Maintaining professional integrity: experiences of case workers performing the assessments that determine children’s access to personal assistance
This qualitative study explores Swedish case workers experiences of decision making regarding disabled children's right to obtain assistance in their everyday life whereby they can live independently in the community. Data collection included seven focus-group interviews and 11 complementary individual interviews with case workers from different agencies responsible for decisions regardig access to personal assistance. Grounded theory methodology was used. Compromised professional integrity under shifting conditions emerged as a main concern and maintaing professional integrity was used as an approach to resolve it. The case workers are maintaining professional integrity by applying different strategies; struggling with division of responsibility, bureaucratizig, and justifying and protecting. The results indicate that present application of assessment criteria in combination with the utilization of precedent rulings has made it difficult for the case workers to make decisions that provide children access to assistance. Current practice raises questions about the case workers perspectives of professionalism.