Welfare Policy, Homelessness and Social Exclusion (WELPHASE)
In the initial phase homelessness was the core focus of the Working Group. Increasing awareness of the relationships between homelessness and housing, social exclusion and welfare policy is reflected in the papers presented at more recent workshops. Thus the papers usually reflect a considerable thematic diversity, albeit framed by the overarching focus of the Working Group on homelessness, housing and social exclusion, and welfare policy.
Activities and output in recent years
The Working Group has organised a workshop at every annual ENHR conference since 2004 and welcomes papers at different stages of development, varying from papers already accepted by a journal to mere drafts. The workshop offers an opportunity to receive comments and proceed with papers at the draft stage. Following the procedure of earlier workshops, a discussant was appointed to papers circulated within the workshop participants in advance, but also leaving time for questions and a general discussion.
A total of 14 presentations were made to the workshop for the 2017 ENHR Tirana conference, spanning five sessions. A wide range of substantive and methodological interests and issues informed the presentations. A diversity of methods and methodological approaches matched the diversity of topics, including qualitative and small-scale interviews, analysis of policies and speeches, and the analysis of large-scale data-sets.
A total of 11 presentations were made to the workshop for the 2018 Uppsala conference, spanning five sessions.
At the last ENHR conference in Athens in 2019 a great range of papers from Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, and the UK were discussed. We had data from large scale surveys, longitudinal studies, and small RCTs, we had ethnographic accounts and policy reviews. We looked at prevention, intervention, enumeration, strategies, health, capabilities, gender. A diversity of methods and methodological approaches always match the diversity of topics, including qualitative and small-scale interviews, evaluations of policies, and analyses of large-scale data-sets.
Future plans and activities
The WELPHASE workshop fits well into the general theme of the 2020 ENHR conference in Nicosia: ‘Unsettled Settlements: Housing in Unstable Contexts’. The conference aims at exploring the experiences of transient, fragmented, changeable and unpredictable housing in different contexts. Housing precarity and instability is central to our Working Group.
Working Group Coordinators look forward to receiving a broad range of papers concerning housing exclusion and homelessness in various settings, as well as welfare policy analyses and evaluations. We appreciate a variety of theoretical and practical approaches, as well as methods, that reflect current interests of the researchers and we hope to have a fruitful discussion on those issues in a comparative perspective.
The WELPHASE Working Group welcomes papers at different stages of development varying from papers already accepted by a journal to drafts. Following the procedure of earlier workshops, a discussant is appointed to papers circulated within the workshop participants in advance, but also leaving time for questions and a general discussion. In this way, the workshop offers a valuable opportunity to receive comments and proceed with papers which are at the draft stage.
The Working Group has strong links with research focused on social work, policy practice and policy evaluations. Many of workshop participants are practitioners in the field presenting their work for governmental, local governmental or voluntary bodies dealing with homelessness, housing policy and social exclusion. Homelessness research performed by academics is also of large interest to those who design and implement policy ‘on the ground’. Research presented at the Working Group workshops deas both with major issues of nation-wide policies, as well as small-scale practical problems of everyday work of case-managers and the like. The workshop is an excellent example of mutual implications and links between research and policy.