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The Swedish Model: Challenges for social work with mental un-health, alcohol and drug-abuse

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.

A first part where 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, social rights, relationships and power relations in the labour market, gender aspects of welfare policy, welfare state organization and distributional outcomes and changes in conditions in the Swedish model.

The second part covers current perspectives within social work concerning prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug abuse, the social complexity of the field and critical reflections regarding alcohol and drug problems and hence the challenges for social work.

A third part covers mental illness and mental disabilities in the historical and current welfare context and how this context influences the living conditions of the target group. The central concepts of the field; recovery, normality, illness, social integration and collaboration are permeating the discussions in the course.

  • Course structure

    Contents:

    • Political theories of the welfare state
    • The public sector and welfare policy
    • Current perspectives on the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug misuse
    • The complexities characteristic of substance abuse
    • Critical reflection on problems of alcohol and drug misuse and the measures applied in social work
    • Mental ill health and mental disability in the welfare context and how this context affects target group living conditions
    • Central concepts, such as recovery, normality and social integration.

    Learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the course students shall be able to

    • describe the rise and transformation of the Swedish model in a historical perspective
    • identify central driving forces and actors behind the Swedish model using political theories of the welfare state
    • describe and analyse the place and function of social work in the Swedish welfare model
    • identify and discuss the conditions and possibilities of social work in the area of substance abuse
    • identify and discuss the conditions and possibilities of social work in the field of mental disorders and mental disability
    • critically examine and discuss the central concepts dealt with during the course
    • analyse the complexities characteristic of substance abuse
    • analyse and discuss the possibilities for and hinders to recovery from mental ill health.

    Modules

    Module 1: The Swedish model

    Content:

    • The theoretical grounds and organization of the welfare sector
    • Central aspects of social work and its relation to social policy programs

    Intended learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • identify central driving forces and actors behind the Swedish model and relate these to operating procedures in social work
    • critically reflect on and discuss the historical background of the Swedish model
    • analyse current development trends and their consequences for social work

    Module 2: Social work with substance abuse

    Content:

    • Current perspectives on the prevention and treatment of alcohol and drug misuse
    • The complexities that characterise substance abuse
    • Critical reflection on problems of substance abuse and the measures taken in social work

    Intended learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • describe and discuss current perspectives on the prevention and treatment of substance abuse in social work
    • analyse the complexities that characterise substance abuse
    • critically reflect on problems of substance abuse and the measures taken in social work

    Module 3: Psychiatry as a field of social work

    Content:

    • Mental ill health and mental disability in the welfare context and how this context affects target group living conditions
    • Central concepts, such as recovery, normality and social integration

    Intended learning outcomes:

    Upon successful completion of the module students shall be able to

    • identify and discuss the conditions and possibilities of social work in this area
    • analyse and discuss the factors that can lead to recovery
    • critically examine and analyse the concepts dealt with during the course

    Teaching format

    Instruction is in the form of lectures and seminars with active student participation. Course language is english.

    Limitations

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

    Assessment

    Attendance at seminars and examinations is obligatory.

    Grades are set 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 required before the credit can be awarded
    F: Fail; completely unacceptable performance

    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 home exam

    Other demands of course: Obligatory, active participation in seminars

    MODULE 2: Social work with substance abuse, 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual home exam

    Other demands of course: Obligatory, active participation in seminars

    MODULE 3: Psychiatry as a field of social work, 5 credits

    Examination with graded ratings: Individual home exam

    Other demands of course: Obligatory, 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