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Sammanfattning: This thesis is about assessments of young people in secure accommodations. Institutional assessments relate to the paradox in child welfare of combining control and care. The procedure raises questions about their implications for young people, their caseworkers and evolving care trajectories. Although institutional assessments of young people have a historical heritage, research about their implications is lacking. The aim of the thesis is to explore young people’s and their caseworkers’ experiences of assessments in secure accommodations and their implications for young people’s care trajectories. Methods used are primarily repeated interviews with 16 young people during a period of two years and one interview with their caseworkers. Surveys about 85 youths, participatory observations and written assessments are also included. This thesis takes an interactionist approach and the material has been analysed with the main concept of care trajectory along with the concepts of self-presentation, total institution, institutional identity and texts as coordinators.The results are presented in four papers. The concluding analysis shows that assessments in secure accommodations can be divided into three elements: the practice, the text and the placement. These three elements have different implications for the young people and the caseworkers. For the young people the practice and the placement converge into an assessment universe that, with the text, intensifies their shaping of self-identity. The young people’s experiences are characterised by lack of control over their self-presentations, the present and the future. For the caseworkers, the practice has implications for their understanding of the young people’s individual troubles, the text for negotiating with other actors and the placement in their efforts to achieve change in the young people’s troublesome situations. The assessments’ implications for stability and foreseeability in the young people’s further care trajectories are limited. Moreover, the procedure of assessing young people in itself contains instability through involving several professionals in different parts of the assessment and decision-making process. Despite lack of stability, the thesis reveals that some young people experience the assessment as a place for self-development and where the course of the care trajectory changes to the better.
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