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Swedish contact persons for youths at risk – reasons and patterns in social documentation

Paper i proceeding
Författare Helena Johansson
Mona Franséhn
Publicerad i European Conference on Social Work Research
Publiceringsår 2012
Publicerad vid Institutionen för socialt arbete
Språk en
Ämneskategorier Samhällsvetenskap, Familjeforskning, Ungdomsforskning


One of the most popular interventions within the social services in Sweden is to support children and teenagers by using a contact person. Using voluntary persons in social work has a long tradition in the country and mostly these voluntary persons are ‘ordinary’ people interested in giving other people support if needed. A contact person can be seen as a way of building bridges between the civil society and the professional social work. This intervention is very popular and about 20 0000 children/young people between 1-18 years are yearly registered for this support (contact person or contact family) and the figures have been quite stable during the last decade. Despite the popularity there is a lack of knowledge and evaluation concerning how it works and which functions and con- tent the social workers try to achieve by using a contact person or a contact family. The presentation is based on an on-going research project with focus on teenagers between 13 and 20 with experience of having a contact person for a year or more. The project with the title Society as teenage parent – about contact persons within the social services is financed by FAS (the Swedish Council for Working life and Social research). The aim of the study is to obtain new knowledge about the way the social services use and create the content and the character of this intervention. The design is based on a Helena Johansson and Mona Franséhn. Swedish contact persons for youths at risk – reasons and patterns in social documentation (Fri- day 13.30 h) 58 ECSWR 2012, Basel model including focus groups (with social workers, contact persons, school representatives), docu- ment studies and case studies. The study is carried out in three different municipalities in the west- ern region of Sweden. In the presentation the document study will be focused. Social documentation concerning 36 young persons (age 8 to 19) have been collected and analysed. We will present and discuss key characteristics of the young persons and their families, what patterns can be identified when it comes to of motives for the intervention and of problem descriptions as well as underlying assumptions of gender class and family.

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