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Reflections on knowledge management and evidence-based practice in the personal social services of Finland and Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2016 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 114-125Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a form of knowledge management and is a trend that has influenced many professional fields during the past 10–15 years, including social work. In Sweden, a campaign for an implementation of EBP has been launched towards social work practice from the Swedish central authority since the late 1990s. Knowledge management in social work can however take other directions which seem to be the case in Finland. Finland and Sweden bear many resemblances concerning political and administrative structures as well as approaches in the social services. Both countries also have highly educated social workers. The main question for the study was how come demands to implement EBP in the personal social services have been so strongly articulated in Sweden but not in Finland. The aim was to reflect on knowledge management in social work in two similar cases, Finland and Sweden, focusing EBP. Results show that the close contacts between representatives of the Swedish authority and proponents of a radical EBP version in the US was a decisive factor for the campaign towards social work in Sweden. Such mediators and proponents seemed to be absent in Finland. The length and the focus on academic skills in the education of social workers in Finland is seen as a contributing factor, giving Finnish social workers a sense of being ‘true professionals’ and thus more independent towards external demands.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 6, no 2, p. 114-125
Keywords [en]
Evidence-based social work, practice research, education
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-165379DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2015.1117985OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-165379DiVA, id: diva2:1282884
Available from: 2019-01-27 Created: 2019-01-27 Last updated: 2019-01-28Bibliographically approved

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