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Barnfridsbrottslagen : En kvantitativ studie av socialarbetares förändrade förhållningssätt och handlingsutrymme / The Child Security Act : A quantitative study of social workers' changed approach and professional discretion

  • Rihan, Haya
  • Axwalter, Leon
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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The Child Security Act (CSA) became legislated as a measurement to protect children from the infliction of psychological harm caused by witnessing domestic violence. The law was introduced as recently as July 2021 and is still new to such a degree that no research has been done about the impact it has had on social workers. Therefore, this study aims to map out the effects the CSA has had on social worker’s conducts when dealing with cases involving children and youth that has witnessed domestic violence, as well as how the CSA has affected the social worker’s use of their professional discretion. To study the topic, this study poses two questions; “To which capacity does social workers use the CSA in their work with children and youth who has witnessed domestic violence?”, and “How can social worker’s professional conduct be problematized by an analysis of the correlation between social worker’s own estimates of the influences by the CSA and their own discretion?  The gathering of information was conducted using an online survey, and sent out to every local government in Sweden, as well as the local social services offices that publicized their email contact information, the survey was also publicized on a social media platform. The survey received 378 responses with at least one from every region of Sweden.   This paper uses Lipsky’s term of discretion as a theoretical framework to interpret the survey’s findings. This means that this paper looks at the findings from the viewpoint of the social worker’s ability to use their own judgement to determine the proper course of action when dealing with their cases. The survey answers were coded into six different variables, these variables covered information, discretion, work with the children, the legislation of the CSA in their work and organization, the social workers experiences of their own capacity to help children as well as their own judgement and assessments of cases involving children. The last variable covered how the social workers estimate they have time to do what is needed for their work with children  The survey results show that the CSA had an impact on the social workers work with children, how they asses their own professional discretion, their capacity to help children, their own judgement in cases involving children as well how much time they have for their work with children. The results also show that the social workers answer that they aren't familiar with the CSA or got enough information regarding the law. The results also show that social workers don’t often use the CSA in their work with children and youth but that they find the law important and necessary. 

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