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Making Sense of Common Sense.: Examining the decision-making of politically appointed representatives in Swedish child protection
University of Gothenburg. (RISCY)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5644-2455
University of Gothenburg.
University of Gothenburg.
2016 (English)In: Child & Family Social Work, ISSN 1356-7500, E-ISSN 1365-2206, Vol. 21, no 1, p. 14-25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A distinguishing feature of Swedish child protection is the direct andvindirect influence on decision-making in individual cases by representatives appointed by their elected political parties. As members of local committees, they take the most interventionist and costly decisions themselves, informed by care proposals submitted by professional social workers. Other decisions are delegated to professional social workers. In direct decision-making, they are supposed to act as laypersons using their own judgement and experience, not as politicians. The aim of this paper is to describe and analyse these committees, their role and responsibilities, and possible influence of politics on child protection. A mixed method was used, with a survey sent to 467 representatives, structured interviews with 99 secretaries of local committees and data drawn from national statistics. The Swedish model is discussed as a hybrid system influenced not only by professional, bureaucratic, political and market governance logics but also by laypersons. One conclusion is that although child protection is directly influenced by politics, the reverse is also true. By exposing politicians to the difficult life circumstances and societal shortcomings experienced by vulnerable children, the system can, in turn, have an impact on politics at the municipal level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 2016. Vol. 21, no 1, p. 14-25
Keywords [en]
Layperson, decision-making, child protection
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Sciences, Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-71884DOI: 10.1111/cfs.12100ISI: 000374286200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-71884DiVA, id: diva2:1194856
Available from: 2018-04-04 Created: 2018-04-04 Last updated: 2018-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Forkby, Torbjörn

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf