Relationships Matter: The Impact of Working Alliances in Employment Services

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3 Citationer (Scopus)


A central assumption in social policy research and practice is that a strong working alliance between caseworkers and clients produces the best outcomes. There is, however, limited empirical evidence to support this assumption. This is especially the case within Active Labour Market Policies, where existing research focuses on programme effects rather than relationship effects.

In this article, we examine whether strong working alliances produce higher employment and education outcomes for disadvantaged jobseekers. The case is a Danish municipality that invested in reducing the caseloads of caseworkers working with disadvantaged social assistance recipients. The data combine survey data on social assistance recipients with outcome data from national administrative registers. Based on linear regressions, the analysis indicates that strong working alliances are positively related to subsequent employment and education outcomes. We discuss the implications, limitations and generalisability of this finding and the conditions for providing stronger working alliances in employment services.
TidsskriftSocial Policy and Society
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)418-435
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

Publisher Copyright:
© Cambridge University Press 2020.

Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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