Mend the Gap.
 A Paradigm shift of the Roles in Social Work Practice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


The dichotomous roles client/ social worker is often portayed as the client having problems, and the social worker knowing the solutions. Reciprocity is limited in traditional social work practice in Sweden. The organizational framing seldom offer good potentials for common ground, inclusion or co-production.

Since 2005 the traditional roles in social work practice have been challenged in an experimental course at the School of Social Work at Lund University. Within this course social work students study together with students that has been recruited in different service user organizations. They learn from each other and develop project ideas together for a better social work practice. Since the start, sixteen six week courses has been held and approximately six houndred students have taken the course.

In this presentation we want to present some findings on how trust can replace prejudices and how a heterogenous group can generate creativity and mutual empowerment. To change the framing of how social work should be performed and the roles that goes with it, into a model that is more reciprocal and inclusive, is a process that can take time and that depends on several factors. We will also discuss the need for an alternative role for professionals in social work practice.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work


  • gap-mending co-production
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
EventEASSW Social Work Education in Europe: towards 2025, Milan, 29th - 2nd July 2015 - Bicocca Universty, Milan, Italy
Duration: 2015 Jun 292015 Jul 2


ConferenceEASSW Social Work Education in Europe: towards 2025, Milan, 29th - 2nd July 2015