Power and control in secure care for young people. Scope, variation and explanations of the use of restrictive measures over time.
Other project members
Maria Andersson Vogel and Tove Pettersson, Stockholm University, Sweden
Linnaeus University and Stockholm University, Sweden
Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte)
1 Jan 2022–31 Dec 2024
Social work, criminology (Department of Social work and Department of Criminology and Police Work, Faculty of Social Sciences)
More about the project
Secure care staff have one of the most complex tasks in social work. Young people in secure care have extensive care needs and have often been deemed out of control and related to this, staff have far-reaching disciplinary powers.
This puts great demands on the workplace and on the staff’s competence. Inspections have repeatedly revealed bad conditions in secure care and, lately, an increased use of restrictive measures, such as isolation.
In the circumstances of complex work tasks, bad conditions and the increasing use of isolation (especially for girls), we want to study the use of restrictive measures with a focus on the most privacy infringing measures. The aim is to analyse the scope and variation over time of restrictive measures at secure care institutions and how this is related to organisation, target group and staff’s work prerequisites, and to form an understanding of how staff balance their task to provide both safety and treatment for young people.
The study contains two separate parts. Part 1 is a quantitative study of the use of selected restrictive measures over time, from the last mapping (2008) to today (2021). The result of part 1 will guide the selection of secure care institutions to part 2.
In part 2 we will by qualitative methods (e.g. interviews and documentation analysis) explore the characteristics of secure care institutions with a high and low use of restrictive measures, variation of use over time and variation in the use of different restrictive measures. We will also explore how the use of restraint and the variation over time can be explained related to the selected institutions' characteristics.
The study will contribute with important knowledge on how to understand and explain the scope and variation of using restrictive measures over time and between different institutions. As such, it will make a valuable contribution for a more systematic work to decrease the use of restrictive measures on young people in vulnerable life situations.
The project is part of the research in the Research on Interventions and Support for Children and Youth (RISCY) research group.