uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Professionalism or ageism? Social worker approaches to children exposed to intimate partner violence: Paper presented at the 2012 Joint WorldConference on Social Work and Social Development: Action and Impact, Stockholm, Sweden 8-12 July 2012
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2012 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The paper outlines social positions and age related inequality in encounters between Swedish social workers specialized in family law, and children exposed to intimatepartner violence. The discussion draws upon qualitative, semi-structuredinterviews with 17 children, ages 8 to 17, exploring how children with a fatherwho is or has been violent to their mother, experience and manage encounters withthis group of social workers. Participation in family law proceedings can offer children validation of their experiences and support their recovery after exposure to violence. However, it seems to be a challenging task for social workers to both validate children’s experiences of violence and simultaneously offer them participation in the investigation process. Furthermore, some socialworker approaches constitute ageism towards children. The analysis was carriedout in two steps: firstly, social worker approaches to children were reconstructed from children’s narratives. From these follows the position ascribed to the child, the degree and different dimensions of participation, as well as opportunities for validation of children’s experiences of violence. Thenext step was to link the different child positions to adult positions. Drawingupon the theoretical claim from childhood sociology that child and adult are social positions internally related to each other, it is argued that the different child positions emerging from children’s narratives give insight also into different adult positions available to social workers in this context, as well as age related inequality between adult social workers and child service users. In relation to children’s participation, three different adult positions could be found: child-oriented participant, care person, and someone exercising paternalism without care. While the first position implies an equal child-adultrelationship, the two latter imply dominant adults and children as objects ofcare or of paternalism. In relation to children’s experiences of violence four positions were found: a protector – also from talking about violence - someonein denial of the child’s vulnerability, someone indifferent, and a helper. Itis only in the last case that the adult in question is validating the child’s experiences. The paper ends with a discussion about how the different adultpositions can be linked to constructions of professionalism and traditions within social work more broadly

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-179650OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-179650DiVA: diva2:545693
2012 Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development: Action and Impact, Stockholm, Sweden 8-12 July 2012
Available from: 2012-08-21 Created: 2012-08-21 Last updated: 2012-10-18Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Department of Sociology
Social Work

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 172 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link