Active social policies revisited by social workers

TitleActive social policies revisited by social workers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTabin, J-P, Perriard, A
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Volume19
Issue3-4
Pagination441-454
Keywordsactive social policies, implémentation des politiques sociales, implementation of social policies, politiques sociales actives, Suisse, Switzerland
Abstract

Social policies are described as active on the basis of formal legal provisions, or on the grounds of expenditure data. Using the notion, set forth by Lipsky, M. [(1980). Street-level bureaucracy: Dilemnas of the individual in public services (2010 ed.). New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation] as well as by several subsequent authors, that social workers who implement policies actually play a role in (re)defining them, the present article intends to explore the way in which active social policies are implemented in a Swiss canton. On the basis of an original study, we show that, on the one hand, social workers tend to view activation as a distant perspective – which means they often do no put it into practice right away. And activation, when social workers do deem it to be necessary, takes on different meanings depending on whether they are dealing with young people or with mothers. As a result, the actual meaning of the word activation varies – a fact that scholars who focused solely on formal/legal activation policies were not in a position to observe.

Refereed DesignationRefereed