PHD project Kuusela: Team manager’s responsibility in the voluntary care order decision-making

Team manager’s responsibility in the voluntary care order decision-making

This PhD study explores the Finnish voluntary care order decision-making process, especially the responsibility of the child welfare offices’ team managers. Approximately 80 % of the Finnish care orders are consent-based voluntary care orders authorized by the child welfare team managers. Team managers’ role has not been previously studied at all, even though the voluntary care order decision is the most invasive intervention a team manager can make within the child protection system in Finland.

The study aims to find out how decision-making is organized in different municipalities and organizational contexts, and how the team managers collect, test and evaluate information and knowledge coming from social workers, clients and authorities.

Decision-making in child welfare systems is complex involving many types of knowledge, uncertainty and discretion. In this study decision-making is understood as sense-making of information, facts and emotions. Methodologically the study leans on critical realism.

The nationwide data was collected from the child welfare team managers during 2016–2017 and it is based on a web survey with 77 respondents (response rate 43 %) and on the thematically focused telephone interviews with 29 respondents.

Photo: Jonne Renvall

The PhD study is conducted by

Minna Kuusela

Faculty of Social Sciences (SOC)
University of Tampere