Social work in transition - from functional differentiation to holistic professionalism

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In Denmark the employment services are traditionally organized in accordance with the administrative client categories defined by law. This has led to a functional differentiation of job functions between statutory tasks, employer contact and mentoring (Andersen & Larsen, 2018). This study follows 12 social workers in their transition from working within a traditional job function in Danish municipal job centers towards working across jobfunctions as job coaches in a supported employment intervention, targeted NEET’s struggling with mental health problems. The study runs from 2019 – 2023 and is part of a broader research project: The Reconnect project.
The study is conducted using a combination of qualitative methods: mapping the professionals previous job functions, focus group interviews, individual interviews, and observational studies. Data is analyzed using a thematic analysis approach.
Preliminary findings suggest that the social workers value working within a client-centered approach, and experience having the necessary time and flexibility to develop strong relations with the target group. Social workers report a sense of wholeness; they get to work with the client within the context of their whole lives. However, they also face challenges which is particularly related to the demands for doing statutory work and documentation.
Overall, the study points to that the social workers develop new professional identities reflected in the role as job coaches and counselors in the framework of a supported employment intervention.
Periode8 apr. 2022
Begivenhedstitel11th European Conference for Social Work Research
PlaceringAmsterdam, Holland
Grad af anerkendelseInternational