93.3 Social practices of establishing certainty in child welfare case work: A single-case study

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:15 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Pernille Stornaess SKOTTE , Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway
Reflective and narrative practices in social work have primarily been studied as individual processes. The social aspects of sense-making and processes of establishing certainty have gained little attention.  I argue in this paper that social work, as practiced by frontline child welfare workers, to a large extent is a social practice. The individual social worker executes important tasks throughout a child welfare case. This work and the knowledge on which this work is based, is embedded in and developed through social practices of interaction with other social workers in an on-going process. This paper is based on a study of one child welfare case. It studies the trajectory of this case from initial investigation and 9 months on to a decision. It explores the activities revolving the case from the standpoint of the responsible case workers as these take place in the social context of a local Norwegian child welfare office. I analyze how the complexity of the case is ordered in the network of activities pertaining to the structured and unstructured procedures of case work of Norwegian Child Welfare Services.