Objektivitet i socialt arbete
Sammanfattning: Swedish law is very keen on the fact that every person should be treated equal when facing the legal system. When it comes to cases concerning children, social workers and judges are expected to strictly obey the rules of the law but at the same time make individual judgements based on the best interest of the child, something that requires a great deal of empathy and knowledge. Is it possible to live up to the maxim about equality and to simultaneously see the individual needs? With so many different parties and angles in the case, how does one manage to make a solid appraisal of the situation that truly serves the best interest of the child? The purpose of this study was to examine the capability within the social services with focus on objectivity. More specifically it's aim was to find out how the social workers and judges see their capability of being objective in the investigations concerning children. As the study was based on the professional's experiences the questions were quite vague at the beginning and were specified during the conversations. Hence we were able to adjust the question form to the people interviewed instead of vice versa. Eleven social workers and judges were asked to discuss this issue of whom nine - three judges and six social workers - accepted. The analysis is based on a presentation of the interview material compared with the theoretical aspects we have chosen. We were particularly looking for possible differences and similarities in the way that the social workers and judges approach the dilemmas of combining law and other regulations with empathy - all in the light of objectivity. We were also looking for different ways of relating to the term "The best interest of the child" and how it was united with an objective state of the art. The study showed both similarities and differences in the civil servant's way of thinking. Overall, a great awareness of the complexity of investigations were noticed, moreover a great ability of self-reflection. Practically all nine claimed that a completely objective state of mind is impossible to attain, which is interesting considering that people working with laws is working in accordance with the principal of objectivity. The interviewees all gave examples of things that can go wrong due to lack of awareness and the risk of confusing the professional opinion with personal values. What affected the servants seemed to be somewhat different but a personal influence was recognized by everybody. The common way of securing an objective way of thinking was to discuss the cases with colleges and some also had the habit of frequently sharing the written documents with their clients. The results somewhat shows theoretical demands that turned into practice come out a little different due to human factors.
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