Social Work Management in Finland
This chapter aims to describe the situation in Finnish social work management. It begins by presenting the formal structure of social welfare administration in Finland, together with data on the profile of social workers. The chapter presents a review of the history of Finnish social welfare. Discussion of the role of municipalities in service production led to a large-scale development where state control was reduced, allowing greater autonomy for municipalities, in the provision of basic education, social and health care services. Since the 1980s, Finnish social work administration has primarily been influenced by ideas from Sweden and the UK. British ‘New Public Management’ ideas, such as quality management, the purchaser/provider split and citizens’ charters are all widely discussed and gaining acceptance in Finland. The chapter examines the impact of the management by results approach and that of quality management. The concept of quality management has been introduced with some success in the health care sector in Finland.