”ALLA BARN SKA HA SAMMA FÖRUTSÄTTNINGAR OCH VARA DELAKTIGA” En kvalitativ studie om socialsekreterares uppfattning om barnkonventionen som svensk lag och hur den påverkar deras arbete
“All children should have the same conditions and the right to be involved”
The purpose of our study is to investigate social workers' experiences of the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) into Swedish law and how it affects their work. The study is based on the following two questions; 1) in what way do social workers feel that the implementation of the CRC into Swedish law has influenced their work involving children?, and 2) how do social workers experience their discretion in applying the CRC after the convention became law? This is a qualitative study based on semi-structured, open interviews with six social workers whose tasks involve taking authoritative decisions regarding children. The analysis has two theoretical points of departure, namely; top-down- and bottom-up perspectives, and discretion. The most relevant findings were that social workers had different experiences of how the convention had been implemented at their respective workplaces. The reasons for variation in implementation and the consequences of the lack of implementation could be recognized in four different themes: Guidance by the implementation and application, Discretion by interpretation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Children's participation - an already experienced practice and Implementation and application during the covid-19 pandemic. Through our analysis we connected the themes to different reasons for shortcomings in the conditions of a good implementation of a new law. Further, we analyzed the themes through the theory of top-down- and bottom-up, and discretion. Our second finding was that, despite the lack of change in some workplaces, the change that did take place was mostly social, that is, there was an increased feeling of empowerment to put the child first. The change also took a practical shape in the form of new methods and rules. The conclusion of the second finding was that all the changes should be in benefit for children's participation. Over all our findings suggest that the incorporation of CRC as a Swedish law has affected social workers' practices due to the fact that children’s human rights are taking a more prominent position.