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  • 1.
    Karlsson, Elisabeth
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Social Work.
    Carmhagen, Wernoff, Maria
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Social Work.
    Barnets bästa: En studie av socialsekreterares tolkningar av barnets bästa och barnperspektivet i vårdnadsutredningar.2010Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    In Sweden the divorce rates has increased during the latter part of the 20

    th century. For many children it’s everyday life growing up with parents no longer living together. The Parental Code states that "The child's best interests must be central to any decision in custody, residence and access." But what does the child’s best interest really mean and how do we investigate it? We decided to investigate its meaning by interviewing social workers regarding their interpretations of the child's best interests from a family law perspective. We also wanted to examine what they’re doing to protect the child's perspective in custody investigations. Our study is based on seven qualitative interviews with social workers dealing with family law matters. The interviews were based partly on our interview guide, but also on three fictitious cases that the social workers had to discuss and think about. Our theoretical starting point is based on Foucault's analysis of knowledge and power, Sannerstedt´s theory of implementation and Lipsky's theory of street – level bureaucrats and their discretion. Our study shows that social workers believe that the child's best interests are difficult to define and open to a variety of interpretations. Our results also shows that all social workers assume that the child's best interests shall be crucial to any decision concerning custody, residence and access, but illustrates the problem with the child's best interests are individualized for each child and is open to interpretation. It’s important to see from the child's point of view and trying to get acquainted with the child's situation. Research and experience are two important pieces which form the basis for the judgments they make.

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