By Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)
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Extra info for Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden
Manageable caseloads (a result of a smaller recipient population and additional national funding for staffing) give caseworkers in the youth section (U27) the opportunity to develop familiarity and rapport with their clients. The program goals are also relatively modest—preparing clients to select and enroll in vocational programs that are readily available to this group due to national funding commitments and training entitlements for most youth. ” However, the limited resources of this purely locally funded program means that client demands far outstrip available placements.
In both countries welfare caseworkers are charged with ensuring clients maintain “a reasonable standard of living,” and program decisions must be based, in principle, on individualized assessments. In their daily work, then, caseworkers must contend with complex issues of benefit adequacy. For example, When should a client be granted a special allowance for a winter coat, a child’s bike, or a washing machine? When does the possibility of improving a client’s employment prospects justify providing additional public funds?
An alternative service model involves a broader programmatic focus on education and social integration, an acknowledgment that for some people a move directly into work is unrealistic, the so-called “human resource development” (HRD) approach (Trickey 2000). Both Bremen and Malmö provide a considerably wider range of program options, including training, education, and job placements, though also in both cases to a smaller percentage of the recipient population. These HRDfocused programs, therefore, have greater capacity to provide services tailored to participants’ particular needs and interests, and caseworkers play a more substantive role in identifying and providing clients appropriate services.
Agents of the Welfare State: How Caseworkers Respond to Need in the United States, Germany, and Sweden by Christopher J. Jewell (auth.)