Hur bemöts manliga socialbidragstagare med alkoholproblem? : -regler, kunskap och kontext i socialt arbete

Sammanfattning: Several Swedish studies have suggested that within the group of clients contacting social welfare offices for social assistance, approximately one third are having problems with heavy drinking. The overall aim of the dissertation was to study how social workers approach these problems in single, male clients. That is; are the drinking problems of these clients approached and if they are, when and why does this happen? The subject has been investigated in four studies. In study I (n=66) and II (n=103) social workers were to respond, in a written questionnaire, on how they would act on a hypothetical client described in vignettes. The results from these studies suggest that there is no consensus among social workers of how to act towards the clients drinking problem and that social workers personal values seem to influence their choice of action taken. In study III, data was collected from case files on male single clients in nine municipalities. Case files in which alcohol related notes were present (n=297) were investigated. The results indicate that social workers are more active as regards demands on clients to moderate or stop their alcohol consumption if the clients are able to work, than if they are not. Study IV was based on focus-group interviews in eight municipalities. In each municipality, a work group of social workers dealing with social assistance were interviewed on one occasion. The social workers approach to the client’s problems was described as a mobile point within a two-dimensional system. The legislative dimension concerned the clients’ right to be equally treated versus the right to have their application judged individually with every circumstance considered. The other dimension was related to traditional social work with the client’s integrity versus the need for support and control. The results were contextualised mainly from three aspects, the influence from raised demands on a “knowledge-based” practice, the prerequisites consistent of the specific frames for social work and changes in the public discourse constituting the frame of socially acceptable drinking habits.