Social work assessments and interventions for children and older adults in Sweden – a comparative study with South Korean and Japan
This study aims to increase knowledge on assessment procedures and the use of manuals in social work for children and older adults, by analyzing differences and similarities in procedures, assessments and proposed interventions of identical cases made by professionals in Sweden, South-Korea and Japan.
Background: Assessing risks and needs and deciding about care services and interventions for children and for older adults are central tasks in social work. With New Public Management as a globally influencing agent while welfare models differ, it is highly relevant to make a unique comparative welfare study on three countries, Sweden, South-Korea and Japan, and not limit such studies to the Anglo-Saxon world. All three countries are grappling with issues of increase in the ratio of older people and decrease of children in the population. This directly affect social work assessment as regards the role of the family, municipality, non-profit or non-government organizations and the market.
Aim: This study aims to increase knowledge on assessment procedures and the use of manuals in social work for children and older adults, by analyzing differences and similarities in procedures, assessments and proposed interventions of identical cases made by professionals in Sweden, South-Korea and Japan. A special focus is on the space of action that assessment professionals perceive. The study will also map what facilitates and hinders quality assurance in needs
assessment from a rights perspective and if the child and the older adult are taking part in the assessment procedure.
Methods: A multi-method design will be applied with quantitative and qualitative techniques, and data will be collected in vignettes, focus groups, interviews and documents. The cross-cultural joint participation research model will be used, emphasizing the close communication in the empirical and analytical work in order to minimize risks of culturalization in cross-cultural studies. Each research group in the three countries fund their part.
Implications for practice: With globalization of social problems it is crucial to share global solutions, by studying similarities and differences in terms of value system, scope for action and how to intervene through assessments to support vulnerable people.