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Oplæg ved Frank Cloyd Ebsen


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Oplæg til FORSA/NOUSA-konferencen, Institut for Socialt Arbejde, Metropol, nov. 2016

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Oplæg ved Frank Cloyd Ebsen

  1. 1. Collect information Evaluate information Assess the child and parents Know the law Assemble action plan Make agreements with providers – know the cost (and budget) Follow procedures Know what is normally done E l i g i b i l i t y
  2. 2. From the optimizer Referral. Decision on assess- ment Collection of information to assess Decision on eligibility Assembling and agreement of action plan Follow up. Terminate, change or continue Linearity To do - ticketboxes Unambiguity – one is best and cheapest Accurate definition of problem Compare alternatives Choose the best
  3. 3. “Jim. Lives in “The Sungarden” – so there are many socially vulnerable people around. Periodical relief in a foster family. Mum’s just been signed out of a homeless shelter and lives in a one-room apartment. No social network. I’ve tried to get access to the family’s social network, but it dosn’t exist. I’ve talked to school people who say Jim hasn’t been to school for four months. His dad has started in substance abuse treatment. His mental health is deteriorating. I think the best thing would be relief. Jim’s used to take care of himself, and he’s been in contact with his father’s personal advisor.” (Extension from meeting in 2015)
  4. 4. Reduction of complexity A usual way of doing things – routine. Individual ways in the family agency Collective ways in the family agency
  5. 5. Pre-decisions: • Employing social workers • Demands to act to help vulnerable or maltreated children • Procedures of what has to be done • Define what the social worker can decide on her own • Local meeting structure • The social worker function as collector and analyzer of information – and to some degree decisionmaker • …… Collective ways in the family agency
  6. 6. Collective ways in the family agency The degree of specialization in social work – an example of pre- decision • The law separates the rules in sections about referrals, assessment, providing and follow-up on action plans (The arrow model) • The organizations are getting organized according to these tasks as sub-agencies: Some social workers work with referrals, some with assessment and some with providing and follow-up. • Nobody ever gets to know whether this advantage effective compared to a non-specialized organization • The organizations have to spend resources on coordination between each sub-agency. • Children with many challenges risk to repeat their stories to different persons in the sub-agencies not knowing whether they share the information given earlier.
  7. 7. The Organizational way – routines to reduce complexity Routine practices can be understood from another theoretical perspective than linearity and optimizing. A useful concept is the concept of satisficing: • “…the administrator satisfices – looks for a course of action that is satisfactory or “good enough”” (Simon, 1997:119). Collective ways in the family agency
  8. 8. The Organizational way – routines to reduce complexity A routine is common actions which social workers in an agency repeat. Routines function as guidelines for what to do in the day-to-day practice. Collective ways in the family agency
  9. 9. ACT-ACT-ACT Mechanism: Do something as quickly as possible Jim: His mother’s homelessnes and his father’s substance abuse are the important signs Second sentence contains the proposal of treatment: some days in the week to live with a foster family as a relief. • The decision process • Deciding important signs are present • Quickly discuss solutions – and consider local priorities (political-economical) • Document something is done – in the case file
  10. 10. Anchoring effect: “We often judge new situations in relation to some known “related” point (for example, regarding normal child development and ageing)… (Taylor, 2010:70) In Jim’s case the anchors are: Missing parents and relief foster family. The availability or “Take the best” effect: After assessing Jim, the Social worker flips through her mind to find what solutions will be suitable. She takes the first that seems plausible – relief foster family - and stops at that point. (Kahneman, 2011: 135), (Gigerenzer, 2007e.g.:148)
  11. 11. Routines - Organization Meeting process Normal procedures are followed The meeting proceeds without conflict The social worker’s presentation of signs and her proposal are within the limits of what is possible and wanted
  12. 12. Referral. Decision on assess- ment Collection of information to assess Decision on eligibility Assembling and agreement of action plan Follow up. Terminate, change or continue Act – Act - Act
  13. 13. The time – information process (Tea Bengtsson, 2016) Boy living in the streetDecision 1: Foster care at aunt Decision 2: Wait and see Decision 3: Compulsory placement in residental home
  14. 14. • The time information mechanism: new information occurs and changes previous decisions. • Decisions are seldom final but often change because the child’s needs change or something else happens. • Routine actions in the agency: Regular meetings with colleagues and managers to discuss new information. Sharing information. Sharing responsibility to take the pressure off the social worker in a unsecure situation (if the decision was wrong it is the agency’s responsibility.) • The difference between when decisions are taken and what can be seen in hindsight. Munro points to the fact that opinions on actions in the past depend on how you afterwards judge the outcome (Munro, 2008:147). This often leads to expectations that would have been impossible to fulfill at the moment (Taylor, 2010:155).
  15. 15. Referral. Decision on assess- ment Collection of information to assess Decision on eligibility Assembling and agreement of action plan Follow up. Terminate, change or continue
  16. 16. The Negotiation mechanism Social workers meet in groups with colleagues and manager Together they judge whether a child is eligible – is in need of intervention And They discuss what type of interventions should be pursued Social workers negotiate about assessing a child and deciding the type of provision of care. This is the negotiation mechanism.
  17. 17. The Negotiation mechanism The decision relies on positions in the group and communications at the meeting. The negotiating mechanism is characterized by the seeking of consensus. Members of the agency strive to follow agreed and legal rules. Decisions are normally made in harmony as in Jim’ case . (Ebsen et al., 2004; Sørensen, 2002). Munro points out group decisions can lead to conformity and narrowness in scope and understanding of a child or what can be done (Munro, 2008). A potential negative influence emerges if the decision is dominated by the less qualified social workers or by less qualified managers.
  18. 18. Referral. Decision on assess- ment Collection of information to assess Decision on eligibility Assembling and agreement of action plan Follow up. Terminate, change or continue The negotiations mechanism
  19. 19. From the optimizer Accurate definition of problem Compare alternatives Choose the best To the satisficer in routine processes
  20. 20. Child- rens Signs New inform ation Colleagues & managers Look for theRight signs Sorting information in relevant ways Advance good meeting culture Outcome What can be done - Qualifying the complexity reduction
  21. 21. Thank you
  22. 22. • Literature • Bengtsson, T. (2017). Tid som faktor i komplekse børne- og ungesager. • Ebsen, F., Hansen, B. R., & Justesen, D. (2004). Dialog til forandring. Socialministeriet, København. • Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Gut Feelings - short cuts to better decisions making. Penguin, London. • Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking fast and slow. Penguin, London. • Laugesen, L., & Thiele, S. S. (2017). Skalering af bekymringer i komplekse sager. • Lipsky, M. (1980). Street-level bureaucracy-dilemmas of the individual in public services. Journal Article. • Munro, E. (2008). Effective Child Protection (2nd ed.). Sage Publication, London. • Simon, H. A. (1997). Administrative Behavior - decision making processes in administrative organizations. The free press, Glencoe, Illinois. • Svendsen, I. L. (2014). ” DER ER FARESIGNALER -Om ret og heuristik i det almindelige kommunale tilsyn med børn og unge. Metropol og Roskilde Universitet. • Sørensen, T. H. (2002). Forståelse og praksis i børnesager – en kvalitativ undersøgelse af børnesagerne i 1 kommune. • Sørensen, T. H. (2009). Med familien i centrum. Københavns kommune. • Sørensen, T. H. (2013). Når forældre og netværk skaber sikkerhed for barnet. En evaluering af “sikkerhedsplaner” i arbejdet med udsatte børn og familier i Københavns Kommune. • Taylor, B. (2010). Professional Decision Making in Social Work. Learning Matters Ltd.
  23. 23. • The social worker decides who she will talk to, the time spend on talk and what topics the information enlighten. She then decide how to put them together. All the time the social worker judge – decide – what is important and what is not. She decides when she has enough to make the proposal as in Jims case. Many small decisions are added up to the big decision of eligibility or what to do.
  24. 24. Law – authorization to intervene – when and how Economy – Money to intervene – how many - cost Accessible providers – What is acceptable and is it providable Possibilities and limitations – how to make accountable solutions
  25. 25. The individual way – Gigerenzers tre former • Imitate peers • Recognings and sammenkædning • The Gaze to stedfæste Gigerenzer 2007 Måske med