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‘A free position in midfield' – a qualitative study of faith-based social work with people who use drugs in Sweden
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6975-6645
Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0653-0849
2024 (English)In: European Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1369-1457, E-ISSN 1468-2664, Vol. 27, no 2, p. 401-412Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many faith-based organisations (FBOs) provide social work services to marginalised groups in need of care such as people who use drugs (PWUD), but little is known about how diaconal or faith-based social work with PWUD is carried out and how staff view their work. The aim of this study was to explore how social work with PWUD within FBOs in Sweden is conducted. This study is based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with 14 employees at a range of churches in Sweden. The empirical material was analysed with qualitative textual analysis. FBO staff channeled a personal calling to offer services through their organisations and found PWUD be in need mainly of emergency support. Staff engaged in boundary work such as differentiating between activities conducted at the church premises or on the streets. Staff accompanied clients to meetings with publicly funded welfare services to the benefit of the clients, and they appreciated their free role compared to social services staff. FBOs mainly act as stabilisers in relation to official public welfare services. The role of prophetic diaconal work aiming at social justice was limited and clients’ emergency needs were in focus, which indicates that FBOs in Sweden mainly complement welfare state services.

Abstract [sv]

‘En fri position på mittfältet' – En kvalitativ studie om diakonalt socialt arbete med personer som använder narkotika i Sverige

Många diakonala organisationer (FBOs) utövar socialt arbete riktat mot marginaliserade grupper såsom personer som använder narkotika, men vi vet lite om hur diakonalt eller trosbaserat social arbete med denna grupp genomförs och hur personal ser på sitt arbete. Syftet med den här studien var att utforska hur socialt arbete med missbruk och beroende inom diakonala organisationer bedrivs. Studien är baserad på semistrukturerade kvalitativa intervjuer med 14 anställda vid olika kyrkor i Sverige. Det empiriska materialet analyserades med hjälp av kvalitativ textanalys. Personalen kanaliserar ett personligt kall genom att erbjuda sociala insatser via organisationerna och de ansåg att personer med missbruk framför allt behöver akuthjälp. Personalen ägnade sig åt gränsdragningsarbete som att skilja mellan aktiviteter genomförda i kyrkan eller på gatunivå. Personal följde med klienter till möten med socialtjänst för att bistå klienterna och de såg fördelar med den mer fria rollen jämfört med socialtjänstpersonalen. Organisationerna agerar framför allt som stabiliserande i relation till offentliga sociala välfärdsinsatser. Profetiskt diakonalt arbete med fokus på social rättvisa var begränsat och klienternas nödhjälpsbehov var i fokus, vilket indikerar att organisationerna mestadels kompletterar det sociala välfärdssystemet i Sverige.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2024. Vol. 27, no 2, p. 401-412
Keywords [en]
Faith-based social work, diaconal work, social work practice, people who use drugs
Keywords [sv]
trosbaserat socialt arbete, diakonalt arbete, socialt arbete med missbruk, personer som använder narkotika
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-61803DOI: 10.1080/13691457.2023.2227774ISI: 001019815700001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85164463167OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-61803DiVA, id: diva2:1786459
Part of project
Urban drug scenes as risk environments - how do the police and social welfare institutions intervene and how are problem drug users affected?, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P18-0892:1Riksbankens JubileumsfondAvailable from: 2023-08-09 Created: 2023-08-09 Last updated: 2024-04-11Bibliographically approved

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Nordgren, JohanRichert, Torkel

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