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Inspection of social services in Sweden: a comparative analysis of the use and adjustment of standards
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Social Work. Örebro universitet.
Dalarna University, School of Education, Health and Social Studies, Political Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6594-5804
2016 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588, Vol. 6, no 2, 138-151 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Inspection has increasingly been regarded as a safeguard for promoting quality of social services. Little attention has, however, been given to the impact of standards used in inspections, i.e. the written norms, rules and principles used for identification and judgment. The aim of this study is to empirically contribute to an improved understanding of how standards in inspection of social service are designed, and to what extent the design is adjusted in relation to different kind of social services. We employ a systematic and comparative analysis of the content (in terms of input, process, output and outcome aspects) and precision (low, medium and high) of 186 paragraphs derived from legislation and referred to as standards in inspection decisions concerning two types of social work: Investigation, Assessment and Decision-Making (IAD); and Treatment Intervention (TI) in Sweden 2012. Contrary to expectations based on an inspection ideal, our findings show that paragraphs covering outcome aspects are not more commonly referred to as standards in TI than in IAD inspection. The analysis of the precision also indicates that the standards used in inspection of TI are not more adjusted to complex and subjectively experienced aspects than are the standards used in IAD. Our overall results indicate that the policy instrument is primarily adapted to IAD inspection rather than to TI inspection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016. Vol. 6, no 2, 138-151 p.
Keyword [en]
inspection, standard, social service, service technology
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Health and Welfare, Social tillsyn i retorik och praktik
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-20783DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2016.1156015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-20783DiVA: diva2:894424
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2016-01-15 Created: 2016-01-15 Last updated: 2016-06-03Bibliographically approved

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