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Social work with vulnerable families and children in 11 Russian regions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2009 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 12, no 2, 201-220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose. The purpose of the study was to describe and analyse how key actors in the social sector in Russian regions identify problems, objectives and social work achievements in connection with vulnerable families and children.

Methods. University personnel conducted 209 interviews using semi-structured questionnaires.

Results. Family problems were reported to be related to poverty, parents’ alcohol abuse, the child's behaviour, the child's lack of social skills, domestic conflicts and problems getting adequate housing. The view of the majority of the respondents was that social orphanhood depends on poverty, alcohol abuse and the family's diminished role in society. Family incomes have improved but services have become more expensive. The social workers mostly put the child, not the family, in focus. Alcohol abuse was considered to be a greater problem in wealthier regions. Analyses between key groups showed that the respondents ranked problems differently, had similar ways of defining important objectives, but had divergent opinions on what social work could achieve concerning, for example, re-establishing the child's contacts with his/her biological parents.

Conclusions. The respondents seem to be highly ambivalent toward alcohol abuse as a social problem and toward biological parents in vulnerable families. Social work in the regions is a profession in the process of formation.

Abstract [sv]

Syftet. Syftet med studien var att beskriva och analysera hur olika professionella nyckelgrupper i ryska regioner identifierar problem, önskvärda mål för verksamheten och vad som är möjligt att uppnå i det sociala arbetet med utsatta barn och familjer.

Metod. Olika regionala universitet utförde sammanlagt 209 halvstrukturerade intervjuer.

Resultat. Enligt frågeformulären hänger familjeproblem samman med fattigdom, föräldrars alkoholmissbruk, barnens brist på sociala färdigheter, familjekonflikter samt otillfredsställande boende. Orsakerna till social föräldralöshet anses vara fattigdom, missbruk och familjens minskade betydelse. Familjeinkomsterna har ökat, men den sociala servicen har blivit dyrare. Socialarbetarna har ofta barnet, inte hela familjen i fokus. Alkoholproblem ansågs som ett större problem i relativt sett rikare regioner. En jämförelse mellan olika professionella grupper visade att det fanns skillnader i problembeskrivningen, man hade en likartad uppfattning av vad som var önskvärda mål, men synen skilde sig i vad som var möjligt att åstadkomma, till exempel möjligheten av att återupprätta kontakten med barnets biologiska föräldrar.

Slutsatser. De svarande föreföll ha en ambivalent inställning till alkohol som ett socialt problem och gentemot de biologiska föräldrarna i utsatta familjer. Det sociala arbetet i regionerna är under utveckling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 12, no 2, 201-220 p.
Keyword [en]
social work, family support, professionals, Russia
Keyword [sv]
socialt arbete, familjestöd, Ryssland
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-32576DOI: 10.1080/13691450802567481ISI: 000282922800006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-32576DiVA: diva2:281001
Available from: 2009-12-14 Created: 2009-12-14 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved

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