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Street-level bureaucracy and categorization processes in social workers’ encounters with parents who have financial and cognitive difficulties
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology, Centre for Social Work - CESAR.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6504-0877
2018 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

In the Swedish welfare state, assessment of applications regarding benefits for rent costs varies greatly between municipalities which could partly be explained by the inherent discretion in social work practice. This study focuses on practices of categorisation in processes of eviction risk among families, where there are indications of parental cognitive difficulties. The present article aims at exploring social workers’ discretionary approaches in these client interactions, and specifically how indications of cognitive difficulties are handled in relation to financial problems. This paper highlights how they, as street-level-bureaucrats, define and assess these particular clients’ needs of support but also how they view their professional role and the scope for interventions regarding parental impairments in relation to need for income support.

This qualitative analysis is based on interviews with 10 social workers in different units of the social welfare agency, who in their work encounter families in eviction risk due to financial problems. The findings show that although the interviewees note that cognitive difficulties may partly explain the need for income support on a general level, the strategies to address indications of such difficulties and adjust the process and/or offer alternative interventions to suit the clients needs vary.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-373585OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-373585DiVA, id: diva2:1278987
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2014-0410Available from: 2019-01-15 Created: 2019-01-15 Last updated: 2019-10-07

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