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  • 1.
    Andersson, Gunnel
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Bons, Tomas
    Bringlöv, Åsa
    Engwall, Kristina
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Samverkan för barn med funktionsnedsättning i socialt utsatta familjer2017Report (Other academic)
  • 2. Aronsson, Håkan
    et al.
    Arrgård, Cecilia
    Linder, Robert
    Svensson, Daniel
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Jakobsson, Jenny
    Anmälningar till socialtjänsten om barn och unga: En undersökning om omfattning och regionala skilnnader2012Report (Other academic)
  • 3. Christophs, Irja
    et al.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    En beskrivning av Projektet Teamet: en tillfällig hemmaplanslösning2007Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 4. Engwall, Kristina
    et al.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Andersson, Gunnel
    Bons, Tomas
    Bringlöv, Åsa
    Children with disabilities in Swedish child welfare – a differentiating and disabling practice2019In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 22, no 6, p. 1025-1037Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research shows that children with disabilities are victims of violence and abuse to a higher extent than other children and thus need support from social services. In Sweden, cooperation between two different social services units is required to support children with disabilities in socially vulnerable families. In this study, we have examined the intersection between children and disability in a Swedish social services context from the perspective of childhood studies and disability studies. The reasoning of the two units including the child perspective emerged during focus group interviews based on two vignettes. The results show two different rationalities, which has consequences for the disabled child. In spite of a social policy where the ‘best interests of the child’ are meant to prevail and disabilities are meant to be interpreted as barriers in society, children with disabilities seem to be reduced to individuals who are lacking in ability and competency and who are profoundly victimised by power structures that favour the adult perspective in social services.

  • 5. Lönnback, Eva Britt
    et al.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Forskningscirklar: för kunskapsfördjupning och utvecklingsarbete2007Report (Other academic)
  • 6. Lönnback, Eva Britt
    et al.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Goda cirklar: För ökad kunskap och utveckling2006Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 7.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Asessments and decisions: from report to intervention in child welfare2011In: Book of Abstracts: Social Work and Social Care Research: Innovation, Interdisciplinarity and Impact, 2011, p. 137-137Conference paper (Other academic)
    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 intervention. Risks were found to be considered in a narrow perspective. Where no distinct criteria for eligibility are at hand voluntary counselling is offered, mainly directed to mothers. Children are not in focus and the attitude is to keep them out of the system for their own good. In deciding eligibility to scarce services of the ‘right’ clients, high work pressure creates a focus on sorting and gate-keeping activities. 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 organizational limitations, restricted resources and changing policies. By using a ‘consensual ideology’ to handle the contradictory demands of protection and welfare issues, practice keeps clients at a distance instead of working closely together with them.

  • 8.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Barnavårdsutredningar: Stora skillnader beroende på var barnet bor2000In: Socionomen, ISSN 0283-1929, no 3, p. 43-47Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Bedömningar och beslut: Från anmälan till insats i den sociala barnavården2010Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The focus of this thesis is on social workers’ role in assessing and making decisions in child welfare cases. The primary aim is to identify factors that influence decisions concerning reports assessed, investigated, dismissed or processed to intervention within child welfare agencies in Swedish municipalities. Social policy, professional and organisational factors are perspectives considered in the analysis.

    All reports and requests for support for children and adolescents in the 0–19 age group were collected during two months in two local agencies, in 2003 (n= 260) and followed by interviews with social workers. Factors connected to social workers’ assessments at different stages in the process were tested in regression models and grounds for their assessments explored.

    Main results: two-thirds of reports are sorted out without investigation. One-fifth led to interventions. The highest probability for a report to be investigated was if it was assessed as acute, concerned abuse, came from a professional (not the police) concerned a girl and handled in the integrated agency. The most common problems, such as family conflicts and antisocial behaviour were investigated the least. A majority of the children came from underprivileged families, mainly poor single mothers.

    The process draws the pattern of a heavily tapered funnel with few interventions at the end. Children are not in focus and the attitude is to keep them out of the system for their own good. Social policy and organisational factors restrict social workers’ discretion. Contradictory demands are solved by a ‘consensual ideology’. Parallel tracks appear on risks in a narrow perspective and on voluntary counselling mainly directed to mothers. This forms child welfare into a rejecting practice, where hard social conditions are individualized. Legislation gives municipalities considerable leeway to produce a variety of services and interventions, but practice works on the basis of another kind of rationality.

  • 10.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Child Welfare and Child Protection: Differences and similarities in policy and practice in Sweden and Great Britain2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Results from research on front line practice in Child Welfare in Sweden and in Child Protection in Great Britain have shown interesting similarities in spite of differences in policies and general welfare. Drawing from my own study and two British ones practice strategies to handle policy are discussed. In recent years there have been changing policies in Great Britain to support The Child Protection Services from a protection approach to a more Child Welfare one. However researchers show that the notion of risk is still central and a precondition for interventions as well as for services. They argue that the so-called risk-discourse will lead to more families being referred and investigated and less given help and support. In Sweden Child Protection has been conceived quite differently, with fewer laws dealing specifically with child abuse and neglect, problems that are not a typical reason for providing child-welfare services. The preventive approach implies that investigations are not limited to cases of suspected maltreatment. They may also be initiated if needs of services is assessed as well as by an application from a parent or a child. Policy changes in Sweden have been reversed to them in Great Britain and Child Protection issues are nowadays more stressed acknowledging the best interests of the child. British researchers argue that focus on protection makes social work more investigatory and procedurally driven with more families being referred and resources allocated to the sorting process, thus draining time and resources from prevention and family support. In Sweden as in Great Britain the accountability of social work has been questioned. The critique in Sweden concerns the variety of procedures as well as deficiencies in documentation and reviews leading to a lack of knowledge on the effects of interventions as well as risks of missing maltreated children.

    In the ambition of a more systematic, child focused and evidence based social work Sweden has implemented a Swedish variant of the English system The Integrated Children´s System (ICS) by the National Board of Health and Welfare, Children’s needs in focus (BBIC). It has been adapted to Swedish law and practice and a majority of Swedish municipalities are now licensed to use it. On the whole implementation has been a success, mostly because the profession itself has been a driving force in testing and implementing BBIC. However real knowledge on how it has affected social work is lacking as no thorough evaluation has been done.

    Demands on accountability make social workers ‘risk concerned’. Structured systems for documentation and tools for practice built on scientific knowledge is a way for practice to handle expectations on them to identify those children at greatest risk. The question can be put if more structured procedures and risk-assessment tools will lead to better targeting and a possibility to create necessary resources to develop family support services. Swedish as well as British local studies of practice show that a lot of energy in Child Welfare is put down in gate-keeping activities, with few decided services in the end.

  • 11.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Den nya frivilligheten1998In: Nordisk sosialt arbeid, ISSN 0333-1342, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 2-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The new voluntarism.

    The article is based on an evaluation of the first two years of the Swedish volunteer centre Viljan. The aim is to arrive at a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of voluntary work based on the experience of one volunteer centre. The stydy comprised 39 users and 62 volunteers. Viljan's users consists of two main groups frail, elderly women and single mothers. The group of single mothers needed baby-sitters but also wanted an adult contact for themselves. It is difficult for Viljan to meet this need. The direction taken by Viljan has been a relatively traditional role of befriending the old and the sick, initially with strong control from the social services. All the interviewees were satisfied with the help they had recieved, but it was clear that they want more assistance and contact, which they do not dare to ask for out of fear if becoming a burden. Volunteers and the users appear to have the same needs for social contact which is why they turned to Viljan. There is a serious risk, however, that the volunteer centre may emphasize assistance to people to the expence of meetings between people and that the volunteers may be proffesionalized. The volunteers live all over the Stockholm area, few of them living close to the people they help. The volunteer centre can be seen as a modern welfare phenomenon, which make visible civic needs which the family, the public sphere and the private sphere have not been able to satisfy. Viljan appears to be able to fill this vacuum partially.

  • 12.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    I skuggan av LVU: om tvångsmöjligheternas närvaro i sorteringsprocessen2017In: Tvångsvård av barn och unga: rättigheter, utmaningar och gränszoner / [ed] Pernilla Leviner, Tommy Lundström, Stockholm: Wolters Kluwer, 2017Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. FoU Södertörn, Sverige.
    Insatser inom socialtjänstens öppna barn- och ungdomsvård i Botkyrka, Gotland, Haninge, Huddinge, Nacka, Nynäshamn, Salem, Södertälje, Tyresö och Värmdö2015Report (Other academic)
  • 14.
    Östberg, Francesca
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Reflection groups using Vignettes – a method to deepen professional knowledge2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the pursuit of integrating practice and research a successful method has been created that uses a research technique (the Vignette method) as a way for practitioners to come together and reflect on their own practice. Over 600 professionals from the social services, nursery schools and schools have participated in these Reflection groups. The aim of Reflection groups using Vignettes is a way to elucidate practice knowledge in social work by critical reflections and research techniques. Assembling social workers exclusively or together with other professional partners in reflection groups together with a researcher creates new knowledge. Typical cases with problematic situations or episodes are described in intensifying sequences. Each sequence demonstrates information crucial for assessments and decision making. Questions are put to each vignette on how to go about in the case and why. Thus comparisons can be made on social workers attitudes and work procedures as they are put in front of the same information. Themes that arise in the group process are put together and with the help of the researcher linked to theoretical concepts and current research. By using an example from a reflection group with vignettes about a Child Protection investigation in an ethnic minority family, issues on ethnic sensitivity in social work are discussed. The method becomes a tool for making visible ethnocentrisms, prejudices about gender, class and sexuality as well as hidden structures in the work process. The overall aim is to develop assessments in Child Protection investigations.

  • 15.
    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’.

  • 16.
    Östberg, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Backlund, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Wiklund, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    När man misstänker att barn far illa: En studie av hur professionella inom BVC, förskola och skola förhåller sig till anmälningsplikten2012Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overarching aim of this report was to gain knowledge on how mandated reporters from different professional fields (staff in child health care, pre-school and school) reason and act in case of child maltreatment suspicion of children 0-12. The principal research method was focus groups (n=3) in which participants were discussing themes in accordance with study objective. The groups were homogenous in terms of professional field affiliation and consisted of 8-9 participants in each group. The mode of analysis was qualitative. 

    What to do if you have a suspicion of child abuse? What should social service workers and educators do if there is any suspicion that a child does not fare well? This Save the Children study is about how Child Welfare Service staff and pre-school and shool officials in Sweden are responding to their obligation to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. It is based on interviews made to professionals directly working with children who are mandated to inform the proper authorities if there is a reasonable suspicion that a child is being harmed by caregivers. This study was initiated within the framework of the larger project "Educate do not punish" coordinated between Save the Children in Italy, Romania, Lithuania and Sweden, aimed at protecting children from corporal punishment by supporting the inclusion of the explicit ban of corporal punishment in all settings.

  • 17.
    Östberg, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lönnback, Eva Britt
    Ahmadi, Nader
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Vinjettcirkeln: en metod att fördjupa sin kunskap i tvärkulturellt socialt arbete2005In: Tvärkulturellt socialt arbete: av socialarbetare för socialarbetare / [ed] Nader Ahmadi, Eva britt Lönnback, Stockhom: Socialtjänstförvaltningen, Forsknings- och utvecklingsenheten , 2005, p. 72-93Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 18.
    Östberg, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Sallnäs, Marie
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Wiklund, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Organisering, sortering och marknadsorientering2012In: När samhället träder in: Barn, föräldrar och social barnavård / [ed] Ingrid Höjer, Marie Sallnäs, Yvonne Sjöblom, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2012, p. 31-46Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Social barnavård är den del av socialtjänsten som har det yttersta ansvaret för att ge stöd, hjälp och skydd till socialt utsatta barn och familjer. I När samhället träder in analyseras den sociala barnavården på flera nivåer och utifrån olika perspektiv. Boken behandlar barnavårdens organisatoriska ramar, de insatser de professionella har till sitt förfogande samt hur berörda barn och familjer uppfattar barnavården och dess arbete. I boken diskuteras också insatsers utfall och hur de kan undersökas.

    När samhället träder in vänder sig till studerande vid socionomutbildningar, i socialt arbete och i andra samhällsvetenskapliga ämnen på universitet och högskola samt till yrkesverksamma inom socialt arbete och angränsande områden.

  • 19.
    Östberg, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Wiklund, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Backlund, Åsa
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Signs-of-Safety i praktiken: En studie om användning i Stockholms län2018Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Signs-of-Safety utvecklades i Australien och kan i grunden ses som en modell för utredning och uppföljning i socialt barnavårdsarbete i avsikt att säkerställa barns säkerhet och skydd. I denna rapport redovisas en studie av modellens spridning och tillämpning i Stockholms stads stadsdelar samt övriga kommuner i Stockholm län. Tre delstudier presenteras. Det övergripande syftet med studien var att undersöka i vilken omfattning och på vilket sätt Signs-of-Safety används i Stockholms län samt att beskriva och analysera principiellt viktiga förtjänster och begränsningar som är förenade med att ta modellen i bruk.

  • 20.
    Östberg, Francesca
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Wåhlander, Eva
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Milton, Pia
    Barnavårdsutredningar i sex kommuner: En vinjettstudie2000Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to describe, analyse and compare different models of child welfare investigation and assessment of families. We selected six local authorities and used vignettes to study investigation/assessment procedures for families with children age 0–12 years, that were reported to the authority for child maltreatment. Each of the local authorities had, in one way or another, attracted wide spread professional attention due to their use of certain models of social work with children.

    The study aims to answer the following questions:

    • Do local authorities use more or less standardardized models in child welfare investigation and family assessment?

    • If yes, how can these models be described?

    • Does the process of the investigation/family assessment vary with the choice of model?

    Results reveal certain patterns in child welfare investigations, mainly based on how local child welfare work is organized. But there are also wide variations between local authorities with similar organisations and even with the same choice of models. Also, there are great variations within most local authorities, regardless of how they are organized or what model of investigation/assessment they use. Results suggest that professed use of a ”model” in investigation/assesment work does not necessarily lead to daily child welfare work becoming more predictable. That is, a child welfare report can generate different investigation processes and outcomes within a local authory, even if social workers claim to use a specific model in their work. A ”model” should be understood as a basic orientation with considerable variety. If a ”model” in child welfare work is defined as a standardized, replicable method of investigation/assessment and decisionmaking, producing a predictable process or outcome in child welfare investigations – then there are no models. One way to study investigation/assessment work in child welfare is to focus the organizational context. In this study we have categorized organisations with a sub-unit doing only investigative work as specialised organisations and organisations where the social worker investi73 gate/assess as well as give advice, administrate placements in care etc. as integrated organisations. Results vary between social workers in specialised and integrated organisations. Social workers in specialised organisations tend to start investigations sooner, use more coercive actions and strive towards ”harder” interventions in the form of placements in residential and foster care. Social workers in integrated organisations tend to vary more in their decisions, and favour mostly in-home-treatment. The study points toward a lack of distinct concepts, assessment standards, predictable procedures and outcomes in child welfare investigations. Results indicate a professional uncertainty about central issues in this most formalised area of child welfare. Investigation procedures and outcomes seem to differ considerably between local authorities and individual professionals – that is depending on the geographic residence of the family and what social worker that is assigned to the case.

1 - 20 of 20
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