professionals (n=6) from various fields including social work, criminal justice, and education who have included a dog in their profession in the past or currently. METHODS: Participants were located via online searches and contacted via phone. Semi-structured interviews were utilized to collect the data. ANALYSES: Using the transcriptions of the interviews, a qualitative analysis with open and axial coding was completed. RESULTS: Five themes emerged from the data collection- obstacles or challenges required to include a dog in one’s career, the impact perceived by the professional on the person being served, desired characteristics of the included dog, how the dog was impacted, and specific issues and/or populations the professionals found that dogs were the most helpful with. CONCLUSIONS: Results reveal how the benefits of including a dog can be adopted into various human services fields, how human services professionals including a dog in their occupation can best protect themselves, and what areas would be most helpful for researchers to focus on in the development of this practice.