Social work practice in Sweden

There are approximately 27 000 professional social workers in Sweden. A study from 2005 by Dellgran & Höjer shows the following proportions about where the social workers work:

Therapy and family counseling 6,4 %
Education and research 2,3 %
In health care 15,9 %
Care for elderly & disabled people 8,0 %
General social agency 6,5 %
School 7,3 %
Social care with children 23,0 %
Field- and community work 1,5 %
Social work with criminals 2,4 %
Social work with drug addicts 6,9 %
Social work with benefits and unemployment strategies 13,2 %

A majority of the social workers work within the social services. Among those most work within what is usually called care of families and individuals (financial assistance, social work with substance abusers and child care).

Community work practice and structural social work has some roots within the Swedish system, but there are not so many examples of this recently in the state regime. Some new practices have been initiated within projects funded by the European social fund.

Some social workers develop their own private practices, and some social work is being done in the voluntary sector.