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Social work and child welfare politicsThrough Nordic lenses$
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Hannele Forsberg and Teppo Kroger

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424068

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424068.001.0001

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From welfare to illfare: public concern for Finnish childhood

From welfare to illfare: public concern for Finnish childhood

(p.46) (p.47) four From welfare to illfare: public concern for Finnish childhood
Social work and child welfare politics

Hannele Forsberg

Aino Ritala-Koskinen

Policy Press

This chapter describes the changing cultural ideas regarding the quality of a Finnish childhood. It starts by illustrating with a few brief observations on the public illfare discourse, in particular the ways in which childhood and children’s problems have been debated. It also focuses on the direction of municipal child welfare social work and related knowledge on child welfare clients and their problems. It then explores how the grass-roots knowledge of child welfare social workers resonates with the claims raised in the public illfare discourse. Finally, implications of the observed processes of knowing for social work practices with children and families, and some conclusions, are presented. The illfare discourse in itself is less essential than the question of what other discourses, practices and ways of knowing it is related to; in other words, how the illfare discourse is used in practice.

Keywords:   Finnish childhood, public illfare discourse, children, child welfare, social work

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