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Skillmark, Mikael
Publications (10 of 18) Show all publications
Denvall, V., Agevall Gross, L., Kjellgren, C. & Skillmark, M. (2019). Lost in comparison: a program theory analysis of performance measurement in social work. Nordic Social Work Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lost in comparison: a program theory analysis of performance measurement in social work
2019 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Since the 1990s, social work has been subject to requirements for monitoring and quality assurance. Here we examine one of the monitoring systems: Open Comparisons (OC). Gradually expanded and published online by a national agency, the OC now has around 350 indicators that cover major areas within social work in Sweden. We use program theory to clarify the operational idea in which OC is based. To do this, we analyse domestic violence data gathered from two social service organizations, from the regional level and from governmental agencies. The results show a strong normative support for OC within national level. However, OC is time consuming, its data are questionable, and its reliance on name-and-shame seems dubious. OC represents a trend in social work that may influence changes in routines and provide new kinds of performance measurements that affect how social work is organized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2019
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-94711 (URN)10.1080/2156857X.2019.1690559 (DOI)
Projects
Våld i nära relationer – organisering av lokal evidens och utfall av bedömning och behandling
Funder
The Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority, 04049/2013
Available from: 2020-05-11 Created: 2020-05-11 Last updated: 2020-05-12
Skillmark, M., Agevall Gross, L., Kjellgren, C. & Denvall, V. (2019). The pursuit of standardization in domestic violence social work: A multiple case study of how the idea of using risk assessment tools is manifested and processed in the Swedish social services. Qualitative Social Work, 18(3), 458-474
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The pursuit of standardization in domestic violence social work: A multiple case study of how the idea of using risk assessment tools is manifested and processed in the Swedish social services
2019 (English)In: Qualitative Social Work, ISSN 1473-3250, E-ISSN 1741-3117, Vol. 18, no 3, p. 458-474Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This multiple case study examines how the idea of using risk assessment tools is manifested and processed in Swedish social services. Based on the analysis of interviews with different stakeholders and of organizational documents in two social service organizations, we investigate the actors who control local risk assessment practices. The findings illustrate that a relatively small group of social workers in the organizations have been able to forward their claims and decide how risk assessment work should be carried out without much intrusion from local managers or politicians. The findings also validate other studies that found that increased standardization can strengthen social workers’ ability to perform their professional task rather than lead to de-professionalization. This article ends with a discussion of what risk assessment practices might mean for domestic violence victims.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2019
Keywords
Domestic violence, risk, social work practice, risk assessment, jurisdiction, control
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-68602 (URN)10.1177/1473325017739461 (DOI)000469827500009 ()2-s2.0-85067176969 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2017-11-03 Created: 2017-11-03 Last updated: 2020-03-03Bibliographically approved
Skillmark, M. & Denvall, V. (2018). The standardizers: social workers' role when implementing assessment tools in the Swedish social services. Nordic Social Work Research, 8(1), 88-99
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The standardizers: social workers' role when implementing assessment tools in the Swedish social services
2018 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 88-99Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Standardisation and standards are common in the modern world, including in social work. This article focuses on social workers who implement the assessment tool Children’s needs in focus (Barns behov i centrum BBIC) in Swedish social work with children and families. Inspired by ‘siblings’ in the UK, the National Board of Health and Welfare has developed and supported the implementation of the BBIC. From the start, the implementation strategy was to engage well-educated and experienced social workers as educators. The article studies these educators (standardizers) as mediators between national imperatives and local practice during the implementation of the BBIC in the social services. Based on interviews with 10 BBIC educators, three standardizer roles were identified: the instrumental, the adaptive and the transformative. These roles affect the practice of social work in potentially different ways.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2018
Keywords
Standardisation, social work, professionalism, implementation, BBIC
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-61918 (URN)10.1080/2156857X.2017.1309678 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-03-28 Created: 2017-03-28 Last updated: 2018-03-22Bibliographically approved
Skillmark, M. (2018). Uppdrag standardisering: införande och användning av manualbaserade utrednings- och bedömningsverktyg i socialtjänsten. (Doctoral dissertation). Linnaeus University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Uppdrag standardisering: införande och användning av manualbaserade utrednings- och bedömningsverktyg i socialtjänsten
2018 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis addresses the issue of standardization in social work. Standardization is a necessary and fascinating, though underestimated, phenomenon, which governs, regulates and calibrates social life. In Swedish social services, we have witnessed an increased use of top-down imposed manual-based tools for investigative and assessment work. In human service organisations, such as social services, this raises questions about social workers’ control in terms of how work should be executed as well as the implications of standardization for professional discretion. The aim of this thesis is to investigate and understand standardization as a phenomenon, focusing on its consequences for social work as a profession and a field of practice.The thesis consists of four papers investigating the implementation and execution of manual-based assessment tools (BBIC, FREDA and SARA) in social services. The empirical material is based on interviews with a total of 68 social workers, managers, politicians and officials as well as documents and observations of risk assessment events. Each paper results from the analysis of an exclusive data set, with the concepts used in the analysis coming from theories of professions and organisations.The results show that increased standardization is a way for social workers to seek legitimacy as well as to claim jurisdiction and increase professionalism. The execution of the tools in social work is conditioned by significant key implementation factors in organisational contexts as well as the compatibility between the construction of tools and users’ needs and expectations. Along with previous research and theory, the results from the four papers are used to develop a tentative taxonomy of different discretionary positions that social workers can take with regards to standards in their practice. Those positions illustrate that it is not straightforward how the increased standardization of investigative and assessment work will impact professional discretion. It is argued that a balance between standardization and professional discretion is possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linnaeus University Press, 2018. p. 93
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 316
Keywords
standardization, social work, profession, assessments, discretion, jurisdiction
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-71738 (URN)978-91-88761-48-4 (ISBN)978-91-88761-47-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-04-13, Växjö, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-03-22 Created: 2018-03-22 Last updated: 2018-03-22Bibliographically approved
Denvall, V., Skillmark, M. & Agevall Gross, L. (2017). Fighting men`s violence against woman in the age of evidence and NPM. In: : . Paper presented at 7TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE FOR SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH Challenges in social work research – conflicts, barriers and possibilities in relation to social work.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fighting men`s violence against woman in the age of evidence and NPM
2017 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Men's violence against women is a widespread global problem and a serious threat to women's health. This symposium will report from a study in Sweden that studies mechanisms that influence the design of interventions contesting domestic violence in two cities.

The symposiums three presentations will answer the following questions:

1. Given the fact that the organizations face many different views and ideologies; how does this affect the ways the problem of domestic violence is represented?

2. In what way affects ideas from performance measurement and new public management the interventions?

3. In what way are the social services organizing towards an evidence-based practice in this field?

Presentation 1 Interpersonal violence-From policy to local practice

Presentation 2 Open Comparisons in social work

Presentation 3 Negotiating in risk assessment practices

National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-68603 (URN)
Conference
7TH EUROPEAN CONFERENCE FOR SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH Challenges in social work research – conflicts, barriers and possibilities in relation to social work
Available from: 2017-11-03 Created: 2017-11-03 Last updated: 2020-03-03Bibliographically approved
Kullberg, C. & Skillmark, M. (2017). Reluctant Help-Seekers and Agentic Victims: Swedish Social Workers’ Talk about Young Men Victimised by Violence. Practice, 29(4), 259-277
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reluctant Help-Seekers and Agentic Victims: Swedish Social Workers’ Talk about Young Men Victimised by Violence
2017 (English)In: Practice, ISSN 0950-3153, E-ISSN 1742-4909, Vol. 29, no 4, p. 259-277Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to investigate how Swedish social workers who work with supporting young crime victims construct young men’s violent victimisation and their need for help. The data consist of three qualitative focus group interviews with trained social workers working with young crime victims. Based on data from focus group interviews, the analysis shows that the social workers do not portray young men as passive victims; instead, they are viewed as victims playing an active role in triggering the assault and trying to handle their victimisation on their own. Social workers also describe young men as reluctant to seek help and as emotionally withdrawn. The discussion addresses how male victims of violence are constructed and how clients’ as well as professionals’ traditional gender role expectations might affect the possibility for young men in distress to receive help.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017
Keywords
social work, counselling, masculinity, gender, help-seeking, young men, victims of violence
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-56554 (URN)10.1080/09503153.2016.1231802 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-09-17 Created: 2016-09-17 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved
Kullberg, C. & Skillmark, M. (2017). The significance of position for Swedish social workers’ understanding of young men’s victimization of violence. Nordic Social Work Research, 7(1), 54-66
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The significance of position for Swedish social workers’ understanding of young men’s victimization of violence
2017 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 54-66Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Violence against women and men is a widespread and serious social problem, often with severe consequences for the victims. Even though young men are among those most at risk of exposure to physical violence, men’s victimization is only recognized to a limited extent. The aim of this study is to deepen our understanding of how social workers’ interpretation of the position of males in the gender order affects their understanding of male victimization. The study was designed as a multiple case study with a qualitative comparative approach. Focus group interviews supported by vignettes were used to collect data. Interviews were carried out with professional Swedish social workers working with victimized men and women at centres for young crime victims in Sweden. The results show that even though the social workers express traditional gender beliefs about young men’s experiences of victimization and their inability to identify themselves as victims of violence, they also to some extent resist taken-forgranted notions of male victimization. The results also show that the social workers to some extent offer supportive measures that reinforce traditional expectations of masculinity. On the basis of the results it is suggested that one important way of developing social work with young male victims of violence would be to give greater attention to variations between different men and masculinities and how these different forms of masculinity are differently connected to crime and violence, and to adapt supportive measures to reflect these differences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2017
Keywords
violence, gender studies, interview studies, methods in social work, men´s studies
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-53900 (URN)10.1080/2156857X.2016.1192056 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-06-20 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved
Skillmark, M. & Denvall, V. (2016). When research moves in: the diffusion of evidence-based practice in Swedish social work. In: Francisco Branco, Inês Amaro, Cristina Albuquerque, Maria Isabel Santos, Ana Oliveira, Inês Guerra (Ed.), 6th European Conference for Social Work Research: Reflective social work practices in contemporary societies : dialogues and new pathways between praxis and research : Book of Abstracts & Prgoramme Book. Paper presented at 6th European Conference for Social Work Research (ECSWR) Lisbon, Portugal, Thursday 31 March 2016, Catholic University of Portugal (pp. 242-243).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>When research moves in: the diffusion of evidence-based practice in Swedish social work
2016 (English)In: 6th European Conference for Social Work Research: Reflective social work practices in contemporary societies : dialogues and new pathways between praxis and research : Book of Abstracts & Prgoramme Book / [ed] Francisco Branco, Inês Amaro, Cristina Albuquerque, Maria Isabel Santos, Ana Oliveira, Inês Guerra, 2016, p. 242-243Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

BackgroundIn Sweden, as elsewhere, the development of evidence-based practice (EBP) in social work has been debated for over a decade now. One of the issues concerns the top-down strategy used by the Swedish government to enhance the knowledge about interventions in social work practice. Critiques argue that this is not a feasible way forward; instead the social work profession needs to take over the leader pin. This of course calls for structures that enable social work practitioners and researchers to engage in practice-based research in order to solve current and urgent issues. Academic primary- -care centers have been established as a possible way forward in implementing an evidence-based medicine in Swedish healthcare. Clinical research is one of the basic tasks in those centers, involving much of the personal. Here, we will reflect upon the possibilities for a similar approach within the social services. This presentation aims to present research about the conditions for new pathways between Swedish social work practice and research and to critically review the idea of academic social services offices. The following questions will be addressed:(i) What characterizes an academic social services office?(ii) What are the opinions of management in charge?(iii) What are the recommendations from research?

MethodsA survey was launched twice (2005 and 2015) to the leading association of administrative leaders in the social services in Sweden. Among other things they were asked about their opinions of EBP and of clinical research in social work, also if they were in the need of staff with a PhD-education. Furthermore, a review of relevant literature and expert consultations is being undertaken focusing on significant mechanisms when it comes to establishing structures in order to support the development of academic social services offices and practice-based research.

ResultsResults from the survey show that leaders are more positive towards EBP today than ten years ago. However they are not keen on hiring staff educated in research and especially management in smaller organizations express severe difficulties to hire staff with appropriate skills and to further develop the competence to do research within their workplace. This calls for collaborations with other organizations as well as with researchers from universities and R & D-units. Results from reviews and expert-interviews will be added.

ConclusionsAdministrative leaders support the idea of a knowledge-based social work and to use interventions whose effects are demonstrated by evaluations. However they lack strategies, competence and role-models to create a research-based organization. This paper-presentation contributes to the building of bridges between practice and research through presenting analysis of the views of management as well as innovative ways of research-production within the social services.

Keywords
evidence-based social work practice, collaboration, academic social services offices, practice-based research
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-51925 (URN)978-989-99486-2-4 (ISBN)
Conference
6th European Conference for Social Work Research (ECSWR) Lisbon, Portugal, Thursday 31 March 2016, Catholic University of Portugal
Available from: 2016-04-04 Created: 2016-04-04 Last updated: 2017-03-17Bibliographically approved
Agevall Gross, L. & Skillmark, M. (2015). Brottsoffer i indikatorland: en analys av programidén och implementeringen av Öppna jämförelser inom brottsofferområdet. In: Presentation på Brottsoffermyndighetens viktimologiska forskarkonferens, 10 november 2015, Stockholm: . Paper presented at Brottsoffermyndighetens viktimologiska forskarkonferens, 10 november 2015, Stockholm.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Brottsoffer i indikatorland: en analys av programidén och implementeringen av Öppna jämförelser inom brottsofferområdet
2015 (Swedish)In: Presentation på Brottsoffermyndighetens viktimologiska forskarkonferens, 10 november 2015, Stockholm, 2015Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Idén om mål- och resultatstyrningen har fått stort genomslag i offentlig förvaltning. Det brottsofferstödjande arbetet som riktas mot våldsutsatta personer har liksom andra ansvarsområden inom socialtjänstens verksamhetsfält mött ökade krav på att säkra och redovisa kvalitet. Öppna jämförelser är ett instrument som används inom offentlig verksamhet för att mäta, offentliggöra och jämföra kvaliteten av det arbete som bedrivs. År 2012 lanserades för första gången öppna jämförelser inom brottsofferområdet. I studien analyseras Öppna jämförelsers programidé och dess implementering inom brottsofferområdet. Empirin utgörs av för studiens syfte, relevanta styrdokument samt intervjuer med aktörer på central nivå (Socialstyrelsen och SKL), regional nivå (Länsstyrelsen) samt lokal nivå (två fallkommuner i södra Sverige) Fokus riktas mot hur de har arbetat med Öppna jämförelser och vilka erfarenheter de har gjort. 12 I presentationen av studien visar författarna hur Öppna jämförelser avseende stöd till brottsoffer inte fått det genomslag som regeringen förutsatt. Den politiska styrningen är tydlig samtidigt som de olika ”intressenter” som Öppna jämförelser är tänkt att vara till för i praktiken givits en marginaliserad position

National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-47217 (URN)
Conference
Brottsoffermyndighetens viktimologiska forskarkonferens, 10 november 2015, Stockholm
Available from: 2015-11-12 Created: 2015-11-12 Last updated: 2020-03-03Bibliographically approved
Agevall Gross, L., Denvall, V., Kjellgren, C. & Skillmark, M. (2015). Brottsoffer i indikatorland: Öppna jämförelser inom socialtjänstens brottsofferstödjande arbete. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, 22(3-4), 341-358
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Brottsoffer i indikatorland: Öppna jämförelser inom socialtjänstens brottsofferstödjande arbete
2015 (Swedish)In: Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, ISSN 1104-1420, Vol. 22, no 3-4, p. 341-358Article in journal (Other academic) Published
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-52320 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-29 Last updated: 2020-03-03Bibliographically approved
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