INTEGRATE 2019 Conference, November 4th. Session 2A – The role of the employer and the work place in the process of work inclusion II: Developing the role as a coordinating social worker in the Danish unemployment system – with a citizen perspective

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Abstract for the INTEGRATE 2019 conference in Lillehammer
Title: Developing the role as a coordinating social worker in the Danish unemployment system – with a citizen perspectiveAuthors: Per Westersø ( and Lone Vesterby ( Associate professors at the Education of Social Work, VIA University College, Denmark, In Denmark, the position of coordinating caseworker in the field of the unemployment system was introduced as a statutory requirement per 1.1.2013 in connection with the Reform of early retire-ment and flex jobs, and since then several reforms have followed. Thus, it is a relatively new phe-nomenon in employment efforts that activity-ready citizens with complex social problems have a legal requirement for one coordinating caseworker to ensure a holistic, coordinated and multidisci-plinary effort across administrations and sectors. However, research and experience from practice indicate that this role has very little focus and that the coordinating caseworkers have doubts about how to act in the role and what is expected of them. Pursuing the question, “how can citizens, front line staff and management help to develop and quali-fy the role of the coordinating caseworker in the field of employment”?, we have designed a re-search project that, based on interviews with citizens, frontline staff and managers, examines how the role of the coordinating caseworker can be developed and qualified. In this project, we are interested in entering a collaboration with citizens who are associated with a coordinating caseworker to investigate how they perceive the role of the coordinating caseworker and what kind of experience they have with them. In this project the citizen´s voices are important “triggers for learning” in order to start a “snow balling process” where the citizen´s experiences and statements are "rolled up" in the chain of governance and where, at the next level, a reflection on these statements is always required. The purpose of preparing a BIKVA study is to challenge exist-ing norms, routines and practices in the public organization from a citizen perspective. The aim is also to achieve a higher degree of collaboration and increased impact of the efforts by involving users in the evaluation and further development of efforts in the public sector. A BIKVA study con-sist of several interviews, each one planned as the previous ones have been held bringing the statement from the interviews on to the next interview. The point is that the statements of the citi-zens must form the framework of the interview guide prepared for the interview with the frontline employees and, after that for interviews with management and to politicians.We find it exiting to allow a group of citizens to participate in the development of how the public ad-ministration organize their work, both in terms of the social and the methodological aspect in rela-tion to our project.The interview material – by now – consists of very interesting statements from the different inter-views, some of which we would be delighted to present at the conference. This includes some “good advice” from the citizens to the administration and from the coordinating caseworkers to their management.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date4 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2019
Lillehammer, November 3.-5.: Research and innovation in work integration for people with complex service needs
- Inland Norway. University of Applied Sciences., Lillehammer, Norway
Duration: 3 Nov 20195 Nov 2019


ConferenceINTEGRATE 2019
Lillehammer, November 3.-5.
LocationInland Norway. University of Applied Sciences.
Internet address


  • social work and social conditions

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