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Social Work and the Making of Social Policy$
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Ute Klammer, Simone Leiber, and Sigrid Leitner

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447349150

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447349150.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 13 May 2021

Social workers implementing social assistance in Spain: reshaping poverty in a familialistic welfare state

Social workers implementing social assistance in Spain: reshaping poverty in a familialistic welfare state

Chapter:
(p.169) 11 Social workers implementing social assistance in Spain: reshaping poverty in a familialistic welfare state
Source:
Social Work and the Making of Social Policy
Author(s):

Sergio Sánchez Castiñeira

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447349150.003.0011

This case study analyses some of the processes that are restructuring public social assistance in the inequality regime that emerges from the recent economic recession in Spain. It shows how social workers turn what could be an inefficient public program into an active social policy through a cognitive, normative and emotional approach. A highly qualified and vocational workforce compensates meagre institutional support and lack of opportunities by instilling in the new poor new knowledge, abilities and attitudes to access basic informal resources from the local context. However, social workers’ agency could eventually contribute to confine clients within the material and symbolic limits of an expanding grey zone with scarce opportunities and diminished well-being, between inclusion and exclusion. This research is based on semi-structured interviews (17) and focus groups (8).

Keywords:   poverty, social assistance, social workers, Southern-European welfare, Spain, street-level bureaucracy

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