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Marie SallnäsProfessor

Om mig

Jag forskar och undervisar i huvudsak om social barnavård i vid bemärkelse. Speciellt har jag ägnat mig åt frågor som rör placeringar av barn och unga utan för hemmet, vad gäller samhällsvårdens innehåll och utfall, men också barnavårdens historiska framväxt och organisering. För närvarande arbetar jag tillsammans med kollegor bland annat med ett Forte-finansierat projekt Den nya barnavårdsmarknaden - en studie av institutionsvårdens producenter.  

Forskningsprojekt

Publikationer

I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas

  • Privatisation of residential care for children and youth in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden

    2021. Emelie Shanks (et al.). Nordisk välfärdsforskning | Nordic Welfare Research 6 (3), 128-141

    Artikel

    Few studies have investigated the privatisation of residential care for children and youth, and no studies have compared, mapped, and discussed the care markets that have developed in the Nordic countries. Here, we map and discuss the role of providers of residential care for children and youth in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. In addition, we explore the driving forces behind the current situation in these countries. Although these countries have significant level of privatisation, they have several differences in terms of the participation of the public sector and how market shares are divided between, for example, for-profit companies and non-profit organisations. These differences are discussed as a result of the historical positions, for example, of non-profit organisations as well as differences in the way the countries adapted New Public Management and procurement regulations.

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  • A Crisis in Swedish Child Welfare? On Risk, Control and Trust

    2021. Tommy Lundström (et al.). Social Work & Society 19 (1)

    Artikel

    In recent decades, Swedish out-of-home care has been criticised for a number of reasons. In this article, based on research and public debate, we discuss this criticism as well as the institutional responses that have been evoked. We use the concepts of risk, control and trust to structure the analysis, which outlines three core issues portrayed as problematic: a) certain principles of the Swedish child welfare system with relevance for the placement of children and adolescence, b) the quality of out-of-home care and c) the privatisation of out-of-home care and the possibility of generating profits on such services. The institutional response to the criticism has mainly been increased control measures, but the development is not uniform - trust and control-oriented responses are often combined. We conclude the article by relating Swedish out-of-home care to international child welfare trends, discussing the institutional responses and the implications for social work practice.

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  • Impression management in the market for residential care for children and youth in Sweden

    2020. Emelie Shanks (et al.). Social Policy & Administration

    Artikel

    In what has become quite a turbulent quasi‐market for residential care for children and youth, providers now compete for public contracts. To create visibility and attract customers, many providers use marketing activities to project the desired impression of themselves to maintain or strengthen their market position. In this article, we analyse how companies that provide residential care for children manage the impressions they project on their websites and in advertisements. The results reveal that residential care providers use a range of impression management strategies to enhance their organizational image and to respond to potentially damaging or threatening images. The information providers choose to disclose leaves customers—in this case, the social workers responsible for choosing and purchasing care on behalf of clients—with rather limited opportunities to evaluate the quality of care. This is a significant problem considering other, more reliable, sources of information are difficult to access.

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  • HVB för barn och unga - en evig vinstmaskin?

    2019. Tommy Lundström, Marie Sallnäs. Socialpolitik (2), 22-23

    Artikel

    Hvb, hem för vård eller boende, är kanske det fält inom välfärdsområdet där privatiseringarna gått som längst. Avkastningen är mycket hög, 20 procent. En siffra som sticker ut.

    Under rubriken ”Ungdomshem en guldgruva”, kunde Dagens Industri för fem år sedan konstatera: ”Boende för barn och ungdomar är en lönsam nisch för vårdbolag. Miljonvinsterna fortsätter att rulla in även om ett stundande vinstförbud hänger som ett mörkt moln över branschen”. Idag kan vi konstatera att något mörkt moln inte längre hänger som ett hot, vinstbegränsningar har i det stora hela försvunnit från den politiska dagordningen. Men hur är det då med själva vinsterna? Den frågan och hur det gått till när hvb-vård blivit ett fält för privata företag diskuteras i den här artikeln.

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  • Stability and change in the field of residential care for children.

    2018. Tommy Lundström, Marie Sallnäs, Emelie Shanks. Nordic Social Work Research

    Artikel

    The field of residential care for children and youth in Sweden is often termed unstable and turbulent. During recent decades the field has been subject to many changes. In this study, the development and changes in the field of residential care for children and youth in terms of ownership structure and treatment ideas will be analysed. The study is particularly focused on the changes in ownership structure that have taken place during the 2010s. It also analyses changes in treatment ideas, and discusses how these may relate to transformations of ownership structures as well as to dimensions of institutional logics, such as legislation and other types of normative pressure from the environment. The result reveals that of the approximately 450 treatment oriented residential care units (excluding homes for refugee children), close to 80 % are today run by private companies and to a growing extent by large for-profit corporations. Parallel – and possibly related – to the changes in ownership structure, the dominant treatment ideas have changed over time. The changes in the field can be summarised as a transformation from small-scale establishments with a family logic, to large-scale establishments with a professional logic, or more specifically from a domination of small family run units with milieu therapy to big business and a focus on evidence based interventions.

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  • Privatisering inom individ- och familjeomsorgen

    2018. Marie Sallnäs, Stefan Wiklund. Manifest, 59-69

    Kapitel

    Privata aktörer har en framträdande roll inom flera av socialtjänstens verksamhetsområden, något som påverkar förutsättningarna för arbetet. Forskningen har pekat ut flera problem som är förknippade med den typ av marknadsförhållanden som råder på socialtjänstområdet. En försvårande omständighet är att de som direkt berörs av socialtjänstens insatser är en socialt selekterad grupp med svag samhällsposition och med starkt begränsade möjligheter att utöva någon form av konsumentmakt. I kapitlet diskuteras privatiseringens omfattning och konsekvenser, samt i vilken riktning man ska tro att utvecklingen går i framtiden.

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  • Epilog

    2018. Marie Sallnäs, Stefan Wiklund. Socialtjänstmarknaden, 229-235

    Kapitel
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  • Placement breakdowns in long-term foster care – a regional Swedish study

    2017. Bo Vinnerljung, Marie Sallnäs, Marie Berlin. Child & Family Social Work 22, 15-25

    Artikel

    We used a regional sample of children in long-term foster care to investigate the prevalence of placement breakdown in adolescence, and to assess risk factors/risk markers for placement disruption. The sample consisted of all 136 foster children in the region, born 1980–1992, who on their 12th birthday had been in the same foster family for at least 4 years. They were followed in case files until date of disruption or their 18th birthday. Data on conditions before and during placement were retrieved from case files, and analysed in bi- and multivariate models. Results showed that one in four placements broke down in adolescence. The median child who experienced a breakdown was 14 years old, and had been in the same foster home for more than 10 years. Prominent risk factors were (i) being placed after age 2 and (ii) having a birth sibling in the same foster home. We also uncovered strong risk markers that can be viewed as precursors of placement disruption. When the child or the foster parents repeatedly over time expressed dissatisfaction with the placement, this ended with a placement breakdown in 60% of cases. Implications for practice are discussed.

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  • Big Business in a Thin Market

    2016. Gabrielle Meagher (et al.). Social Policy & Administration 50 (7), 805-823

    Artikel

    This article analyzes the transformation of Swedish residential care homes for children from a regionally coordinated, public social service system into a thin, but highly profitable, national spot market in which large corporations have a growing presence. Marketization and privatization are theorized as complex processes, through which the institutional structure and logics of this small, but significant, social policy field changed profoundly. Using official documents, register data, media reports and existing research, three consecutive phases in the development of the children’s home market are identified since the early 1980s. Change was driven on one hand by policies inspired by New Public Management, which shifted public authority horizontally to the private sector, and vertically to local authorities (funding) and to the state (regulation). On the other hand were responses of local authorities and private actors to the changing incentives that policy shifts entailed. During the first two phases, both the proportion and size of for-profit providers increased, and the model of family-like care was replaced by a professional model. Cutting across the trend of privatization in the third phase was establishment of a parallel system of homes for unaccompanied refugee children – mostly in public ownership. Similarities with privatization in the English system of children’s care homes are noted. By showing how the Swedish market for residential care has been created by policy and by actors’ responses to those reforms, the article provides a foundation for thinking through how the predictable, significant and well-documented problems of such care markets might be addressed.

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  • Good idea, bad prerequisite, zero result - the meaning of context in implementing aftercare for young people in secure unit care

    2014. Maria Andersson Vogel, Marie Sallnäs, Tommy Lundström. Journal of Children's Services 9 (3), 248-260

    Artikel

    Purpose– The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to report results from a quasi-experimental study of outcomes of a leaving care project for youth placed in secure unit care and second, based on the (zero) results, to analyse and discuss the interplay between organisational boundaries, social work and the target group when implementing a project such as the one studied.

    Design/methodology/approach– The outcome study had a quasi-experimental design. The young people in the leaving care programme were compared with a matched reference group who did not get the special leaving care services. Data were collected (structured Adolescent Drug Abuse Diagnosis-interviews) when the young people entered secure units and on follow-up (registered crime and re-entry into care).

    Findings– The outcome study showed that the leaving care project had no effect on the young people's situation at follow-up regarding re-offending and re-entry into secure unit care. This is understood and discussed in relation to the poor implementation of the leaving care project along with an inbuilt conflict between state and local municipality that overshadowed the good intentions of the project.

    Research limitations/implications– The effect study has a quasi-experimental design, and hence differences between the project group and the comparison group at T1 cannot be fully precluded, although nothing is pointing in such a direction. The unclear content of the intervention makes it difficult to decode how the variation in the support given to the young people eventually impacted the results. The zero-results apply to group level, but that may not be valid for each and every one in the project.

    Practical implications– According to earlier research, a key person following young persons through different phases of the care trajectory may be of importance. Learning from the CoC project, one can conclude that such a key person should preferably take the role of advocate for the young person, and not be an administrator mainly concerned with coordinating other professionals. Further, when planning and financing is split between organisations, that split hinders efforts to actually mobilise support for young people leaving secure unit care.

    Originality/value– Few leaving care services are designed for youth with severe behavioural problems and hence, the research is scarce. This study contributes with important knowledge about leaving care interventions for the target group.

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  • Paired reading for foster children

    2014. Bo Vinnerljung (et al.). Adoption & Fostering 38 (4), 361-373

    Artikel

    A UK literacy intervention – Paired Reading – was replicated in seven Swedish local authorities, with 81 foster children aged 8–12 participating in a 16-week trial. Ability was measured pre/post intervention with age-standardised literacy tests and a short version of the WISC-IV. Results confirm and expand findings from the UK, namely that: almost all foster carers and children completed the programme (attrition 2.4%), average improvement in reading age was 11 months, basically the same as in the UK; younger children (aged 8–9) improved significantly on all four administered standardised reading tests, and on the WISC-IV Vocabulary subtest. Older children (aged 10–12) improved significantly on three of five literacy tests and on the WISC-IV Vocabulary subtest. On the short version of WISC-IV, vocabulary improvements over time reduced the proportion of children who could be classified as having ‘weak cognitive skills’ (IQ <85) from 54% to 36%. This finding is in line with results from other studies, indicating that scores from cognitive tests of pre-teen children in out-of-home care should not be regarded as fixed and can be improved by effective interventions.

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  • Sibling contact among Swedish children in foster and residential care

    2012. Tommy Lundström, Marie Sallnäs. Children and youth services review 34 (2), 396-402

    Artikel

    This article investigates siblingcontact among Swedish fostered children in foster and residentialcare. The study also examines a potential link between siblingcontact and psychosomatic status. Highly structured interviews were conducted with 240 young people (13–18 years) in out of homecare. Results show unfulfilled desire for siblingcontact among children in Swedishout-of-homecare. Nearly 40% of the children interviewed see their siblings more seldom than monthly and a good half of the children—more girls than boys—want more siblingcontact. The longer the time the children have spent in care, the greater is the risk of being without contact with brothers and sisters; and the more seldom the children see their siblings, the more they crave contact. The Swedishfamilyservicesystem is obviously no guarantee of fostered children keeping their desired contact with brothers and sisters. Thus, an important task for social workers and others involved in the life of separated children is to open opportunities for contact—if the children want it. From achildren's rights perspective, it is fundamental to facilitate siblingcontact among fostered children according to their own wishes.

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  • Welfare resources among children in care

    2012. Marie Sallnäs, Stefan Wiklund, Hélenè Lagerlöf. European Journal of Social Work 15 (4), 467-483

    Artikel

    In a study on living conditions among children, 13-18 years old (n = 272) in on-going foster and residential care, concepts from welfare theory and empirical research are applied. We argue that using a welfare perspective and the concept of level of living when assessing looked after children's situation provides several advantages. From this perspective, children are agents for whom access to resources will influence their discretion and possibility to act. By using concepts from welfare research and replicated national surveys of living conditions on a population of placed children, we can assess the extent to which these children enjoy such a standard while in care. In other words, it is possible to assess the compensatory capacity of state care for a population of children that has been recognized as deprived in terms of welfare resources in their birth families. The overall conclusion concerning the welfare dimensions studied is that children in care in general have less access to resources than their peers in the normal population. This holds particularly true for children in residential care, where the differences are substantial. In other words, the care context tends to differentiate the extent to which society acts to compensate for the initial disadvantaged position from which children in care often originate

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  • A Comparison of Out-of-home Care for Children and Young People in Australia and Sweden

    2011. Karen Healy, Tommy Lundström, Marie Sallnäs. Australian Social Work 64 (4), 416-431

    Artikel

    In this paper we present a comparative analysis of out-of-home care in Australia and Sweden. We compare the age structure of the out-of-home care population and the types of out-of-home care services provided to children and young people in both countries. Our analysis reveals that in Australia the out-of-home care service system is focused mainly on children who are deemed to be abused or neglected within their families, while in Sweden the majority of the out-of-home care population are teenagers who cannot live with their families for emotional or behavioural reasons. These population differences intersect with variations in the forms of service provision in both countries, with a much greater reliance on home-based care in Australia than in Sweden, while there is more extensive use of residential care in Sweden. We envisage that this paper will demonstrate how the age structure of the out-of-home care population, though rarely considered in international comparative child welfare research, reveals much about the assumptions on which State intervention with children and young people is based. We intend that this analysis will assist social workers to better understand and address the gaps in the quality and comprehensiveness of out-of-home care service provision to children and young people in both countries.

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  • The material side of foster care:

    2011. Stefan Wiklund, Marie Sallnäs. Adoption & Fostering 34 (4), 27-38

    Artikel

    Outcome studies in foster care have tended to focus on children's development and long-term adjustment. The economic aspects of placements and their effect on children's immediate welfare have been little explored. Stefan Wiklund and Marie Sallnäs compare the economic circumstances of Swedish foster carers with adults in the wider population and contrast the situation of 125 older children in foster homes, teenagers in the community and a group in residential care. As few differences were found, except for the relative disadvantage of those in residential settings, it is concluded that there is no intrinsic reason why foster care should deprive children economically. Moreover, as the child's welfare while in care is important in its own right, the criteria used to assess the suitability of carers should include measures of available resources.

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  • Samhällsvårdade barn, gate-keeping och forskning

    2010. Marie Sallnäs, Stefan Wiklund, Hélène Lagerlöf. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift 17 (2), 116-133

    Artikel

    Within the discourse of childhood sociology, children are extensively regarded as “social actors”, a perspective that underlines the importance of asking children about their lives and experiences. To actually carry out such research, however, raises several methodological, principal, ethical and practical issues, especially when the research is about vulnerable children as those in out-of-home care. In this article we discuss the issue of gate-keeping when conducting research with children in foster homes or residential care. As a concrete example we use experiences from a survey of living conditions among those children.  The research questions were: 1) How and by whom is gate-keeping carried out when research is conducted among children in out of home care? 2) How could one as a researcher relate to gate-keeping carried out by adults in the environment of the children versus children’s one will? 3) What impact does gate-keeping have on results, feasibility and in a wider perspective the knowledge production regarding children in social care? The article shows that researchers needs to encounter a chain of gate-keepers to be able to get access to the children, and often attrition is high in studies with children as informants. Adults can serve both as gate-keepers and gate-openers. Our conclusion is that children in social care can be reached for research purpose, but that it is time-consuming, challenging and as a researcher one is often faced with ethical dilemmas. It is clear that there has to be a balance between gate-keeping and gate-opening. In this balance, on the one hand, it is possible for children to talk to researchers when they wish to do so, on the other hand, children must be protected so they are not exploited as research objects.

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  • Into adulthood

    2008. Bo Vinnerljung, Marie Sallnäs. Journal of Child and Family Social Work (13), 144-155

    Artikel
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  • Barnavårdens institutioner

    2000. Marie Sallnäs, Thomas Lindstein, Gunvor Andersson.

    Avhandling (Dok)

    The study presents an overview of the historical growth and deve-lopment of residential care for children and youth in Sweden as well as an analysis of the present-day structure and organisation. The empirical material consists of official statistics, government reports and data from a questionnaire addressed to all registered residential homes in the child welfare sector at the end of 1995. The history of residential care for children and youth is marked by a period of establishment and expansion in the first decades of the last century, followed by a process of major de-institutionalisa-tion in the period after the Second World War. A third phase was introduced with the Social Service Act of 1980, which laid down new premises for child welfare. Traditional concepts of children’s homes were replaced in the legislation by the “HVB-home” and the dividing line between institutions and foster homes became blurred. The study shows that contrary to what was intended, a growing part of out-of-home placements during the 1980:s and 1990:s where into residential care. In fact, residential care has taken over “market shares” from foster care in Sweden. Analysis of the range of alternatives shows that residential care today is relatively small-scale and that nearly all of the smaller units are privately run. Approximately half of the homes have teenagers as their target group and most homes work with longer-term pro-grammes of treatment and care. Educational background among staff varies considerably, but in general the level of educational is low. So far, no professional forces have proved strong enough to organise the field on a mutually knowledgeable, normative ground. A problem is the lack of unanimous concepts and a common language with a terminology that can be used for a systematic de-scription of the care or treatment given. What is clear, however, is that a new form of residential care can be identified – so-called hy-brid homes that are somewhere in between extended foster homes and small institutions – and that these homes have gained a con-siderable position in the field.

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  • Klass, kön och etnicitet i den sociala barnavården

    2003. Tommy Lundström, Marie Sallnäs. Socialvetenskaplig tidskrift 10 (2-3), 193-213

    Artikel

    Denna artikel tar utgångspunkt i ett socialpolitiskt perspektiv och analyserar hur barnavårdsproblem över tid kopplats till klass, kön och etnicitet. Hur har dessa faktorer behandlats i officiella texter om barnavård under 1900talet och hur framstår de i offentlig statistik?

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