New Publication by FACSK – Social Work and the Management of Complexity in Swedish Child Welfare Services

In the recently published study in the Nordic Social Work Research, Ahmet Gümüscu, Lennart Nygren and Evelyn Khoo elucidate how Swedish child welfare social workers manage complexity co-occuring in the families with which they work and the organisational contexts of practice. Focus groups were held with social workers in three municipalities in Sweden who described work processes generally and in response to a fictitious vignette that was constructed as a complex family situation. Findings showed that social workers are challenged in their everyday work where they are aware of the many needs in a family. They focus on immediate conditions for children while recognising that some problems are less amenable to being solved. However they try to manage complexities related to families as well as the structural conditions of work by sorting, prioritising and oscillating between a child focus and a family service orientation.


Gümüscü, Ahmet, Lennart Nygren and Evelyn Khoo (2018) “Social work and the management of complexity in Swedish child welfare services” Nordic Social Work Research, 1-13.

The publication is open access and can be found here.