The use of interpreters and legal certainty in municipalities

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Sara Østoft Lindekron Nielsen
  • Maria Ahrland
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
In this paper we examine the challenges social workers experience, as they are tasked with working within the parameters of the Danish Consolidation Act on Legal Protection and Administration in Social Matters outlined in section 4, for the citizens in need of foreign language interpretation – and what legal impact it carries. Section 4 contains the right to participate in and contribute to decision making processes. This is examined through a mixed methods inspired design. Using a critically hermeneutic starting point, the data is generated via a quantitative study involving survey data with a follow up qualitative study consisting of interviews with five individuals. The five informants are employed in a Family department. In this study we mainly involve theories and concepts of the following: Michael Lipsky’s Street Level Bureaucracy, Lasse Porsborg Michelsen’s ethical aspects and ethical behavior. Additionally, included were Christina Busk, Mette Madsen & Benedicte Schulin’s review of various ethical theories and principles. We also involve Bente Aadnesen’s concept regarding “structural discrimination,” and Marianne Skytte’s interpretation of the concept of “interpersonal discrimination.” The analysis is divided into three parts: Structural basis for the work, The Professional Role and Communication. The study reveals that lack of proper legislation regarding the interpretation and the organizational framework lean unfavorable in relation to the citizens’ entitlements outlined under section 4 of Danish Consolidation Act on Legal Protection and Administration in Social Matters i.e., those needing foreign language interpretation. Furthermore, unclear communication and lack of adequate knowledge of how to navigate in the interpreter role, and the user role, result in limitations that hampers the possibility of equal treatment of all citizens. Hence, the legal consequences to the above lead us to conclude citizens in need of foreign language interpretation in its present structure, under section 4 are subject to discrimination. Consequently, their possibilities and right to involvement and influence are challenged.
Publication date3 Jun 2019
Number of pages86
ID: 304942305