Projekt som retorik och praktik Om utvecklingsarbete på särskilda ungdomshem
Sammanfattning: The thesis deals with development work within institutional care for young people. The Swedish National Board of Institutional Care (SiS) grants tens of millions of Swedish crowns to development projects to their institutions. Since the mid-1990s major investments have been made in order to develop the institutions? competence in family-work and networking. The aim of this thesis is to study the government's intentions in backing the development work of specially approved youth care. The thesis consists of two empirical studies, partly a document study that gives a historical perspective over the growth of development work in Sweden with an emphasis on institutional care, and partly a case study of how development work has been carried out within five governmental youth institutions. The document study shows that development work within the social field started to gain importance in the mid-1940s. At this time governmental institutions with responsibility for experimental work and research were established. During the 1970s development work started to become more commonplace within youth care and a number of major development projects were initiated. Development work that builds upon central initiatives is still the prevalent form of development work within youth care. The case study of the five youth homes demonstrates the difficulty of anchoring development projects in the personnel. This difficulty has led to many of the projects failing to reach their objectives. As a part of the development work the youth homes have received contributions for educational efforts. Even if these efforts have contributed to knowledge and methodological development the personnel in some cases have had difficulties in assimilating the training. At some of the youth homes several of the projects have not worked according to plan, which has led to the personnel becoming sceptical and mistrustful of the possibilities of the projects. From an organisational theory perspective, development funding is an informative means of control and functions as an administrative way of governing youth care. For the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care there exist reasons of both legitimacy and function in initiating development projects. For the youth homes it is mainly a question of function, namely obtaining more resources for the operation.
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