Barnavårdsutredningar på nya grunder

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Since 1999 the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen)
has been piloting a project entitled “Children’s Needs in Focus”
(BBIC). The aim of this development project is to develop a uniform
system of assessing, planning and reviewing in social work with
children. It is inspired by the Integrated Children’s System (ICS) in
Great Britain and the Swedish Dartingtonproject. The British system has
been adapted to Swedish conditions by Socialstyrelsen in collaboration
with seven Swedish municipalities and municipal regions.
This report presents an investigation of social workers opinions and
their methods of conducting assessments of children in need according to
BBIC. The study, conducted on behalf of Socialstyrelsen, is characterized
as explorative and formative with elements of process-, purpose- and
component evaluation. Qualitative methods have been used and the empirical
study includes document analysis of 38 assessments and interviews
with 15 social workers.
The evaluation shows that the assessment forms have been tested to
less extent than expected and in addition with different local and personal
variations. The experiences are both positive and negative. More
concentrated, more balanced, better structured, better founded, more
clear and reliable assessments were mentioned in the interviews as positive
experiences of BBIC as well as more clear assignments to foster carers
and others with responsibility for treatment of the children and families.
Technical problems, lack of time, training and support from managers
as well as organisational changes and turnover of staff were mentioned
as important obstacles for implementation. The forms were criticized for
being too detailed, too time consuming to use and difficult to take in.
The social workers feared that the assessments would be too ruled and
administrative. The theoretical model, the “triangle” was, however, apprehended
positive by all the interviewed social workers and it had been
a part of the social workers knowledgebase. From a general point of view
the assessment process had improved. Collaboration between the social
services and schools had for example developed in a positive direction.
The document analysis showed that children’s needs were well considered
in accordance with the recommended structure. The children referred
to had been observed or got the right to talk for themselves in relation
to the social workers. The efforts to take children’s own perspectives
into consideration were, however, seldom fulfilled in judgement and
analysis. Another notification was that children’s needs were described
more in terms of problems than in terms of developmental needs.
The concluding estimation is that BBIC, from a general point of
view, is on its way to fulfil the aims. Children’s rights are strengthened,
assessments according to BBIC tend to be more structured and systematic
than before and quality and the legal security are improved. The
purpose of uniformity seems, however, a bit problematic with regard to
the translations which have been done by the local organisations, managers
and individual social workers. The Social Services Act (2001:453) is a
goal oriented enabling act that is based on voluntary efforts and stipulates
general guidelines for the municipalities concerning their social services
obligations. This circumstance together with the local self government
autonomy and the fact that Swedish social workers have a high degree of
discretion are factors which could be of importance for the possibilities
to reach full uniformity.
Social workers need qualified education, training, support and time
for reflection if they going to accept and carry out the fundamental
changes demanded by BBIC.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work
Original languageSwedish
PublisherSocialhögskolan, Lunds universitet
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameMeddelanden från Socialhögskolan
ISSN (Print)0282-6143
NameResearch Reports in Social Work
PublisherSocialhögskolan, Lunds universitet
ISSN (Print)0282-6143

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