Chapter

From welfare to illfare: public concern for Finnish childhood

Hannele Forsberg and Aino Ritala-Koskinen

in Social work and child welfare politics

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9781847424068
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847424068.003.0004
From welfare to illfare: public concern for Finnish childhood

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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

Chapter.  8809 words. 

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