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Professional discretion and length of work experience: what findings from focus groups with care managers in elder care suggest
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Social Work. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9293-4932
Sociologiska institutionen, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2019 (English)In: Professional Judgement and Decision Making in Social Work: Current Issues / [ed] Brian Taylor and Andrew Whittaker, London: Routledge, 2019, p. 48-62Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research has explored how care managers in elder care – who often function as ‘street-level bureaucrats’ – regard professional discretion. The way in which length of work experience affects care managers’ use of professional discretion remains, however, unexplored. This article present findings from 12 focus groups with 60 care managers. By bringing attention to how care managers experience the needs assessment process, this article sheds light on how these ‘street-level bureaucrats’ struggle when they try to balance their clients’ needs against institutional frameworks and local guidelines. Length of work experience seems to play a role in how care managers claim to use professional discretion. Experienced care managers describe how they deviate from the guidelines at times in order to create an increased scope of action in their decision-making process. Those with less time in the profession describe greater difficulties in this respect. Findings suggest that research should explore if length of work experience plays a role in the actual way in which care managers assess needs and make decisions. As such, they contribute to our understanding of how needs assessment processes are navigated by professionals while also pointing towards the nature of professional discretion in gerontological social work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2019. p. 48-62
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-156649ISBN: 9780367179700 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-156649DiVA, id: diva2:1313342
Available from: 2019-05-03 Created: 2019-05-03 Last updated: 2019-05-15Bibliographically approved

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Olaison, AnnaForssell, Emilia

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • 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