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  • 1.
    Aronsson, Gunnar
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Astvik, Wanja
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Mälardalen University, Sweden.
    Gustafsson, Klas
    Work conditions, Recovery and Health: A study among workers within Pre-School, Home Care and Social Work2014In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 44, no 6, p. 1654-1672Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study investigated the working conditions associated with the accumulation of stress and lack of recovery and how recovery is related to health. The study group was employed in pre-school, home care and social work (n = 193). Recovery was assumed to be an explanatory variable for the relations between work and health. The response rate on a survey was 79 per cent. Cluster analysis identified three groups: the ‘Recovered’ (36 per cent of the total group) and ‘Not Recovered’ (25 per cent) and the ‘In-between’ (39 per cent). The Not Recovered displayed the whole chain of risk factors, involving difficult working conditions to which they responded with increased compensatory strategies. Despite this group having significantly greater reports of ill health, work absenteeism was not greater, which is likely related to their substituting sickness absence with sickness presence. As many as 43 per cent of the social workers were found to belong to the Not Recovered group. Multiple regression analyses controlling for background variables revealed that the Not Recovered group had a significantly higher relative risk for poor self-rated health than those in the Recovered group. Even sharper increases in relative risk existed for the other five symptoms that were analysed. Practical implications and new research questions are discussed.

  • 2. Franzén, Eva
    et al.
    Vinnerljung, Bo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Hjern, Anders
    The epidemiology of out-of-home care for children and youth: A national cohort study2008In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 38, no 6, p. 1043-1059Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We used data from several national registers for fifteen entire cohorts (n > 1.5 million) of Swedish children and youth to examine the influence of parental socio-economic background on the risk of entry into out-of-home care. Logistic regression models were used to analyse the statistical impact of twelve background variables, including parental psycho-social risk markers. The results confirm and expand findings from a classic study by Bebbington and Miles, published in 1989. After controlling for other background variables, including parent hospitalizations for attempted suicide, psychiatric disorders or addiction problems, children of single mothers had three to four-fold higher odds of entering care than children from two-parent households. Low maternal education and receipt of social assistance were strongly associated with higher odds for care entries. Aggregations of socio-economic risk factors increased dramatically the risk of entering care. Among pre-school children with mothers who had received basic education only, were unemployed and received social assistance during three consecutive years, one in seven was placed in care before their seventh birthday. Among same-age children from two-parent families whose mothers were educated to post-secondary level, were employed and had not received social assistance for three consecutive years in the middle of the observation period, fewer than one in 2,000 entered care.

  • 3.
    Fridell Lif, Evelina
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Brännström, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Vinnerljung, Bo
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Hjern, Anders
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Childhood Adversities and Later Economic Hardship among Swedish Child Welfare Clients: Cumulative Disadvantage or Disadvantage Saturation?2017In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 47, no 7, p. 2137-2156Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    National register data were used in a longitudinal design to test two competing hy-potheses regarding links between cumulative exposure to childhood adversities andlater adverse outcomes, conceptualised as economic hardship in early adulthood,among more than 11,000 Swedish youths who had received the same in-home childwelfare intervention at ages two to five or at ages ten to thirteen. The cumulative-disadvantage perspective argues that the accumulation of childhood adversitiesincrease the likelihood of negative outcomes later in life. In contrast, thedisadvantage-saturation perspective suggests that the accumulation of childhood ad-versities is less consequential for initially disadvantaged individuals. Results from logis-tic regression analyses showed a pronounced positive association between theaccumulation of childhood adversities and economic hardship (measured as extensivemeans-tested social assistance recipiency) in early adulthood. After adjustments forsocio-economic confounders, the analyses showed that youth exposed to four or morechildhood adversities during childhood had two- to four-fold elevated odds of receiv-ing extensive social assistance compared to peers who had received the same inter-vention, but had no indications of exposure to childhood adversities. The results lendsupport to the relevance of accumulated childhood adversities for understandinglong-term outcomes in child welfare populations.

  • 4. Karlsson, Henrik
    et al.
    Avby, Gunilla
    Svendsen, Tore
    Stockholm Univ, Dept Social Work, SE-11346 Stockholm, Sweden.
    QUAT-a Tool for Evaluating the Quality of Core Assessments in Child-Protection Investigations2019In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 49, no 7, p. 1875-1892Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article presents a quantitative tool for evaluating the documentation quality of core assessments in child-protection investigations called the Quality Assessment of the Triangle (QUAT). QUAT measures compliance with a set of quality standards for working with the Swedish adaptation of the British Integrated Children's System (ICS), and should be viewed as an attempt to further the UK-led efforts to improve child-protection investigations by promoting research-based documentation systems. This article describes how QUAT was developed and later applied to a random sample of case files provided by the social services in Stockholm City, Sweden, to demonstrate its usability in practice. The contribution of QUAT is two-fold: first, it offers a way for managers to stimulate workplace learning by providing continuous feedback on the documentation and, second, it may help researchers to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aiming to improve professional performance in terms of documenting child-protection investigations.

  • 5. Laslett, Anne-Marie L.
    et al.
    Dietze, Paul M.
    Room, Robin G. W.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Social Research on Alcohol and Drugs (SoRAD). University of Melbourne.
    Carer Drinking and More Serious Child Protection Case Outcomes2013In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 43, no 7, p. 1384-1402Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Care-giver alcohol abuse is identified as involved in a significant proportion of child maltreatment cases internationally. This study examines how care-giver alcohol abuse is related to increasing intensity of child protective intervention in a large Australian database. Predictors of child protection outcomes were examined in 38,487 Victorian state Child Protection Services (CPS) cases substantiated between 2001 and 2005. Likely alcohol abuse was identified in 33per cent of substantiations, 36per cent of protective interventions and 42per cent of court orders. Likely alcohol abuse was a significant predictor of more intensive official responsesuprotective interventions and court ordersuafter adjusting for other drug abuse and other socio-demographic factors. Supporting multi-factorial theories of alcohols involvement in child abuse, likely alcohol abuse was one of several risk factors that remained significant in multivariable prediction of more serious child protection outcomes.

  • 6.
    Pålsson, David
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Entering the Market: On the Licensing of Residential Homes for Children and Youth in Sweden2018In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 48, no 3, p. 843-859Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, residential care for children to a great extent takes place in a care market, and a precondition for private care providers to enter the market is a licence issued by the state. The aim of the study is to describe and analyse the regulatory conditions for and output of licensing in the market of residential care for children in Sweden. Analytically, licensing is considered a formative mechanism, which means that it shapes the development of the supply side of residential care. The empirical material consists of an analysis of formal licence decisions and interviews with inspectors managing licences. The results show that the majority of the applicants were granted a licence during the year of the study and that the licensing process consists of a few stringent standards. Further, the stringent standards are influenced only to a limited extent by knowledge generated from research on residential care and the applicants are granted a fair degree of leeway as regards how to organise the care content. The findings are discussed based on whether the licensing system takes advantage of its potential and what it may entail for the residential care market at a broader level.

  • 7.
    Shanks, Emelie
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lundström, Tommy
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Wiklund, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Middle managers in social work: Professional identity and management in a marketised welfare State2015In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 45, no 6, p. 1871-1887Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With respect to marketisation and managerialism, the changes in the Swedish social services resemble the changes in many other countries. This article analyses how Swedish middle managers within the personal social services reason about professional identity, everyday work and leadership in the context of these changes. The study draws on four focus group interviews with a total of twenty-two managers. The results suggest a persisting social work identity among the managers, although noticeable changes have taken place within the social services. For example, the managers' budgetary and administrative responsibilities have increased, and relations to private companies in the area of residential care place new demands on their managerial skills. The managersseem to find some of the new conditions easier to integrate with their social work identity than others. The resistance to the reforms appear to be less obvious in Sweden than in, for example, the UK. There are a number of possible explanations for this. For example, it may be connected to the relatively mild implementation of marketisation and managerial strategies, a less apparent downsizing of social work and a relative lack of central state bureaucratic control.

  • 8.
    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.
    Child welfare activities targeting single mothers on social assistance: a study of child welfare interventions and case managers’ referrals in a Swedish sample2015In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 45, no 4, p. 1224-1241Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    By utilising data on nearly 900 single mothers on social assistance (SA) in Sweden, this article examine (i) prevalence of child welfare interventions and factors associated with such interventions in this population and (ii) case managers’ reporting activities and considerations in relation to this group. The main findings in relation to (i) are (a) that about 30 per cent of the sample was subject toCWSinvolvement during the time of enrolment in the SA agency and (b) factors associated with increased odds ratios of CWS involvement were presence of maternal psycho-social and mental conditions, large family size (more than one child) and persistent maternal SA dependency (over three years). Factors associated with decreased odds ratios were maternal somatic condition and mothers being of non-native origin. The main findings in relation to (ii) are (a) that social work case managers filedCWSreports in 5 per cent of the households (significantlymorecommonin nonnative households) and considered filing a report in an additional 3.4 per cent (more common in native households) and (b) CWS involvement was initiated through SA case managers’ referrals in an estimated 15 per cent of the cases. The findings are discussed in terms of possible clientification processes in the population studied.

  • 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.
    One for All or All for One? The Collaboration of Swedish Personal Social Services with Regard to Lone Mothers on Social Assistance2015In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 45, no 2, p. 549-567Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Lone mothers on social assistance (SA) constitute a client group where collaboration between agencies may be of particular importance due to their difficulties in maintaining full-time provision and the vast number of children involved. This article aims to analyse to what extent, and with whom, welfare agencies in the field of personal social services collaborate in individual cases. The significance of client factors with regard to collaboration with labour market-oriented and/or treatment-oriented partners, respectively, is being analysed. The study is based on microdata from a cross-sectional sample (n = 875) from the total population of lone mothers receiving SA in one of Sweden's three major cities at some point during 2007. Data were collected through questionnaires that were answered by the case managers responsible. The main findings are: (i) welfare agencies collaborate with at least one partner in about 60 per cent of the cases; (ii) psycho-social impairments and mental health impairments increase collaboration with treatment-oriented partners; and (iii) whereas long-term SA recipiency increases collaboration with labour market-oriented partners, low educational attainment significantly decreases collaboration with labour market-oriented partners. It is suggested that educational measures ought to be improved and given a more significant role in practical social work with this particular client group.

  • 10.
    Tham, Pia
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Meagher, Gabrielle
    Working in human services: How do experiences and working conditions in child welfare social work compare?2009In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 39, no 1, p. 807-827Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Child welfare agencies in many rich countries are having difficulty recruiting and retaining social workers. However, these problems are not unique to child welfare: retention problems have also been widely reported in both mental and general health facilities. In this paper, we compare the perceptions of work and working conditions held by child welfare social workers with the perceptions held by other professional human service workers in the public sector in Sweden. Do the social workers' experiences of their tasks or organizational conditions differ from the other groups, and, if so, how? Are workforce problems particularly acute in child welfare, or do social workers in this field share more or less common problems with other human service professionals? We found that although social workers in general, and child welfare social workers in particular, made positive assessments of some dimensions of their working lives, social work was unusually demanding among human service professions on several measures of workload, complexity of tasks and quality of management. The strains of the job that social workers expressed call upon employers to promote working conditions that offer more support, and to recognize and value social workers for their work.

  • 11.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Using ‘Consensual Ideology’: A Way to Sift Reports in Child Welfare2014In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 63-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article discusses the factors that influence decision making in front line child welfare in Sweden and the implications for different groups of children, types of social problems and for the character of the work. Data stem from a study of social workers’ handling of reports and requests that were followed until interventions were decided upon or cases closed without ntervention. Risks were found to be considered in a narrow perspective. Though Swedish child welfare has been recognised as a family service system, need aspects are down-prioritised. Gender-related attitudes are reflected in the labelling of ‘capable’ mothers and in the higher probability of girls being investigated. In deciding eligibility to scarce services of the ‘right’ clients, high work pressure creates a focus on gate-keeping activities and the attitude is to keep children out of the system for their own good. This crucial sorting process displays the pattern of a heavily tapered funnel with few interventions at the end. Put into an institutional context, social workers’ discretion can be explained as a rational way for practice to handle organisational limitations, restricted resources and changing policies. Demands of protection and welfare issues are handled by individualising difficult social conditions and by ‘consensual ideology’.

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