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Supervision as control system: the design of supervision as a regulatory instrument in the social services sector in Sweden
Dalarna University, School of Health and Social Studies, Social Work.
2013 (English)In: Offentlig Förvaltning. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2000-8058, E-ISSN 2001-3310, Vol. 17, no 3, 45-63 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article, the prevailing official view of supervision as a regulatory instrument is examined as it applies to the social services sector in Sweden. The study is based on a comparison of the views expressed on the design of supervision as a regulatory instrument by two government commissions, the Supervision Commission and the Commission on Supervision within the Social Services (UTIS), and on the positions taken by the Government regarding the definitions of the concept of supervision proposed by these commissions. The view of supervision as a regulatory instrument expressed in these policy documents is analysed with the help of a theoretical framework describing the components, their functions and the governance characteristics of control systems. In the framework separate interrelated characteristics of the components are identified and summarized into two models of control systems. The analysis shows that supervision in the Swedish social services sector can be described in terms of both a disciplinary and non-disciplinary system. By its system theoretical basis and the identification of interrelated characteristics the study contributes to a broadened understanding of the construction and functions of supervision as a regulatory instrument and of how supervision within the Swedish social sector is meant to be designed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Förvaltningshögskolan Göteborgs Universitet , 2013. Vol. 17, no 3, 45-63 p.
Keyword [en]
supervision, regulatory instrument., social services, control systems, oversight
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Hälsa och välfärd, Social tillsyn i retorik och praktik
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-14001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-14001DiVA: diva2:711202
Projects
Tillsyn i retorik och praktik
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2014-04-09 Created: 2014-04-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Tillsyn i teori och praktik: om statlig styrning och kontroll av socialtjänstens individ- och familjeomsorg
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tillsyn i teori och praktik: om statlig styrning och kontroll av socialtjänstens individ- och familjeomsorg
2017 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to deepen the understanding about the function of control in the inspection process and to increase the knowledge about the legitimacy and impact from inspection on different types of social and welfare services. In the thesis the form and legitimacy of the inspection process are studied in two types of social services in Sweden: a less complex service where the task to investigate and make decisions about social care dominates (IAD), and a more complex service where the task to provide treatment interventions dominates (TI). The data consists of policy documents, inspection reports, casefile documentation, and interviews with inspectors, politicians, managers and social workers. The inspection process is discussed in relation to theories about control systems and legitimacy processes. Inspection is a policy instrument whose standards are derived from legislations and where those subject to the inspection are obliged to meet the demands made by the inspectorates. This form of disciplinary control has been questioned given that its complexity makes it hard to regulate the practice of social work through detailed rules. By including a less disciplinary form of control the instrument’s ability to impact on more complex aspects of social services are expected to increase. The results show a difference in how the inspection process is set up in the two types of services. In the IAD services the process takes the form of a disciplinary control system, whereas the process in TI services initially takes the form of a non-disciplinary system. In spite of the differences observed in the initial stages of the process, the results show that the judgments of inspectors in both types of services are almost exclusively based on information about concrete and detailed aspects. This entails that the judgements of inspectors in both types of services mostly take the form of statements on simple observable and concrete conditions, whereas judgments about more complex aspects are rarely made. The study also shows that although the propriety and relevance of the inspectors’ judgements are questioned more in TI organisations inspections seem to have greater validity and impact on TI than on IAD organisations. The results of the thesis point to two explanations. One explanation is that the costs of dealing with the problems underlying the identified deficiencies are lower for TI than IAD organisations. This in turn leads to greater acceptance of carrying out the proposed measures in TI than in IAD organisations. Another possible explanation is that the potential sanctions are greater for TI than IAD organisations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2017. 93 p.
Keyword
Inspection, control, social services, standards, evaluation, judgment, legitimacy, adaption, impact
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Health and Welfare
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:du-25941 (URN)978-91-7529-196-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-06-16, Örebro universitet, Långhuset, Hörsal 2, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-09-01 Created: 2017-09-01 Last updated: 2017-09-01Bibliographically approved

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