Skip to content

Students who have not changed their password since 7 May cannot log in to the student web. Read about how to change your password.

Main menu hidden.

Image: Ingunn T. Ellingsen

Family complexity and social work. A comparative study of family-based welfare work in different welfare regimes. (FACSK).

Research project In the era of globalisation, family policies and social care services are at the intersection of increasingly diverse family situations and complex welfare state environments. The purpose of this project is to analyse how social workers across different contexts understand notions of family and how they describe their own practices and outcomes with families.

This study uses empirical data from eight countries (Norway, Sweden, England, Ireland, Chile, Mexico, Lithuania and Bulgaria) representing different family policy regimes.

Head of project

Lennart Nygren
Professor emeritus

Project overview

Project period:

2015-01-01 2018-08-31


NORFACE, 2015-2017: SEK 12,000,000

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Social Work, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research area

Social work

Project description


Existing data relevant to family policies from Eurostat, the OECD and other databases will be used. Additional national statistics and documents detailing the organisational structure of services will be collected. Thirty two focus groups (eight countries; four service areas) will be held using semi-structured interviews and case vignettes, engaging researchers from the three university partners of Sweden, Norway and UK, with co-operation partners in the other five countries. The project will add to theoretical analyses of welfare regimes, family policy, professional discretion, and contribute methodologically to cross-national research. End-users from policy-makers to social workers will benefit from new knowledge about different conceptions of the family and how these impact services provided.

The project is part of the NORFACE-funded Welfare State Futures programme, see: https://welfarestatefutures.wordpress.com

Read more about the project at the FACSK project page at Welfare State Futures programme website.


Research publications by project

Journal of Comparative Social Work, Stavanger University Library 2023, Vol. 18, (2) : 236-248
Oltedal, Siv; Nygren, Lennart
Journal of Comparative Social Work, Stavanger University Library 2023, Vol. 18, (2) : 207-235
Nygren, Lennart; Christie, Alastair; Muñoz Guzmán, Carolina; et al.
Journal of Comparative Social Work, Universitetet i Stavanger 2019, Vol. 14, (1) : 115-140
Oltedal, Siv; Nygren, Lennart
Journal of Comparative Social Work, Vol. 14, (1) : 93-114
Ellingsen, Ingunn T.; Studsröd, Ingunn; Muñoz-Guzmán, Carolina
Journal of Comparative Social Work, Vol. 14 : 165-190
Oltedal, Siv; Pena, Angela; Hean, Sarah C.P.D.
Social Policy and Society, Cambridge University Press 2018, Vol. 17, (4) : 665-677
Nygren, Lennart; White, Sue; Ellingsen, Ingunn T.
Latest update: 2019-06-19