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Activation in social work with socialassistance claimants in four Swedish municipalities
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2011 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 14, no 3, 339-361 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to explore the practice of activation in social work with social assistance claimants in four Swedish municipalities. Since the 1990s, social policies across the OECD countries have stressed activation as society's main tool to (re-)integrate unemployed SA claimants into the labour market. Two diverging activation models, the Labour Market Attachment model (with a focus on quick job entry) and the Human Resource Development model (with a focus on claimants’ resources), constitute the analytical framework. Social workers were interviewed retrospectively about activation during one year in a random sample of 372 social assistance claimants’ cases. Findings suggest that the extent of activation varies significantly between municipalities, from 20% to 60%. There was no distinct alignment toward the Labour Market Attachment or Human Resource Development models in the municipalities’ activation. Irrespective of work- or resource-orientation in the activation programmes, participation was for the most part obligatory and the participants were facing sanctions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 14, no 3, 339-361 p.
Keyword [en]
Social Work, Social Assistance Claimants, Activation, Activation Policies, Labour Market Attachment, Human Resource Development
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-66375DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2010.501021ISI: 000299639400004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-66375DiVA: diva2:467646
Available from: 2011-12-19 Created: 2011-12-19 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aktivering av socialbidragstagare - om stöd och kontroll i socialtjänsten
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aktivering av socialbidragstagare - om stöd och kontroll i socialtjänsten
2012 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to examine activation, including support and control, among different groups of social assistance (SA) recipients. Assessments and activation related decisions during one year are analysed for 372 social randomly selected assistance claimants from four municipalities. Data was collected 2002-2003 through structured interviews with the clients and their social workers. Income from work and social assistance was followed up with national register data after two years.

The first study focuses on social workers conception of their claimants work barriers. Conceptions vary systematically across groups of claimants. The second study examines elements of activation, finding that extent and content of activation, and use of support and control, vary between municipalities and programs. The third study analyses associations between participation in activation programs and exposures to sanctions and exemptions (indicators of support and control) on the one hand, and claimants’ characteristics on the other hand.  Traditional work-test logic seems to be common in social work, and linked to stereotypic gender logic. This implies a systematic selection to activation based on sex, and on social workers opinion about the claimants work motivation. The results question the linkage between work barriers and activation, since claimants without formal resources (education and work experience) do not participate in resource activation (aiming to increase formal resources) more often than others. The fourth study analyses association between combinations of activation programs and sanctions and self support outcomes for SA claimants. Results suggest that a combination of resource activation and sanctions has a positive association with income from work, and that a combination of job activation and sanctions is associated with continuing SA.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för socialt arbete - Socialhögskolan, Stockholms universitet, 2012. 91 p.
Series
Rapport i socialt arbete, ISSN 0281-6288 ; 141
Keyword
activation, workfare, welfare-to-work, sanctions, social assistance, social services, welfare, Aktivering, arbetslinjen, sanktioner, tvång, socialbidrag, ekonomiskt bistånd, försörjningsstöd, socialtjänst
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79644 (URN)9789174475784 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-26, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveavägen 160, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-10-04 Created: 2012-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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