Personligt ombud och förändringsprocesser på det socialpsykiatriska fältet
Sammanfattning: In a new reform in 2001, Swedish authorities emphasized the need for support for persons with psychiatric disabilities living in the community. This reform included the establishment of a new occupation: the Swedish case manager, personligt ombud (PO). In examining this new occupation, the overall aim of this thesis is to analyze how the Swedish case manager, PO, as an evolving occupation, affects and is affected by the organisational and professional field in which it enters. More specifically, the aim is to describe and analyse, using organisational and professional theories, the changing processes that the PO con-tributes to in the welfare system and the practice of social policy, the field of social psychiatry focusing on the discretion for professionals and in the under-standing of the professional role to help as described by clients.Three studies have been carried out. The first study, for the licentiate´s degree, focused on the PO occupational role and functions for the welfare system as well as for mental health service users. In the second study, the results from the first study were analyzed together with the results of another reform, namely, the Swedish care manager reform, in order to investigate their joint implications for social policy and its practice. The third study focused on what meaning the PO has for the clients and particularly what features of the service the clients find to be helpful.In summary, the results indicate that the PO contributes to the development of a negotiated rights model, by taking on the assignment of advocacy as a client representative, and then defining the social worker as a representative for the organisation with the assignment of needs assessment. In the field of social psychiatry, the PO fills a vacancy by supporting the legitimacy of the professionals as well as their organisations. Furthermore, the PO has a function of providing organised transparency through restricting the discretion of other professionals. The discretion of the PO itself has weak boundaries allowing for great liberty of action. Finally, the PO service has led to a new understanding of the professional role, as built on reciprocity with the client, using knowledge evolving from the interaction between the professional PO and the client. These findings suggest that the PO could be understood as a new occupation evolving from weak professional traits to, as suggested, a new model for professionalism, called user-mandated professionalism. This emphasizes the reciprocative foundation of knowledge between the service user and the professional.
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