Socialt arbete inom rättspsykiatrin. En kvalitativ studie om kulturkompetens på Rättsmedicinalverket
Sammanfattning: Several studies have shown that migration can have negative effects on the mental well being ofrefugees and asylum seekers. Asylum seekers and refugees is a heterogeneous group which makes itdifficult to draw general conclusions about their experiences and needs. One general statement thatcan be made is that migrants are found to experience higher levels of stress than the cultural majoritypopulation. The understanding of culture becomes important in relation to mental health as it can playan important part in understanding the ways in which the clients' way of expressing their needs andtheir experiences might differ from that of the social worker. But it is also possible to over emphasisethe role of culture, resulting in the culturalization of social problems.According to swedish law, individuals that suffer from serious mental illness should receivepsychiatric treatment in place of serving a prison sentence. In order to determine whether individualswho are found guilty of a crime are suffering from mental illness they undergo a psychiatricevaluation, carried out by a multiprofessional team at the National Board of Forensic medicine(Rättsmedicinalverket). The aim of this study was to gain an understanding of how the social workersthat are part of these multi professional teams overcome language barriers as well as culturaldifferences. Further, to examine what challenges are specific to the Forensic national boards work, inregards to transcultural clients, and to understand what strategies they use to reach a commonunderstanding of clients circumstances. Another aim was to examine what areas professionalsthemselves feel that there is a need for further knowledge in order to work more efficiently withtranscultural clients.To answer these questions a qualitative study consisting of five semi structured interviews wasconducted. The study was carried out at the University of Gothenburg, Västra Götaland, in the autumnof 2020. The theoretical framework applied consisted of professionalization, structuration theory andsymbolic interactionism. Research data was analysed by the use of thematic analysis. The mainfindings were that interpreters play an important role in the work with transcultural clients. Apart fromenabling communication through translation they can play a role in the process of establishing aprofessional relationship. Furthermore the specific judiciary context of the work of the national boardof forensic psychiatry somewhat de-emphasizes the importance of reaching exact understanding ofone anothers viewpoints, even though it is still desired. Lastly, the area of which one would needknowledge to have full understanding of transcultural clients is vast, and there are many questions andperceived dangers surrounding how to create generalised understanding of cultures and approachculture in the context of social work.
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