Can welfare services be changed so that people living in the most vulnerable life situations have a better quality of life? Will the services be more helpful if the professionals can be "led" by the families?
"Least help for those who need the most" sums up one of the largest Norwegian studies on child welfare. Despite a large investment in expertise and different tools in the municipalities, it is still the same population groups that struggle the most. Public services are perceived as divided and confusing. Families who need help from several different departments report that the services are not familiar with each other and that the various professional groups do not cooperate. Children and adolescents further report that they have to adapt to the system and methods, and not the other way around. How can this be changed from "the citizen receives" to co-creating services? Could the answer be that professionals base their work on the families' everyday lives rather than following a predetermined recipe?
There is a need for research-based knowledge about what is perceived as well-being for families with multiple problems, and how the services should contribute to this. This study explores this topic. The purpose is dual. Firstly, to create change for people in vulnerable life situations, and secondly, to create more accurate public services. The study puts the human being at the center, not the system. It will involve the public services that families point to as relevant to their lives, and are thus both interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral.
The project has three steps. In the first part, families define what is a good quality of life for them. In the second part, the employees reflect on the families' descriptions and their own practice. Finally, managers reflect on their own practices when they hear the stories from families and employees.
The doctoral project is a collaboration between Trondheim Municipality and NTNU, Department of Social Work.