Stöd och kontroll - två sidor av samma mynt. En kvalitativ studie om socialsekreterares yrkesroll inom ekonomiskt bistånd
Sammanfattning: The aim of this study was to examine the social workers’ experience of their discretion in their professional role within the unit for social assistance, through the dual functions of control and support. Eight social workers were interviewed. The study shows that the majority of the respondents found their discretion to be extensive. All of the respondents agreed that the two functions of support and control were parts of their professional role and that these functions could compose a dilemma. The dilemma consists of trying to cater to the needs of the client while needing to adhere to organizational demands. However, the respondents also stressed that the controlling acts could compose supportive acts. The respondents mainly emphasized the controlling function as a result of the responsibility of being in a position of authority. They also expressed that they could make the decisions they thought were appropriate. Hence, an extensive discretion allowed them to be more supportive through the possibility of making individual assessments. Moreover, most of the respondents believed that digitalization could lead to more time to support the client if a computer would be able to take over tasks from the social worker. However, the respondents also claimed that the controlling function could diminish if decisionmaking was taken over by computers. The respondents argued that physical meetings with the clients should remain, otherwise there is a slight risk of losing the purpose of social work. Four theoretical approaches have been used to explain the findings of this study: Discretion, street-level-bureaucracy, organizational professionalism and occupational professionalism.
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