Getting a sense of the client: Working methods in the personal social services in Sweden
2013 (English)In: Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1468-0173, E-ISSN 1741-296X, Vol. 13, no 5, 508-532 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Summary: This article presents a study of working methods used by social workers within the personal social services (PSS), in their work with clients. The study is part of a larger research project with the aim of describing and analysing how specialized respectively integrated forms of organizations in the PSS condition social workers’ interventions and client effects (outcomes). The study was carried out in three Swedish municipalities with different organizational models. Two of those represent ‘extremes’ as they have pure specialized (divided in different types of units) respectively integrated (generic) organizations. The third municipality has chosen a middle way with an organization that combines aspects of the two other models. All social workers within the PSS in those three municipalities were included in the study.
Findings: Our findings among other things show 1) that the use of unspecific methods dominates, 2) that several methods that are reported as specific are definitely not specific, 3) that specific methods often are used in free and unspecific ways, 4) that there seems to be a compensating movement (regarding use of methods) with the aim of evening out limitations in the formal PSS organizations, 5) that there are two relatively large groups of method users: ‘improvisers’ and ‘eclecticists’.
Applications: Social workers consider their relationships to clients and the clients’ trust as much more important (in order to achieve results) than any particular method. The use of methods is mirroring the social workers’ readiness before, and planned
adaptation to, different types of situations.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 13, no 5, 508-532 p.
Social work, integration, methods, organizations, relationships, specialization
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-37549DOI: 10.1177/1468017311435047OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-37549DiVA: diva2:361201
ProjectsSpecialisering eller integration av socialtjänstens individ- och familjeomsorg. Effekter på insatser och resultat.