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The Swedish Model: Challenges for social work with elderly and disabled

This course is intended as a general introduction to the emergence and development of the Swedish welfare state with a focus on the welfare states importance for social work.

The course consists of three parts.

In a first part, the historical context and political circumstances that form the basis for the Swedish model is highlighted. This part covers key areas of political economy and welfare policy, concepts of e.g. social rights, welfare state organization/governance and distributional outcomes and changes in conditions in the Swedish model.

A second part will cover the socio-economic situation and living conditions of elderly in Sweden. This is related to social legislation and guidelines regulating care and the development of practices and models in social work with elderly in Sweden. This part further offers an overview of current Swedish research of relevance for social work with elderly people.

A third part highlights various forms of, conditions for and social work with disabled in Swedish society. This part focuses on forms and definitions of disability and the socio-economic situation and living conditions of disabled. Essential legal and social policy regulations will be discussed as well as the organization and content of support and social work models.

  • Course structure

    Course content

    • The historical development of the Swedish welfare state
    • Political theories of the welfare state in a comparative perspective
    • The organization of and current challenges for the Swedish welfare state and social work in Sweden
    • The Swedish model for care services and support for older people and people with disabilities
    • Living conditions and socioeconomic situation of older people and people with disabilities.
    • Core legislation and social policy guidelines concerning older people and people with disabilities
    • Organization and provision of social care and support for older people and people with disabilities in Sweden

    Learning outcomes
    Upon successful completion of the course students shall be able to

    • Describe the historical development of the Swedish welfare state
    • Identify and describe actors and driving forces central for the Swedish welfare state, using political welfare state theories
    • Describe and reflect upon the organization and current challenges for the Swedish welfare state and social work in Sweden
    • Describe and reflect upon the Swedish model for social care and support for older people and people with disabilities
    • Describe and reflect upon living conditions and socioeconomic situation of older people and people with disabilities.
    • Describe and reflect upon central legislation and social policy guidelines concerning older people and people with disabilities
    • Describe and reflect upon the organization and provision of social care services for older people and people with disabilities in Sweden

    Modules

    Module 1: The Swedish model

    Content

    • The historical development of the Swedish welfare state
    • Political theories of the welfare state in a comparative perspective
    • The organization of social policy and social work in Sweden
    • Current changes of and challenges for the Swedish welfare state and social work in Sweden

    Intended learning outcomes

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • Describe the historical development of the Swedish welfare state
    • Identify and describe actors and driving forces central for the Swedish welfare state, using political welfare state theories
    • Describe and reflect upon the organization and current challenges for the Swedish welfare state and social work in Sweden

    Module 2: Aging and society

    Content

    • The Swedish model for social care and support for older people
    • Living conditions and socioeconomic situation of older people
    • Core legislation and social policy guidelines concerning older people
    • Organization and provision of social care and support for older people in Sweden

    Intended learning outcomes

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to:

    • Describe and reflect upon the Swedish model for social care and support to older people
    • Describe and reflect upon living conditions and socioeconomic situation of older people
    • Describe and reflect upon core legislation and social policy guidelines concerning older people and people
    • Describe and reflect upon the organization and provision of social care and support for older people in Sweden

    Module 3: Disability and society

    Content

    • The Swedish model for social care and support for people with disabilities
    • Living conditions and socioeconomic situation of people with disabilities
    • Fundamental legislation and social policy guidelines concerning people with disabilities
    • Organization and provision of social care and support for people with disabilities in Sweden

    Intended learning outcomes
    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • Describe and reflect upon the Swedish model for social care and support to people with disabilities
    • Describe and reflect upon the living conditions and socioeconomic situation of people with disabilities.
    • Describe and reflect upon core legislation and social policy guidelines concerning people with disabilities
    • Describe and reflect upon the organization and provision of social care and support for people with disabilities in Sweden

    Teaching format

    Instruction is in the form of lectures and seminars with active student participation. Certain elements of the course require mandatory attendance and/or written supplementary assignments. Course language is English.

    Limitations

    In a final degree this module may not overlap in terms of knowledge content with any other similar module. 

    In case the student has been examined in a course with similar modules, an adjusted assignment will be given.

    Assessment

    Attendance at seminars and examinations are mandatory. The grades given are according to the following scale:

    A    Excellent    outstanding performance with only minor errors
    B    Very good    above average standard but with some errors
    C    Good    generally sound work but with a number of notable errors
    D    Satisfactory    fair but with significant shortcomings
    E    Sufficient    performance meets the minimum criteria
    Fx   Fail    some more work is required before the credit can be awarded
    F    Fail    much more work is required

    Information on grading criteria and forms of examination will be communicated at the start of the course.

    To pass students must have obtained at least grade E on written assignments and satisfied other demands of the course.

    For information on examination and retake regulations as approved by the Board of the School of Social Work, see the school website.

    Students have the right to request re-examination with another examiner if failed twice. Such requests must be made in writing to the director of studies no later than one year after the course has ended.

    Plagiarism, self-plagiarism and other attempts to mislead at examinations or other assessments of study achievement will result in reporting for suspected cheating, which can lead to disciplinary measures.

    Basis for final grade:
    A summation of the home exam results for each module.

    Consequences of getting a fail grade:
    Getting the Fx or the F grade mean that the student must retake the exam at the next suitable opportunity.

    MODULE 1: The Swedish model, 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual written exam.

    Other course demands: Mandatory, active participation in seminars.

    MODULE 2: Aging and society, 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual written exam.

    Other course demands: Mandatory, active participation in seminars.

    MODULE 3: Disability and society, 5 credits 

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual written exam.

    Other course demands: Mandatory, active participation in seminars.

    Examiner

    Not yet appointed. 

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.
  • Contact

    Torbjörn Bildtgård

    E-mail: torbjorn.bildtgard@socarb.su.se