Från lokal förankring till regional samverkan? FoU­-miljöer i socialtjänstens individ­ och familjeomsorg


  • Åke Bergmark
  • Tommy Lundström
  • Hugo Stranz



R&D units in Swedish social services: From local integration to regional collaboration

For a period of over thirty years, the emergence of R&D units serving locally based Swedish social services has been considered an important ingredient in the evolvement of more professional and knowledge-based social services. It has also been regarded as a vital component for increasing practice orientation in social work research, both inside and outside the universities.

In this article we describe and analyse the development of these units, with respect to their proliferation, organizational features and how they are valued by representatives of local social services. Our data show that almost every municipality in Sweden is, in one way or another, served by an R&D unit. These units, however, display a considerable variation with respect to basic resources, activity and organizational framework. Data enabled the identification of four basic categories that, more or less, represent different phases in the evolvement of R&D activities.

At one end, representing the early stages, there are units integrated with and exclusively serving single municipalities. At the other end there are R&D units organized within regional associations, serving multiple municipalities and in general established in recent years. In between, there are two categories of R&D units formed in direct collaboration between a limited number of municipalities – one category formally connected to academia, another with less systematic contacts with university-based research. In general, development over time has resulted in a dilution of resources and an increasing distance between practice and R&D activities. Originally, the units were established by the initiatives of the municipalities and expected to respond to research needs emanating from practice. The regional associations have to a considerable extent been initiated and funded by earmarked state grants with the intention to implement evidence-based practice.




Referera så här

Bergmark, Åke, Lundström, T. och Stranz, H. (2016) ”Från lokal förankring till regional samverkan? FoU­-miljöer i socialtjänstens individ­ och familjeomsorg”, Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift, 22(2). doi: 10.3384/SVT.2015.22.2.2348.




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