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  • 1.
    Astvik, Wanja
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Melin, Marika
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Allvin, Michael
    Uppsala University, Sweden.
    Survival strategies in social work: A study of how coping strategies affect service quality, professionalism and employee health2014In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 52-66Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The restructuring of human service organisations into more lean organisations has brought increased work demands for many human service professions. Social work stands out as a particularly exposed occupational group, in which high work demands are paired with a large individual responsibility to carry out the job. The objectives of the study were to identify what kind of coping strategies social workers employ to handle the imbalance between demands and resources in work and to investigate how different strategies affect outcomes regarding health, service quality and professional development. 16 individual interviews and four group interviews with another 16 social workers were conducted. The analysis identified five different main types of strategies: Compensatory, Demand-reducing, Disengagement, Voice and Exit. An extensive use of compensatory strategies was connected with negative outcomes in health. Often these compensatory strategies were replaced or combined with different means of reducing the work demands, which in turn influence performance and service quality in a negative way. The results highlight dilemmas the social workers are facing when the responsibility to deal with this imbalance are “decentralised” to the individual social worker. When resources do not match the organisational goals or quality standards, the social workers are forced into strategies that either endanger their own health or threaten the quality of service.

  • 2.
    Björk, Alexander
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Reconsidering critical appraisal in social work: choice, care and organization in real-time treatment decisions2018In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper seeks to provide an empirically grounded discussion of the critical appraisal model of Evidence-based practice (EBP) in social work practice. Studying real-time treatment decisions, the paper looks ethnographically at an attempt to implement critical appraisal in everyday social work practice, and problematizes some of the assumptions underlying this idea. Whereas critical appraisal tends to view treatment decisions as clear-cut events emanating from autonomous social workers, participant observation shows that decisions emerge over time and are ‘organizational’ rather than individual. Drawing on the notion of ‘logic of care’ and findings from studies of organizational decision-making, a more practice oriented understanding of treatment decision-making is outlined.

  • 3.
    Cater, Åsa
    et al.
    Örebro University, Sweden.
    Överlien, Carolina
    Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Norway.
    Children exposed to domestic violence: a discussion about research ethics and researchers’ responsibilities2014In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 67-79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Children’s exposure to domestic violence has attracted increased interest from researchers. This greater interest necessitates discussion about the methods by which children’s exposure to and descriptions of violence are studied. This article (1) discusses ethical dilemmas in research involving interviewing children exposed to domestic violence in relation to constructions of children as competent and as vulnerable, and (2) suggests a conceptual framework to aid in the design of such studies. The ethical dilemmas discussed concern: (1) research being ethically justified, (2) consent and (3) confidentiality and unsought disclosures. We suggest that combining children’s rights to agency and protection in ethical research that involves interviewing children exposed to violence can be facilitated by using the concepts of closeness and distance.

  • 4. Högdin, Sara
    et al.
    Sjöblom, Yvonne
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Leaving home in early youth: Influential factors in running away from home or being thrown out2012In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 39-58Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The main objective of this article is to investigate the extent to which youth in Sweden run away from or are thrown out of their homes. A further aim is to determine what conditions lead up to and triggers such a break-up and to see what takes place during the break-up process itself. In our results roughly one in ten of youth in Sweden (≈11%) had experienced a difficult break-up from home by running away or being thrown out. Over 30% of those placed in foster families or institutions had run away from home or been thrown out. By our results, only a minority of runaways do so for the excitement or the fun. The majority made clear that their running away was a flight from the family rather than to something exciting and adventurous. It is also obvious from the results that young people who have run away three or more times are more severely at risk than those who have experienced only one or two break-ups from home. For some of these young people, a breakaway from home is the start, however premature, of an independent adult life. This vulnerable group of young people should be entitled to support from the social welfare system during their transition to adulthood.

  • 5.
    Hübner, Lena
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Constructing relations in social work: client, customer and service user? The application and relevance of the term user in social work discourse2014In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 4, no 2, p. 87-98Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the article is to accomplish a critical discussion of the terms service user/user and through this highlight the power of language in social work. Two main issues are dealt with: to study to what extent the terms service user/user are applied when addressing recipients of social services in the UK and in Sweden, and to discuss the relevance and meaningfulness of the term in Swedish social services discourse. The point of departure for the study is the reappearance of the term user in Swedish social work discourse in the context of a campaign for evidence-based social work. Through search in 11 volumes of research journals in the UK and in Sweden, it can be concluded that the application of the term service user are quite common in the UK, simply as a synonym for client. The term’s equivalent in Swedish, user is not extensively applied in Sweden. The application of the term user in Swedish social work discourse can be relevant when considering the supportive side of social work, but is shown to be problematic when it comes to statutory services like compulsory treatment or the removal of children from parents. The term hides questions of power and unequal relations immanent in the delivery of social services and social work.

  • 6.
    Pålsson, David
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Adjusting to standards: reflections from 'auditees' at residential homes for children in Sweden2016In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 222-233Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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.

  • 7. Selvik, Sabreen
    et al.
    Øverlien, Carolina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS), Norway.
    Children with multiple stays at Nordic refuges for abused women: conclusions, challenges, and causes for concern2015In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 98-112Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article sheds light on the situation of children in refuges for abused women in the Nordic countries, with a special focus on children with multiple stays. Almost as many children as women live in refuges, but research on this marginalised group of children is scarce. This article overviews and summarises existing quantitative and qualitative data to examine what we know about children in refuges in a Nordic context (Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden). The literature shows that focus on children at the refuges is gradually increasing. However, major discrepancies among the Nordic countries exist in terms of which data are collected (if any), how it is presented, and what services and help are provided to children. The article also identifies and discusses some of the challenges faced by children with multiple stays at refuges: their prolonged exposure to domestic violence, disruptions in close relationships and repeated disruptions in preschool and school attendance. The available literature suggests reason for concern in regard to the risks of developing social and psychological difficulties, limited access to resources that can help develop resilience to violence, and school failure and drop-out. The article calls for further research on this particularly vulnerable group of children.

  • 8.
    Skogens, Lisa
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    von Greiff, Ninive
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Conditions for recovery from alcohol and drug abuse: comparisons between male and female clients of different social position2016In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 211-221Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study adduces an interactive perspective on treatment and relates to research describing change as a process. It focuses on differences in how the importance of internal and social factors for the change process is described among male and female clients of different social position. The concept of recovery capital is used as analytic tool. Female and male clients were interviewed and asked to talk about factors they perceived as important for initiating and maintaining change. The use of a relatively large amount of interviews strengthen the possibilities of drawing generalized conclusions on differences between the groups, making comparisons possible while still keeping the qualitative meaning of the investigated factors. The most important finding in the study is that the implications of different factors during the change process seem to relate to gender stereotypes and that the client’s social position (defined as marginalized or integrated) seems to be important for how gender stereotypes emerge. It is argued that gender stereotypes can serve both as a support and a hinder during recovery. This is discussed using the concept of recovery capital to illuminate qualitative differences regarding the importance of internal and social factors for the process of change for men and women of different social position.

  • 9.
    Stranz, Hugo
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Wiklund, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Karlsson, Patrik
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    People processing in Swedish personal social services: On the individuals, their predicaments and the outcomes of organisational screening2016In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 174-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By utilising data on nearly 1 200 individuals subject to investigations in the three Swedish personal social services (PSS) domains – child welfare (CW), social assistance (SA) and substance abuse treatment (SAT) – this article aims at describing and analysing the individuals processed in PSS as well as the outcome of the filtering process. Specific attention is paid to the extent the PSS domains differ in these respects. The main findings are: (i) a large proportion of clients subject to investigation are men, singles (most common without children in SA and SAT) and a born outside of Sweden (CW and SA). In terms of overall predicaments, SAT raw material seem more exposed than that of SA whereas there are fairly low concentration of abuse and neglect in CW; (ii) recidivism rates are high in all PSS domains: about half of the sample are already known by the agencies; (iii) out-screening are similar in SA and SAT (about 25%) but substantially higher in CW (about 50%). The investigative process is associated with considerably low external and in particular internal referring, indicating an apparent silo mentality between the PSS domains.

  • 10.
    von Greiff, Ninive
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Skogens, Lisa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    The mechanisms of treatment – client and treatment staff perspectives on change during treatment for alcohol problems2013In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this study is to increase the understanding of operative factors in the treatment process by studying how clients and treatment unit staff perceive the relevance and value of the alcohol treatment intervention for a positive process of change. The specific research questions are: (1) How do clients describe the relevance and importance of treatment interventions in their own process of change? (2) How do treatment staffs describe experience and perceptions of how their work can contribute to a successful change process among treated clients? (3) How do client and the treatment staff descriptions relate to each other? Interviewees (40 clients and eight professionals) were recruited from four treatment units in the Stockholm area. In the results, the three treatment components most emphasised by clients are structure and regularity, friendship and support of the group and the personal conduct and professionalism of the staff. Both of the components referring to the client group and to the staff were also brought forward by the professionals interviewed. In treatment, the client group is used as an important tool for creating a sense of trust, confidence, acceptance and collaboration – all central components of the treatment alliance concept. With reference to the notion of rebuilding/extending recovery capital, it is suggested that in addition to the addiction problem intervention, a more extended system of support is vital for more marginalised clients.

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