Med samarbete i sikte - Om samordnade insatser och samlokaliserade familjecentraler

Maria Hjortsjö

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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Co-operation is highly valued in Swedish welfare work and joint efforts within and between healthcare and welfare organizations is not new in Sweden. For decades the authorities have been trying to organize and coordinate various social and medical efforts in the public sector at a central level. This thesis is focusing on the meaning of co-operation between professionals belonging to different organizations working together in coordinated services under one roof, in a so called family centre. The family centre is established to serve families with children and the personnel usually consist of units of social workers, preschool staff, midwives, paediatric nurses and administrative staff, with part-time access to doctors, psychologists and family counsellors. The thesis is based on a case study method and the main material is records and documents from the family centre and its units, field notes from observations, photographs taken during observations and semi-structured interviews. The theoretical framework refers to organizational theory, and various aspects of cooperative and group psychology.One of the main findings in the thesis is that the need for the units to manage an uncertain environment is a strong driving force for collaboration. In this study such uncertainties are the future existence of a unit, eliminating problematic tasks and gaining knowledge of a problem at an early stage. The dominating types of collaboration indicate that the actors are tied to their respective mother organizations and the tasks that they set. Co-operation is therefore considered an integrating tactic in that the professions in a coordinating service under one roof get close to each other in their day-to-day work. By remaining with one foot in the mother organization, the professionals "protect" their own competence and professional identity. At the same time the collaboration also shows the differences between diverse disciplines and the cooperation is therefore also a divisive strategy. My study shows that boundaries between the professions disappear where the staff can become more intimate, for example in the lunchroom or when there are tasks which everybody, regardless of profession, can perform. What causes these boundaries to break down is empathy. Personal emotions show up when there are problems within the units. The units then relinquish their freedom of action and subject themselves to practical help. However this help is very sporadic, which means that a diminished freedom of action is only temporary. There are clear signs that the actors in the family centre are professionally segregated, but personally integrated.
Original languageSwedish
Awarding Institution
  • School of Social Work
  • Andersson, Gunvor, Supervisor
Award date2006 Jan 20
Print ISBNs91-89604-29-6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Defence details

Date: 2006-01-20
Time: 10:15
Place: Edebalksalen, Socialhögskolan Bredgatan 26, Lund

External reviewer(s)

Name: Hessle, Sven
Title: Professor
Affiliation: Stockholms Universitet, Socialhögskolan


Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Work


  • Social problems and welfare
  • coordinated services under one roof family centres
  • prevention
  • collaboration
  • co-operation
  • child-care
  • human service organizations
  • healthcare
  • Social work
  • national insurance
  • Sociala problem
  • social välfärd
  • socialförsäkring

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