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Kalin, T., Ahlgren, T. & Persdotter, B. (2022). Gender disparities in child welfare services' assessments of referrals. Findings from Sweden. International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, 134, Article ID 105918.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender disparities in child welfare services' assessments of referrals. Findings from Sweden
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Child Abuse & Neglect, ISSN 0145-2134, E-ISSN 1873-7757, Vol. 134, article id 105918Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Many children referred to the child welfare services are not screened in for further investigation. Factors related to intake decisions have been found on several levels. Many studies, however, lack information about the children's own experiences of child maltreatment and/or behavioral problems. Objective: To examine case factors relating to decision to investigate referrals to the child welfare services in Sweden. Participants and setting: Data are used from a prospective longitudinal multisource program (LoRDYA) in Sweden studying two cohorts of adolescent children in four municipalities (n = 1884). Methods: By linking annual self-rating data with registry data from the child welfare services, data are analyzed through latent-class analysis and Poisson regression. Results: Most children who are self-rated severely exposed to maltreatment and/or behavioral problems are never investigated by the child welfare services (74.2 %). Referrals concerning girls are more likely to be investigated than referrals concerning boys (crudeAME = 0.09 p = ***). For girls, prior referrals (adjAME = 0.16, p = ***), household poverty (adjAME = 0.09, p = *) and any form of self-rated severe exposure to maltreatment and/or behavioral problems (adjAME = 0.14, p = ***) increased the chance of a decision to investigate. For boys, prior referrals (adjAME = 0.24, p = ***) increased the chance of a decision to investigate, while achieved age (adjAME = −0.03, p = *), and being referred on suspicions of neglect and behavioral problems (adjAME = −0.15, p = **) decreased the chance of a decision to investigate. Conclusions: Child welfare services assess referrals on boys and girls differently, which may explain why boys have in crude numbers a decreased chance of decisions to investigate.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2022
Keywords
Behavioral problems, Child welfare services, Decision-making, Investigation, Maltreatment, Screening
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58692 (URN)10.1016/j.chiabu.2022.105918 (DOI)000878629700016 ()36244208 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85139725372 (Scopus ID)HOA;;839049 (Local ID)HOA;;839049 (Archive number)HOA;;839049 (OAI)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2019-00280, 2019-10-01
Available from: 2022-10-25 Created: 2022-10-25 Last updated: 2022-11-17Bibliographically approved
Kalin, T., Persdotter, B., Ahlgren, T. & Gerdner, A. (2022). How do child welfare referrals in Sweden match children's self-reporting of severe exposure?. Child & Family Social Work, 27(2), 100-111
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How do child welfare referrals in Sweden match children's self-reporting of severe exposure?
2022 (English)In: Child & Family Social Work, ISSN 1356-7500, E-ISSN 1365-2206, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 100-111Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Child welfare services (CWS) rely on referrals from professionals and civilians to address maltreatment and behavioural problems. To our knowledge, no prior study explored to what extent children who self-reported severe exposure to maltreatment or behavioural problems are referred to the CWS. This study is based on two data sets on a Swedish community sample of 1884 children: (i) self-reports in four waves during adolescence, including indicators of severe exposure, and (ii) a retrospective systematic review of all children's CWS records at age 18. According to self-reports, 445 matched one or more indicators of severe exposure. In total, 389 children of the total sample were referred, but only 169 of the self-reported severely exposed. Severely exposed children were more likely to be referred than other children, adjusting for several background factors. Children who did not experience severe exposure but lived in single-parent families, teenage parent families, poor families or immigrant families were more likely to be referred to CWS than other children. The findings are discussed from a children's rights perspective and inequity in relation to social work practice. In conclusion, although the referral rates are high, many children who are severely exposed to child maltreatment and behavioural problems remain undetected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Keywords
behavioural problems, child maltreatment, child welfare services, children's rights, inequity in referral, self-report
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-52496 (URN)10.1111/cfs.12856 (DOI)000652452500001 ()2-s2.0-85106211978 (Scopus ID)HOA;;52496 (Local ID)HOA;;52496 (Archive number)HOA;;52496 (OAI)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2019-00280, 2019-10-01
Available from: 2021-05-21 Created: 2021-05-21 Last updated: 2022-04-08Bibliographically approved
Ahlgren, T., Kalin, T. & Gerdner, A. (2021). Self-rated child maltreatment, behavioural problems, and contacts with welfare and police authorities–longitudinal community data [Barns självrapporterade övergrepp, försummelse och beteendeproblem samt kontakter med anmälningsskyldiga verksamheter – baserat på en longitudinell befolkningsstudie]. European Journal of Social Work, 24(4), 642-656
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-rated child maltreatment, behavioural problems, and contacts with welfare and police authorities–longitudinal community data [Barns självrapporterade övergrepp, försummelse och beteendeproblem samt kontakter med anmälningsskyldiga verksamheter – baserat på en longitudinell befolkningsstudie]
2021 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 24, no 4, p. 642-656Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study examines how children report abuse, neglect and behavioural problems and what authorities they claim to have had contact with that are legally mandated to report to the Child Welfare Services, e.g. health services and police. It draws data from a longitudinal research programme, LoRDIA, in which four data collections followed adolescents’ development from 12 to 15 years (n = 1884). A total of 61 indicators of self-reported child abuse, neglect and behavioural problems were constructed to identify children with severe exposure so that each indicator would have prompted referral. The main finding is that 445 (25.3%) of the study population reported severe exposure of this magnitude. Among these self-reported severely exposed children (SSE), boys reported higher rates of child neglect and of overall behavioural problems, specifically criminal and other socially destructive behaviour. Poverty and living in single-parent households significantly increase the risk of abuse, neglect, and behavioural problems. Increased risk of neglect and criminal behaviour were found for children studying Swedish as second language. The SSE children more than other children report contact with all authorities with mandatory reporting. Odds ratios of contact were higher in the case of behavioural problems compared to the odds ratios for abuse and neglect.

Abstract [sv]

Denna studie undersöker hur barn rapporterar övergrepp, försummelse och beteendeproblem samt vilka verksamheter de uppger att de har haft kontakt med, vilka enligt lag är skyldiga att anmäla sin oro till den sociala barnavården, t.ex. hälso- och sjukvård samt polis. Studien är baserad på ett longitudinellt forskningsprogram, LoRDIA, som genom fyra datainsamlingar följde ungdomars utveckling från 12 till 15 års ålder (n = 1884). Totalt 61 indikatorer för barns självrapporterade övergrepp, försummelse samt utsatthet genom beteendeproblem konstruerades för att identifiera barn med allvarlig utsatthet i den grad att varje indikator skulle ha lett till en orosanmälan. Det huvudsakliga fyndet är att 445 (25,3%) av studiepopulationen rapporterade allvarlig utsatthet i denna grad. Bland dessa barn med självrapporterad allvarlig utsatthet (SSE) rapporterade fler pojkar än flickor försummelse och beteendeproblem, särskilt kriminellt och annat socialt nedbrytande beteende. Att leva i fattigdom och att bo med en ensamstående förälder ökar avsevärt risken för övergrepp, försummelse och beteendeproblem. Ökad risk för försummelse och kriminellt beteende konstaterades också för barn som studerar svenska som andra språk. Dessa allvarligt utsatta barn uppger, mer än andra barn, kontakt med anmälningsskyldiga myndigheter. Mest kontakt har de barn som uppger allvarlig utsatthet genom beteendeproblem jämfört med dem som uppger allvarlig utsatthet genom övergrepp och försummelse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2021
Keywords
behavioural problems, Child maltreatment, detection, self-rated, severely exposed, Bristande omsorg; beteendeproblem; självskattning; allvarligt utsatta; upptäckt
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-52070 (URN)10.1080/13691457.2021.1896996 (DOI)000627626900001 ()2-s2.0-85102521246 (Scopus ID)HOA;;730429 (Local ID)HOA;;730429 (Archive number)HOA;;730429 (OAI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 259-2012-25Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 259-2012-25Vinnova, 259-2012-25Swedish Research Council Formas, 259-2012-25
Available from: 2021-03-22 Created: 2021-03-22 Last updated: 2021-12-13Bibliographically approved
Ahlgren, T. (2014). Institutionalisering på hemmaplan: En idés resa i den sociala barnavården. (Doctoral dissertation). Växjö: Linnaeus University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Institutionalisering på hemmaplan: En idés resa i den sociala barnavården
2014 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis describes and analyses in three substudies how home-based measures for children are expanding and why an open care idea are established as part of the Swedish child welfare. The first substudy describes the national increment of what today can be considered as a treatment policy – non-institutional care in child welfare. The results are analysed with Kingdon's agenda setting theory and shows that the factors of what Kingdon describes as problems-, politics- and policyflow influenced the national increment. Significant mechanisms have primarily been, the profession, the society's concerns for socially disadvantaged children, negative experiences of institutionalisation and a political position to deinstitutionalise all care. The second substudy focuses on how knowledge and research contributes to ideological, professional, and organizational change in child welfare by analysis of Research & Developments reports and articles from the professional journal Socionomen. Based on the neo-institutional concepts of organisational fields and isoformism the study's results shows that a consequence of adaptation strategies and "rationalized myths" are a number of similarities in how home-based measures are organized and which measures that are used. The third substudy, a case study, analyses how we can understand a local development of ideas in social services for children with concepts from neo institutional theory. Interviews and municipal documents are analysed and shows that the local translation of an open care idea is characterized by discretion, personal preferences and action and affects the choice of method and organization. The study also shows a political mistrust of institutional care while there is at the same time political confidence in the individual social worker's ability to find solutions that allow non-institutional measures to be an alternative to institutional care.

An overall conclusion of the thesis is that there is now a treatment policy in social services for the children, which involves extensive efforts at home and it has led to that more children receive support from social services. One result of non-institutional care increment is that it led to increased costs for municipalities for intervention for children and young people when out-of-home care has not decreased. Another general conclusion is that translation and adaptation of ideas to local contexts is something that generally fits street-level bureaucrats need for discretion.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus University Press, 2014. p. 241
Series
Linnaeus University Dissertations ; 187
Keywords
Youth care, child welfare services, home-based care, alternative care, Social work, organizational theory, translated ideas, agenda setting
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25291 (URN)978-91-87925-14-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-09-26, Sal Myrdal, hus K., 15:33 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-05 Created: 2014-12-12 Last updated: 2021-05-21Bibliographically approved
Ahlgren, T. (2007). Ungdomsbehandling: Hemmaplanslösning som idé och praktik. (Licentiate dissertation). Växjö: Institutionen för socialt arbete och vårdvetenskap
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Ungdomsbehandling: Hemmaplanslösning som idé och praktik
2007 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Open-care Treatment of Youth : Home-ground Solutions in Theory and Practice
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is a case study in two parts, which describes how ideas about open-care treatment of youth aged 13-20 years are interpreted and concretized in a local context. The study, i.a., aims at creating deeper knowledge about target group, content of treatment, and reported results concerning a form of treatment in social care which has hitherto been sparsely researched in Sweden. The results of the interview study demonstrate that the driving forces for developing local forms of open care treatments have first and foremost been to offer better care and to improve the professionalism of the social worker. Studies of the social welfare documents of 97 young people reveal that most of these youngsters are in bad need of treatment and that they have experiences of various kinds of treatment before the present efforts. The study also demonstrates that the efforts are rarely evaluated and lack systematic documentation. Finally, the study reveals that more than 60 per cent of the youth get some sort of continuous support by the social welfare system after the open-care treatment has come to an end. The results from both parts of the study are analysed by means of neo- institutional theory. According to this theory the local open-care treatment consists of an indistinct target group, family-oriented methods, and activities that have been legitimised by strong proponents, good timing, professional development, and by representing important political values.

In conclusion, the author argues that open care treatment shows signs of a beginning institutionalisation, a taken-for-granted-ness, which he thinks is risky, as we still do not know if open-care treatment is more favourable to the young people than different kinds of 24-hour care. In addition, the author holds, that the future role of the social worker should include knowledge that decreases unfounded taken-for-granted ideas. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Institutionen för socialt arbete och vårdvetenskap, 2007. p. 147
Series
Rapportserie i socialt arbete, ISSN 1652-8573 ; 008
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-25942 (URN)
Presentation
2007-10-19, Växjö, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-27 Created: 2015-02-26 Last updated: 2021-05-21Bibliographically approved
Nilsson, G. & Ahlgren, T. (2003). Möte mellan fält och forskning: Kunskapsutvecklingens roll inom projektarbete. Jönköping: Luppen Kunskapscentrum
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Möte mellan fält och forskning: Kunskapsutvecklingens roll inom projektarbete
2003 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Luppen Kunskapscentrum, 2003. p. 78
Series
FoU-rapport Individ- och familjeomsorg., ISSN 1651-9175 ; 2003:1
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-4598 (URN)
Available from: 2007-11-19 Created: 2007-11-19 Last updated: 2011-08-18Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-0005-117x

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