As a last safety net in the social security system in Switzerland, social welfare guarantees the existence of persons who live in modest economic circumstances. Even though the majority of individuals and families can, after a certain period of time, be sustainably discharged from social assistance, almost one third reapply for support at a later time.
What influence social services have on the poverty dynamics in such cases is an open question which this project seeks to answer. To this end, the success factors for sustainable exits from social assistance are examined and the insights gained are implemented in social services activities. The project is developing a process innovation with social services: processes will be optimized, so that procedures for social assistance are effective and efficient. After termination of the project, the new processes will be presented to the general interested public, at a conference in the form of a process design, as a brochure and as a module for further education. The concrete approach of the project consists of selecting, out of the 68 social services in the canton of Bern, three with a distinctly high and three with a distinctly low reapplication rate and analyzing their support processes with regard to the factors of sustainable exits. As a follow-up, the research team will then accompany the six social services applying the results to their processes.
Care organizations need room for maneuver in order to develop their offerings and services. Particularly in a market-like setting, this is necessary so that the organization can continue to exist. At the same time, the service provision is prescribed and regulated by health-care insurance law. Hence an area of conflict develops which has to be systematically resolved. The instrument for quality and efficiency steering in old-age and care provision in the canton of Aargau sets the benchmark for this point: by means of operational criteria, the care organizations describe how quality is assured and developed within their own organization. Annual reports involve for example quality criteria in the areas of steering, services, employees, evaluation and organization. Each care organization receives an individual evaluation with which a comparison can be made longitudinally and with the other care providers within the canton on a yearly basis. In addition, since 2012 an inter-cantonal comparison with the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud and Zurich has been in place.
Social welfare is the final safety net provided by the welfare state to secure the financial existence of people who are unable to do this on their own in situations in which social security or other services cannot remedy the individual emergency. Social welfare is subject to high cost-efficiency requirements. The Social Work division of Bern University of Applied Sciences has been commissioned by the Health and Social Welfare Directorate of the Canton of Bern to develop an instrument that can analyse and optimise the internally controllable, cost-related factors of social welfare services. This purpose of this instrument is to monitor and verify the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the quality and performance of economic social welfare services, to analyse their strengths and weaknesses and to compare indicators to benchmarks. Subsequently, recommendations for actions designed to improve the cost-efficiency of particular social welfare services will be submitted.
Many see quality management as an overly complex and resource-consuming process. This is particularly the case in the healthcare sector, e.g. in general practitioner practices. It is therefore important to gradually and carefully guide the relevant individuals* step-by-step towards the use of quality assurance and to support them thereafter in maintaining a quality assurance system. The aim of the Basic Quality Module (QBM) is to make the aspect of quality visible to GPs. An appropriate instrument was developed for this purpose. It allows general practitioners to test themselves and their practice team, to evaluate processes and to undertake patient surveys. They can systematically document their services online and receive feedback with a benchmark based on results for other participants. The QBM consists of three levels with different degrees of complexity. The QBM is grouped into thematic focal areas and proposes quality indicators for quality assessment and development; it was specifically developed for use by general practitioners (basic service providers). These indicators were developed, validated and customised for the Swiss context by the VEDAG** steering group in cooperation with various domain experts. After a three-month pilot trial, the set of indicators developed was generally tested for feasibility, comprehensibility, relevance and benefits. Since the autumn of 2012, the QBM has been successfully applied in general practitioner practices in German-speaking Switzerland. It is subject to continuous improvement.
* This project is relevant to GPs and medical practice assistants
** Society of Physicians' Associations of German-speaking Switzerland (VEDAG)
Research on social work in schools in the German-speaking region is mainly characterised by evaluation research and therefore usually focused on individual projects. It is thus difficult at present to draw generalisations from the results of this work. In contrast, this project, which is funded by the Swiss National Fund (SNF), is designed to provide an empirical basis for a general overview of social work in schools in German-speaking Switzerland. The central question is how social workers in schools cooperate with teachers and school management and whether different forms of cooperation have an effect on the utilisation of social work structures in schools. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with Bern Teacher Training College.
Due to higher costs and augmented requirements, there is increasing pressure on service welfare providers to improve their professional standards. These days, relatively high demands are placed on social workers with regard to personal suitability, professional experience and specialist knowledge. At the same time, the situation with regard to the availability of personnel in the social work sector has been difficult for years. Staff turnover is high in many places and some social services report problems in finding suitable personnel for vacant posts. Against this background, this purpose of this study is to investigate the personal characteristics and individual work motivation outlooks that determine whether personnel remain with or leave employers in the social service sector. Also of interest in this context is the influence of institutional reforms and organisational framework conditions on personal identification with work, the level of employee work satisfaction and the decision to resign among social services personnel. The results of the study are important as they will provide detailed information on the motivational profile of employees and from this it will be possible to determine the empirical factors influencing social service employer attractiveness for different groups of personnel.