Social workers in public pillory

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Sisse Kit Jensen
  • Hanne Nissen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
The subject of this study is centred on a rather new phenomenon, where social workers are negatively addressed by their clients, on their personal and professional skills in public medias such as Facebook, private blogs, and Det Sorte Register, etc. The phenomenon is increasing, and a rapport from FTF shows, that 7 % of the social workers in that rapport, is experiencing poor publicity regarding their job. The union representing the social workers – Dansk Socialrådgiverforening, finds the phenomenon especially disturbing, and based on their experience, they assimilates the problem with physical threats, and threats of violence.
The key question of this study is to investigate the consequences of this problem in relations to the practice of social work. More particularly, how the consequences affects the relationship between social workers and clients, and the casework.
The method to study these consequences is a qualitative approach, containing two informational interviews, end four individually interviews. The main criterion of the target group in the individual interviews is, that they all have experienced a bad publicity. The interviews are analysed with a hermeneutic approach, and the consequences are nuanced in a theoretically context. The theorists applied in the analyses are Axel Honneth, Arlie Hochschild, and Erwing Goffman.
The interpretation of the theoretical analyses shows, that there can be consequences, which affects the relationship between the social worker and clients, in various forms. The main concern seems to regard the confidential trust of the social worker, towards the clients and the co-workers. In addition, the empathic approach can be weakened, and a distance between the social worker and clients can appear. Furthermore the study shows, that a poor publicity increases the amount of resources in the casework, not only in cases with clients who have given a poor publicity of the social worker, but also in cases that resembles and haven’t given any publicity for the social worker. Finally the study shows, that there are several and different consequences if the social worker are addressed with poor personal skills, rather than professional skills.
Publication date30 May 2013
Number of pages126
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 76958466