Project

Human Rights and Social Work: Challenges of local professionals at the frontline

Goal: My PhD research ‘Human Rights and Social Work: Challenges of local professionals at the frontline’ explores how professionals in social district teams can contribute to human rights realization in the context of decentralization and how well social work education prepares students for a human rights perspective.

Date: 1 January 2020

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Dorien Claessen
added a research item
This research examines the legal capabilities of social care practitioners involved in a new decision-making process, ‘the kitchen table conversation’, used since the introduction of the 2015 Social Support Act in the Netherlands. This law delegates social care allocation to the local authorities, who employ social care practitioners to assess and decide upon the needs of applicants for personalised services. During the kitchen table conversation, social care practitioners, applicants and specialised services providers discuss the needs of applicants. The extent to which social care practitioners possess legal capabilities to deal with this new process is unknown. In a case study (Utrecht), data from kitchen table conversations with applicants suffering from cognitive impairment were gathered using participant observation techniques, semi-structured individual interviews and one group interview with social care practitioners, between October 2016 and May 2017. Content analysis showed the legal knowledge of social care practitioners and their awareness of the legal consequences of the kitchen table conversation. However, social care practitioners rely heavily on their interpersonal skills and on elective communication to avoid conflicts leading to legal procedures or involving their individual liability. More research is needed on the universal accessibility of social care services in the context of decentralisation.
Dorien Claessen
added a project goal
My PhD research ‘Human Rights and Social Work: Challenges of local professionals at the frontline’ explores how professionals in social district teams can contribute to human rights realization in the context of decentralization and how well social work education prepares students for a human rights perspective.