Welfare Services: Authorization, Oversight and Monitoring

Eva Hagbjer

The research report Welfare Services: Authorization, Oversight and Monitoring from SNS and IFN presents a survey of those regulatory frameworks that apply for a number of central welfare services in Sweden.

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The Issuance of Authorization, Oversight and Monitoring are important tools for ensuring the quality of welfare services. The regulatory frameworks for different kinds of services have partly developed in different directions. Are the current regulations appropriate? How and why do the rules differ between different services and private and public providers?

The research report Welfare Services: Authorization, Oversight and Monitoring from SNS and IFN presents a survey of those regulatory frameworks that apply for a number of central welfare services in Sweden.

The following services have been studied in the report:

health care: primary care, somatic and psychiatric specialist care, dental care and home health care
elderly care: home-care services and sheltered housing
support and services to disabled people: special services for adults and children, respectively, and personal assistance
homes for care and accommodation for children and young people
education: preschool, comprehensive school and secondary school.

In this report, the researcher EVA HAGBJER describes the regulatory frameworks and the lines of argument that have been presented in Swedish Government Official Reports and by legislators during the actual legislative work. The objective of the report is to facilitate analyses of those regulations that surround the welfare services and make it easier to compare what applies for different services and kinds of suppliers. Hopefully this can contribute to a constructive discussion on the further development of the regulatory frameworks.

– Part of the differences in regulations and practices can be motivated based on the characteristics of services, suppliers and users. But in several cases, there is reason to discuss whether the differences are motivated and whether certain regulations are completely appropriate, according to Eva Hagbjer.

The author is Eva Hagbjer, Graduate Student in Business Administration at the Department of Accounting, Stockholm School of Economics.

The research report was presented at an SNS breakfast seminar on March 25, 2014. The report was, among other things, discussed by EVA LINDSTRÖM, special investigator in the so-called Ägarprövningsutredningen appointed by the government, which is to investigate what demands that might be made on owners and management in the welfare sector:

“This is an excellent report with extremely important questions and, already at this stage, I can say that has already been very useful for Ägarprövningsutredningen. The survey in the report shows that the regulation and monitoring of welfare service have emerged independently within different areas. But also that the government expresses different philosophies for control.”

Lindström also mentioned the discussion that has been taking place in the autumn about criteria for ownership and whether it should be possible to require that owners have a focus on quality rather than profits:

“Within the framework of this discussion, a detailed description is needed of the situation among welfare agents today. But currently, nobody knows how many agents that are active in health care. There is sufficient information about schools but there is nothing that is close to a register for different kinds of care, for example”.

LINUS ELMGREN, Managing Director and Founder, Silverhemmen, EVA HAGBJER, Researcher at Stockholm School of Economics and author of the report, EVA LINDSTRÖM, Special Investigator Ägarprövningsutredningen, ANNMARIE STÅHL, Head of the Unit for Inspection of Quality, Elderly Care Services, Stockholm, MIKAELA VALTERSSON, Chairman, Swedish Association of Independent Schools, and Deputy Managing Director and Communications Officer, Kunskapsskolan, MATS ÖHLIN, Director of Education, Haninge municipality. The meeting was chaired by ILINCA BENSON, Ph.D in Economics and Research Director at SNS.

EVA HAGBJER, eva.hagbjer@hhs.se or +46-73-956 99 16.