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  • 1.
    Gümüscü, Ahmet
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Family as Raw Material – the Deconstructed Family in the Swedish Social Services2014In: Journal of Comparative Social Work, ISSN 0809-9936, E-ISSN 0809-9936, no 2, p. 1-27Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on how families are defined and conceptualized by social workers in the Swedish social services. Using a qualitative study design, we carried out telephone interviews with 60 social workers in five major sectors of the social services in two smaller and two larger municipalities. These sectors included elderly care, disability, child welfare, addiction and economic support, with a qualitative content analysis approach used to analyze the data.The results showed that the practices in social service organizations are both individualized and specialized. Social workers primarily focus on the individual as the client when deciding upon interventions, and when asked about how they regard, define and delimit the family in their work, our analysis revealed that different mediating mechanisms were engaged in what can be seen as a deconstruction of the family. These mechanisms included legislation (as a control mechanism), household composition (boundary mechanism) and service needs (professional mechanism), which were used in various ways and to differing degrees within each sector. The resultant five unique and sector-specific conceptualizations of families are implicated in how interventions are constructed and work processes targeted at individuals and families.

  • 2.
    Gümüscü, Ahmet
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Bringing the Family Back in: On Role Assignment and Clientification in the Swedish Social Services2015In: Social Sciences, ISSN 2076-0760, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 117-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden, municipal social services provide help and support for vulnerable people with a variety of needs. Although the family has long been understood to be a focus of social work interventions, it is unclear how it is brought into the casework process in the highly individualised and specialised municipal social services. Therefore, in this study we investigated processes of client-making and role assignment in five service sectors: social assistance, child welfare, substance abuse, disability, and elderly care. We carried out focus group interviews with social workers in each of these sectors in a mid-sized community in central Sweden. Findings showed that clienthood and the family are interpreted in different ways. The family is brought into or kept out of service provisions in ways that are connected to social workers’ construction of the family either as expert, client or non-client. However, the role of the family may also change during the casework process. Findings are examined in relation to theories of the welfare state and implications for family-focused practice are discussed.

  • 3.
    Gümüscü, Ahmet
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Social work and the management of complexity in Swedish child welfare services2018In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper elucidates how Swedish child welfare social workers manage complexity co-occuring in the families with which they work and the organisational contexts of practice. Focus groups were held with social workers in three municipalities in Sweden who described work processes generally and in response to a fictitious vignette. The vignette was constructed as a complex family situation to explore how social workers approach complexity when faced with a family with complex needs. Findings showed that social workers are challenged in their everyday work where they are aware of the many needs in a family. They focus on immediate conditions for children while recognising that some problems are less amenable to being solved. However they try to manage complexities related to families as well as the structural conditions of work by sorting, prioritising and oscillating between a child focus and a family service orientation. This paper serves as a necessary reminder of the complexity of social work in the broader area of child welfare and raises further questions about the use of comparative typologies to explain social work practices.

  • 4.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Cette fois, les choses seront différentes: l’expérience des professionnels concernant las mise en ouvre réussie de l’approche Looking After Children au Canada, en Australie et en Suède2015In: Jeunesse en tète. Au-delà du risque de maltraitance, les besoins de développement des enfants / [ed] Marie-Andrée Poirier, Sophie Leveille et Marie-Ève Clément, Quebec City: Presses de l’Université du Québec , 2015, p. 67-82Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Constructing Child Welfare Practice in Ontario, Canada1999In: Constructing Social Work Practices / [ed] A. Jokinen, K. Juhila and T. Pösö, Aldershot UK: Ashgate, 1999, p. 173-192Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Early Childhood Risk, Protection and Abuse2010In: International Encyclopedia of Education / [ed] edited by Penelope L. Peterson, Eva L. Baker, Barry MacGaw, London: Elsevier , 2010, 3Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 7.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Early Childhood Risk, Protection and Abuse Prevention2010In: International Encyclopedia of Education / [ed] Penelope Peterson, Eva Baker and Barry McGaw, Oxford: Elsevier , 2010, 3, vol. 2, p. 17-24Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    International survey of support structures for  evidence-based social services in Canada.2010In: Kartläggning av stödstrukturer för socialtjänstens kompetensförsörjning i Norge, Finland, Danmark, England och Canada.: Thomas Tydén, Karin Alexanderson, Ulf Johansson, Evelyn Khoo, Jan Messing / [ed] Dalarnas Forskningsråd., Dalarnas Forskningsråd , 2010, p. 43-68Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 9.
    Khoo, Evelyn G.
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Hyvönen, Ulf
    Umeå Social Services Research Unit, UFFE, Umeå.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Gatekeeping in Child Welfare: A Comparative Study of Intake Decisionmaking by Social Workers in Canada and Sweden2003In: Child welfare, ISSN 0009-4021, Vol. 82, no 5, p. 507-525Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article details findings from social workers in Sweden and Canada, illuminating similarities and differences in gatekeeping in child welfare and child protection. Analysis revealed different patterns of inclusion and exclusion. Swedish child welfare includes a greater readiness to intervene with more resources and measures. Gatekeeping is assessment driven and focused on family preservation. In Canada, only the most needy children are eligible for a limited range of services. Gatekeeping is structure driven and narrowly focused on protection. Analyses of evidence-based research to improve outcomes for children and families must include comparisons of how different structural orientations influence management of referrals at intake. The authors discuss the implications of these findings. 

  • 10.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Hyvönen, Ulf
    Umeå Socialtjänst, UFFE.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Child Welfare or Child Protection: Uncovering Swedish and Canadian orientations to social intervention in child maltreatment2002In: Qualitative Social Work, ISSN 1473-3250, E-ISSN 1741-3117, Vol. 1, no 4, p. 451-471Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article details our findings from focus groups with social workers in Sweden and Canada illuminating similarities and differences in the process of social intervention in child mal-treatment. We identified six categories that form the bases for hypothesizing different orientations of child welfare and child protection: Gate Keeping; Skills in Context; Client Identity; Decision Points; Compulsion; and Measures. We analysed participants’ descriptions and uncovered how these descriptions of social intervention in child maltreatment connect to model orientations in both countries. In Swedish child welfare, there is a greater readiness to intervene with more resources and measures, intervention is assessment driven and focuses on family preservation. In Canadian child protection, only the most needy children are eligible for a limited range of services, intervention is structure driven and more narrowly focused on protection and permanency planning. The implications of these findings to social work are discussed.

  • 11.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Welfare.
    Hyvönen, Ulf
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Welfare.
    Getting it Right: Implementeringen av Barns behov i centrum och Looking After Children i tre nationella och organisatoriska sammanhang2007In: Socionomens forskningssupplement: Facktidskriften för kvalificerat socialt arbete, ISSN 0283-1929, Vol. 7, no 22, p. 90-104Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 12.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Mancinas, Sandra
    Faculty of Social Work and Human Development, Autonomous University of New Leon, Mexico.
    Skoog, Viktoria
    Kommunförbundet Västernorrland, Sweden.
    We are not orphans: children's experience of everyday life in institutional care in Mexico2015In: Children and youth services review, ISSN 0190-7409, E-ISSN 1873-7765, Vol. 59, p. 1-9Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In Mexico, institutional care is the most widely used out-of-home placement resource for children who have been either abandoned by their parents or removed from their families to protect them from harm. Currently there are over 29,000 children and adolescents placed in approximately 725 institutions in Mexico. However, little is known about the perspectives of young people about their lives in this setting. We set out to explore young people's descriptions of their lived experience of everyday life in one institutional care setting in Mexico, with a focus on their daily activities and their relationships to significant others. Multiple qualitative methods (adapted Photovoice, mapping and focus groups) were used by researchers from both Mexico and Sweden. In this paper, we explore and analyze their experiences of being 'almost home' and living in an 'almost family'. Life in the institution could be characterized as a highly structured, total institution wherein young people looked for ways to take control over times and places. It was safe but not quite home. Life was also strongly connected to stigma. Although in long-term placements, they refused to be labeled 'orphans'. The stigma of being called orphans and living in the confines of the institution was countered by the young people's descriptions of importance of feeling safe, being adequately supported and cared for, having a sense of comfort and normality where they are living, and having emotional connections to those they live with. Being listened to and having a say in decisions related to their lives were also strongly recurrent themes in our study. This paper concludes with a discussion of implications for practice with children and youth in institutional care. 

  • 13.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Welfare.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Social Welfare.
    Hyvönen, Ulf
    Resilient society or resilient children?: A comparison of child welfare service orientations in Sweden and Ontario, Canada.2006In: Promoting resilience in child welfare, Univeristy of Ottawa Press, Ottawa , 2006, p. 72-93Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Skoog, Viktoria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    The road to placement breakdown: foster parents' experiences of the events surrounding the unexpected ending of a child’s placement in their care2014In: Qualitative Social Work, ISSN 1473-3250, E-ISSN 1741-3117, Vol. 13, no 2, p. 255-269Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Placement breakdown is a frequently occurring phenomenon in the context of out-of-home care. Although research has pointed to the many problems associated with placement instability and breakdown, less is known about foster parents’ experiences. We carried out deep interviews with foster parents to investigate connections between their caring experiences and experiences of placement breakdown. Results of our study demonstrate that breakdown is a complex process rather than a single event – a process that starts in the discrepancy between the statutory obligations of the social services toward the foster home and the foster parents’ perceptions of the kind if information and support they actually receive from the social services. High demands are placed on foster parents’ ability to provide care and offer a loving home to children who have been raised in difficult environments and who have behaviour problems. The road to breakdown also included a lack of knowledge about the child’s needs, insufficient understanding of the placement process, a difficult relationship with the social worker, and a lack of individualized service with the right supports at the right time. Although the placement may have ended in breakdown, foster parents described a continuing relationship between their families and child which was of lasting significance.

  • 15.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Skoog, Viktoria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Dalin, Rolf
    Kommunförbundet Västernorrland, Sweden.
    In and out of care: a profile and analysis of children in the out-of-home care system in Sweden2012In: Children and youth services review, ISSN 0190-7409, E-ISSN 1873-7765, Vol. 34, no 5, p. 900-907Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we present a profile and analysis of children in the out-of-home care system in Sweden. We describe the conditions of three age groups of children and young people prior to their entry into care, the reasons for placement as given by social workers and documented in the children's case files, and analyze their movements in and out of care drawing attention to the issues of placement instability and breakdown. Our analyses reveal that there are important differences between age groups in rationales for placement, that a significant majority of children who returned home from care did so before social workers considered care no longer necessary, and that significant numbers of placements are notable in their instability. This study points to the need to develop participatory frameworks for practice beyond the rhetoric of solidarity and democracy that underlies Sweden's Social Services Act. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • 16.
    Nygren, Lennart
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Gümüscü, Ahmet
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Understanding and supporting families with complex needs in Sweden: A review of research and policy2013Report (Other academic)
  • 17.
    Nygren, Lennart
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Hyvönen, Ulf
    Research & Development Unit, Ume Social Services, Sweden.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    The travelling idea of looking after children: conditions for moulding a systematic approach in child welfare into three national contexts--Australia, Canada and Sweden2009In: Australian Social Work, ISSN 0312-407X, E-ISSN 1447-0748, Vol. 62, no 4, p. 491-506Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Looking After Children (LAC) is an approach (care philosophy and working tools) used to assess the psycho-social development of children being cared for by child welfare agencies. It is an international initiative that was developed in England and then travelled and was translated into other contexts, most notably Australia, Canada and Sweden. This paper presents findings from an open-ended question in a survey distributed to social workers and managers using LAC and “cousin” systems in these countries. We asked respondents what advice they would give to others considering implementing these systems. Our qualitative content analyses showed that, regardless of the context, the 257 respondents gave voice to programmatic/normative arguments, reflecting mainly positive attitudes to the systems. However, managers and social workers voiced different arguments in their favour. Managers voiced normative arguments favouring the underlying principles, whereas social workers from all three countries identified the dual needs to remain flexible and to recognise the limitations of the systems, especially at the operational level. Results offer insights into approaches to change management in different contexts.

  • 18.
    Rasmusson, Bodil
    et al.
    Socialhögskolan, Lunds universitet.
    Hyvönen, Ulf
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Child-centered social work practice: three unique meanings in the context of looking after children and the assessment framwork in Australia, Canada and Sweden2010In: Children and youth services review, ISSN 0190-7409, E-ISSN 1873-7765, Vol. 32, no 3, p. 452-459Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper explores different orientations to child-centered social work as conveyed in the training materials and guidelines of Looking After Children and Assessment Framework in Australia, Canada and Sweden. ‘Child centered’ is shaped by contextual factors and influences social work practices. We found differences in these approaches as needs based and/or rights based and in relation to how each emphasizes the three P's — Provision, Protection and Participation. Substantial differences were identified both in how references to a child-centered approach appear in theoretical frameworks, values, motives and use of concepts in training materials and guidelines, and in the instructions given as to how to apply these approaches. It appears that Australia balances needs and rights, while Canada is more needs-oriented and Sweden more rights-oriented. Swedish materials show a more explicit emphasis on participation than Australian and Canadian materials. Differences between the three countries indicate the importance of structural, contextual factors shaping orientations to child-centered practice.

  • 19.
    Skoog, Viktoria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Dalin, Rolf
    Rönnbäck, Eva
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Instabilitet för barn i samhällsvård: [Instability in child welfare placements]2012In: Socionomens forskningssupplement, ISSN 0283-1929, no 31, p. 34-43Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper analyzes stability in out-of-home care for children in Sweden. The study has focused on placement breakdown but also used planned movements and re-placement to study placement stability. The sample consists of 213 children who started 317 placements during 2005 and 2006. Social work case files were examined to follow every placement for, at most, two years from the day that the placement began. Those children who finished their period of care during the study’s follow-up period were monitored for one year after completion of placement to see if "returns home" were stable or if the child was re-placed in care. The analyses reveal that a significant majority of children who returned home from care did so before social workers considered care no longer necessary. The most common reason for end of a placement for preschool aged children was placement movements and for teenager’s placement breakdowns. This result indicates that type of instability depends on children’s age. As in other research, our study revealed teenagers or children with aggressive behavior had an increased risk of placement breakdown. The risk for re-placement increased if the child’s last placement ended because parents withdrew their consent for placement or if the child was placed in institutional care. This study points to the need to discuss the importance of consent, particularly parents of younger children and with youths themselves. It also indicates that if social service wants to increase placement stability they have to take the age of the child in consideration.

  • 20. Skoog, Viktoria
    et al.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Residential child and youth care in Sweden2017In: Residential child and youth care in a developing world: 2. European perspectives / [ed] Tuhinul Islam and Leon Fulcher, Cape Town, South Africa: CYC-Net Press , 2017, p. 262-276Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 21.
    Skoog, Viktoria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. FoU Kommunförbundet Västernorrland, S-87103 Härnösand, Sweden.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Nygren, Lennart
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Disconnection and dislocation: relationships and belonging in unstable foster and institutional care2015In: British Journal of Social Work, ISSN 0045-3102, E-ISSN 1468-263X, Vol. 45, no 6, p. 1888-1904Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates how children who have experienced instability in substitute family care describe their sense of belonging and relationships with adults who share responsibility for caring for them. Using an interpretive phenomenological methodology, we interviewed twelve children in Swedish foster and institutional care. Our study found that the children craved a close relationship with consistent adults and an opportunity to feel that they belonged somewhere. These needs were difficult for them to receive due to their parents' problematic life histories, instability in care which repeatedly placed them in new care situations and a lack of continuity of social workers. These children endured a repeated disconnection to those adults who were supposed to share the role of raising them and, at the same time, an incredible ability to adapt to new care environments was demanded of them. After continually losing relationships, some children finally decided to ‘hold off adults’ in order to not get hurt. Working with and caring for children who have experienced unstable care puts great demand on adults to develop relationships that children feel will be consistent and that they can trust.

  • 22.
    Tydén, Thomas
    et al.
    Dalarnas forskningsråd.
    Alexanderson, Karin
    Dalarnas forskningsråd.
    Johansson, Ulf
    Dalarnas forskningsråd.
    Khoo, Evelyn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Messing, Jan
    Dalarnas forskningsråd.
    Kartläggning av stödstrukturer för socialtjänstens kompetensförsörjning i Norge, Finland, Danmark, England och Canada2010Report (Other academic)
1 - 22 of 22
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