• Tine Nielsen
4. term, Social Work, Master (Master Programme)
The recoveryoriented perspective has gained influence in Denmark, on how we perceive people with mental illnesses. It has also influenced the way social work in the field of social psychiatry and employment efforts is looked upon.
A significant element within the recovery-perspective is the notion that even people with servere mentall illness can recover, either socially or fully from their illness.

Following this approach recoveryproces is described as an individual process through which people recover from their symptoms of the illness and develop a new meaning and purpose of life.

Recovery however, involves more than just recovering from the illness itself. It is also a question of recovering from stigma gained from treatment in institutional settings, lack of opportunities with regards to selfdetermination, lack of opportunities regarding employment and shattered dreames.
In Denmark the recovery orientation has gained influence on social work in relation to employment activities, especially regarding young people. It has been argued that no young people should receive a social pension on account of their mental illness. Nonetheless studies indicate some challenges in supporting young people within the employment security system.

Based the recovery orientation and the studies mentioned above my purpose with the present project is to study how young people experience social work in relation to the employment security system and what possible challenges they meet. In addition to this I wish to explore how social categories are negotiated in the face to face interaction between consumers and socialworkers in the employment security system. My focus on the consumers experience and the face to face interaction is based on two main principles of the recovery-perspective; that the basis of social work efforts should be based on the experienced needs of the consumers and that we must give up categorizing people on the basis of their diagnose. Furthermore it is my intention to relate the findings in my studies, to a recovery orientated perspective on unemployment efforts.

My studies show that young people experience several challenges with regards to the social work within the unemployment security system. They experience a lack of oppetunitties to influence the kind of support they are receiving. This can cause either a lack of understanding their special needs following their illness, or an absence of satisfying activities. These young individuals have severe problems asside from their mental illness involving drugaddictions and homelessness. This has an impact on their ability to work and it is therefore important to look at the whole perspective of the young peoples lives, if the support regarding employment, should have any effect. Appart from this, economical problems caused by low social security income seemes to cause severe stress and it influences the young peoples recovery and ability to participate in employment activities.
My studies of the face to face interaction shows that even in institutional settings based on a recovery orienteted pratice, there are still asymmetries regarding power in the relation between socialworkers and consumers influencing the social categosrisation of the consumer. This has an impact on the opportunities offered the consumers with regards to influencing the social support they get in the unemployment system
Publication date24 Nov 2011
Number of pages117
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet, Kandidatuddannelsen i Socialt Arbejde
ID: 57669911