Adjusting to standards: reflections from 'auditees' at residential homes for children in Sweden
2016 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
In recent years, state inspection of Swedish residential care for children has been reinforced. This study explores how inspections are perceived from the point of view of residential staff. The empirical material is based on interviews (n = 23) with residential staff and managers (n = 55) of residential homes subject to requirements from the Swedish Inspectorate. The material has been analysed using concepts shedding light on the different aspects of how audit affects ‘auditees’. The results suggest that inspections have mainly shaped the administrative part of care; that compliance with regulatory standards bring about stability in the work performed; that the standard-setting sometimes creates tensions between professional judgment and formal authority; and that inspections play an accreditation role for the residential homes. The implications of this are discussed, e.g. that the regulatory standards seem to target aspects of care that are alternatives to those of evidence-based practice, that general standards to some extent challenge the possibilities of organising the care according to the individual needs of the children and that the receptiveness of professionals to inspection ideas entails both possibilities and obstacles for the development of a professional field.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
residential care for children, audit, inspection, out-of-home care
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-131104DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2016.1192054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-131104DiVA: diva2:935934