PhD in Psychology
Isabel Berckmans obtained her master as a clinical psychologist at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (2009) with a dissertation on the impact of thermal treatments on the physical and psychosocial well-being of children with burn injuries and their families. During her studies Isabel fulfilled her internship in an educational project for children and young people in the suburbs of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. After obtaining her Master’s degree Isabel worked as a psychologist in the Urgent Psycho-Social Intervention Unit of the Red Cross Flanders. In October 2010 she started her doctoral research supported by a VLADOC-scholarship from the VLIR-UOS. The goal of this research proposal is to analyse the subjective experiences of the reunification processes of children in street situation, family members and staff members of a supportive organisation. By examining and understanding the mechanisms of family reunification from the perspective of the children, their families and the field workers, and by examining the impact they have on family relationships, she, together with her research participants, intend to offer child care programmes more knowledge on how to deal with family reunification. And more specifically, how to improve programmes through participatory action research to serve more effectively the needs and expectations of the participants.