Context Informed Perspective

People experience and construct their different realities within their contexts. Context is a set of circumstances or facts that surround and contribute to the full meaning of an event or situation. A social context is created by people, and people are formed by their social contexts. A person never exists in a void, but always in a context. Contexts are complex because they change constantly over time, as do human beings. Based on the research conducted by the NEVET group, the context-informed perspective has been developed, and the following definition was formulated (Roer-Strier & Nadan, 2020): 

"People, families, and communities live their lives in a matrix of diverse contexts including culture, religion, class, race, gender, nationality, socio-political context, and more. These contexts shape the development of the individuals and families, as well as frame life circumstances and opportunities. Contexts also influence the construction of meanings given to different events and experiences in the lives of individuals and families. Contexts are not fixed and static; they depend on place and time and are therefore subject to change. Contexts intersect and influence each other in complex ways. A context-informed approach for the helping professions seeks to identify the specific contexts that are relevant to understanding the life experiences of individuals, families, and communities. The approach assumes complexity and hybridity, and takes into account power relations between the individual, the family, and the different systems that influence their lives."

The context-informed perspective invites professionals to consider the different relevant contexts at play when working with children and families of immigrant or minority communities. It involves a deep understanding of people's past and present life experiences and enables us to form a more realistic and holistic perspective that takes into consideration the resilience and strengths of individuals, families, and communities. This approach can have great significance on our professional understanding; for example in assessing risk for children or choosing appropriate teaching methodologies or other forms of practical interventions with families and communities.

Read more about Nevet's book "Context-Informed Perspectives of Child Risk and Protection in Israel": Here