|Publication type:||Working paper - expertise - study|
|Title:||Case load in social welfare and its effect on the replacement rate and case costs: scientific support of a pilot project in the long-term support of the social services of the city of Winterthur (September 1, 2015 - February 28, 2017)|
|Authors:||Eser Davolio, Miryam|
Strohmeier Navarro Smith, Rahel
|DOI:||10.21256 / zhaw-5546|
|Publisher / Ed. Institution:||ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences|
|Publisher / Ed. Institution:||Zurich|
|Subjects:||Drop load; Social care; Welfare costs|
|Subject (DDC):||362: Health and social services|
|Abstract:||In recent years, the number of cases in social counseling in the city of Winterthur has risen steadily from around 90 to 124 (as of January 15) to 143 cases (as of March 17) per full-time position in the social worker case management. The average case load of the Winterthur long-term counseling service of 140 and more cases per social worker can be classified as very high. The higher case numbers are not only due to an increased influx of social assistance, but above all due to lower replacement figures, which means that clients remain on social assistance longer. The question now arises as to whether the low replacement rate and the rising case costs are related to the high case burden of social workers, who have significantly less time for advice, clarification, etc. per case compared to other social services. External influences such as the socio-demographic or economic development in the Winterthur region or changes in the upstream social systems are not examined in the present study.
In order to check what effects a case reduction has on case costs and the replacement rate, three additional full-time positions were approved by the municipal council (budget meeting GGR December 2014) as part of the Balance savings project. The Social Services of the City of Winterthur commissioned the Department of Social Work of the ZHAW with the scientific support of the experiment from September 2015 to February 2017. In May 2015, three previous social workers from the social counseling Winterthur were drawn, who formed the experimental group from September 15 to February 17 . These three social workers had a maximum case load of 75 cases to 100% during the 18-month trial phase, while the remaining social workers initially worked with 124 cases (Sept. 15) to 143 cases (Feb. 17) at 100%. The experimental group gave some of their previous cases at random at the start of the experiment. New cases were also randomly assigned. The present study examined whether the use of more social work resources pays off and whether savings in social welfare costs can be achieved with a lower case load.
The study compares the experimental with the control group in the quantitative evaluation (statistical calculations regarding savings and replacement rate / file analysis / online survey) and in the qualitative part (regular individual and group interviews with the experimental group), how the additional time resources were used. The results of the quantitative analysis show that the clients in the experimental group achieve more personal contributions than the control group (all other clients), in particular through higher incomes in the primary labor market as well as higher support services from third parties (subsidiary services). In order to achieve this result, as the qualitative evaluation showed, the continuous, targeted case work was important: The three social workers used the additional time resources for client contact in order to accompany them more closely. Under the high case load, on the other hand, there was less time per case and in addition there were constant "emergency exercises" in urgent problem situations by clients, which were at the expense of continuous casework, as the interviews with the social workers show.
If one looks at the expenditure and income side of the social assistance costs, it becomes apparent that the social assistance expenses in terms of basic needs, housing costs and health costs hardly allow for savings, but that the income side through timely, intensified casework, both in terms of income from the primary labor market and income through Maintenance contributions, social security contributions and scholarships can be positively influenced.|
|License (according to publishing contract):||License according to the publishing contract|
|Organizational Unit:||Institute of Diversity and Social Integration (IVGT)|
|Published as part of the ZHAW project:||Case burden in social assistance and its effect on the replacement rate|
|Appears in collections:||Publications social work|
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