Riktlinjer – en begränsning eller strävan mot rättvisa? : En kvalitativ studie om hur biståndshandläggare gör individuella bedömningar och samtidigt förhåller sig till kommunala riktlinjer.
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to understand how eldercare managers, in their assessments of home care, needs to make individual decisions and at the same time keep to municipality’s guidelines. Our research questions deal with how eldercare managers make individual assessments and at the same time consider general municipality’s guidelines in their estimations of need for homecare assistance and how eldercare managers experience that individual assessments and general municipal guidelines relate to each other in estimations of needs for homecare assistance. Nine qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with social workers working with needs assessments within the eldercare. The results were analyzed through Lipsky’s theory on street-level bureaucracy and the concept of discretion. Our main conclusions from this study is that it is a complex work to estimate needs for homecare assistance when considering both individual assessments and general municipal guidelines. Our results showed that the needs of the individual are more important in the cases where guidelines and the person’s needs differ. Our study also showed that the eldercare managers, as a rule, follow the guidelines as long as they coincide with the assessment of individual needs, but the guidelines function as a guidance and not as something definite. The eldercare managers don’t feel that the relation between municipality guidelines and individual decisions is a problem. The complexity was rather evident in the lack of judicial security and justice in the work with the assessment of individual needs.
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