“Nu är vi nog lite ute på fel väg.” En kvalitativ intervjustudie om hur socialsekreterare upplever styrningen av socialtjänsten
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to investigate how case workers in social work experience the governing of the Swedish social services. It also aspire to examine how professional values relates to recent changes in governing. Qualitative interviews were conducted with seven case workers, three with less than five years of experience and four with more than twenty years of experience. The purpose of having these two different groups of respondents were to examine if the working conditions had changed over time and to describe the experience of and attitudes towards the current governance differ based on the social era in which the case worker got their degree. The case workers that had long experience of social work expressed that their work has become more standardized and the budget tighter which affect the discretion of the work on some levels. The case workers with shorter experiences had witnessed the same kind of tendencies in the limited time that they have been active as professionals. Both groups also felt that individual responsibility is being more emphasized today meaning that their clients are expected to solve more situations on their own. Based on the study’s theoretical framework these changes are argued to be closely connected to a neoliberal transformation of the society. The neoliberal rationality challenges the foundation upon which the professional social worker identity is based. According to this study the social worker identity is based on core values such as striving for equality, respect and believing that every person is doing the best that they can. Values that now comes in conflict with the increasing neoliberalism influence. Even though case workers think that advocacy is a part of their professional role they feel very limited in their capacity to affect the governance of their work and social problems in the society.
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