Negotiating and Justifying Social Services’ Support for Female Victims of Domestic Violence
2016 (English)In: Nordic Social Work Research, ISSN 2156-857X, E-ISSN 2156-8588Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
The social services in Sweden have become key actors in the field of support for female victims of domestic violence. However, knowledge about what kind of support the social services offer is underdeveloped. The aim of this article is to examine social workers’ perceptions of the needs they meet among female victims of domestic violence, what kind of support they offer to meet these needs, and how they use their discretion to negotiate and justify their work. The article builds on a qualitative analysis of interviews with social workers. The analysis shows that the social workers have a great deal of discretion, as a result of framework legislation and a high status among local politicians and managers. However, both specialization and a lack of available services limit their discretion. What an abused woman is offered or is entitled to is negotiated and justified depending on, for example, which services are available, whether the woman is considered to have own resources (not only financial but also emotional and practical), and if the social worker is available. Three main strategies for reducing workload are identified: increasing demands for authority decisions, transferring responsibility to others, and placing requirements on the abused women’s actions and attitudes.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
social services, domestic violence, IPV, discretion, street-level bureaucrats
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128995DOI: 10.1080/2156857X.2016.1203813OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-128995DiVA: diva2:934054