Time Matters: Changes in the time horizon in social services for children and their families in Denmark in an era of productivity and competition

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2 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstrakt

This article is concerned with the development of social work in advanced capitalist welfare states, where gaining competitive advantages has become the primary goal of public governance and management expressed in a strong focus on competition and productivity. The aim of the article is to contribute to filling out a gap in knowledge about how this affect social services and social work. More specifically, the article present findings from a qualitative study of social services and social work with vulnerable families in Denmark. The study shows how a focus on productivity and competition expressed in public reforms and incentives to promote short-term services fosters a subtle and almost invisible reorganisation of social services changing the time horizon of social work. Time becomes both expanded and compressed demanding social workers to include more potentialities for facilitating future change in the present, without getting more actual time, and consequently they must think and act differently regarding how they perceive and spend time. Certain forms of knowledge and practices regarding the families’ life world risk becoming ‘a waste of time’ if social workers do not compensate, either by ‘keeping the families a little longer’ or by being ‘a little disobedient’. Thus, time matters!.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Social Work
Vol/bind24
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)430-441
Antal sider12
ISSN1369-1457
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Emneord

  • Time
  • child welfare
  • competition
  • productivity
  • social work

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