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The nationalised social work and globalized social problems: The Swedish dilemma
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Work, Östersund, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0810-2848
2012 (English)In: Social Work Social Development 2012: Abstract Book, 2012, p. 273-274Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Social work in Sweden has developed from being voluntary charity work to a major responsibility for the state and municipal authorities. Based on a well-developed legal system, social authorities and social workers are the agents who decide who are entitled to governmental and municipal subsidies and who are not. Despite ideological changes and political transformations which have resulted in the retreats of the Swedish welfare state from its traditional positions during the latest decades, the regular social work is still strong and important for many people in Sweden. However, globalisation, migration and global social problems increasingly challenge the national basis of social work and create a tension between national laws, which guide Swedish social work, and the Code of Ethics of social work declared by IFSW. A growing group who are excluded from getting support from social workers in Sweden are undocumented immigrants. Without citizenship or residence permits in Sweden, undocumented immigrants are excluded from municipal social services, social rights and access to basic social services, equal employment opportunities, health, housing and education. Undocumented immigrants have therefore to rely on irregular social work such as deprived voluntary organisations’ function at the margins. This paper critically examines the discrepancies between the universal declarations of human rights and social justice in IFSW’s Code of Ethics and the Swedish social work as one of the strongest and most inclusive social welfare regimes in Europe. Questions, such as “How informed are social workers and politicians of the problems of social welfare of undocumented immigrants? Are there any political or social programs for changing the laws and improving the life conditions of undocumented immigrants? How do social workers respond to the conflicts between the IFSW’s Code of Ethics and the exclusion of undocumented immigrants from the Swedish welfare system?” are guiding this study. The study is based on analysing official documents, conducting interviews with municipal social workers, political agents and NGOs in three large cities in Sweden with substantial numbers of undocumented immigrants. The results show that the displacement of thousands of undocumented immigrants and their ’place less segregation’ in Sweden and deprivation of their living conditions should guide us to re-evaluate the practices of social work in an era of increasing global inequalities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. p. 273-274
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-72305OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-72305DiVA, id: diva2:1286926
Conference
Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact, Stockholm, Sweden, July 8-12, 2012
Projects
Localised Globalities and Social Work: Contemporary ChallengesAvailable from: 2019-02-08 Created: 2019-02-08 Last updated: 2019-03-27Bibliographically approved

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Jönsson, Jessica H.

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
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