Concluding remarks : a need for women-specific services
Kuronen, Marjo; Salovaara, Ulla (2021). Concluding remarks : a need for women-specific services. In Kuronen, Marjo; Virokannas, Elina; Salovaara, Ulla (Eds.) Women, Vulnerabilities and Welfare Service Systems, Routledge Advances in Social Work. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 166-170. DOI: 10.4324/9780429276910-16
Published inRoutledge Advances in Social Work
Embargoed until: 2022-04-09Request copy from author
© 2021 selection and editorial matter, Marjo Kuronen, Elina Virokannas and Ulla Salovaara; individual chapters, the contributors
The empirical findings presented in this book convincingly show that despite differences between the service systems and welfare state models in Finland, Canada, Israel, Slovenia, Spain and the UK, the difficulties that women face with the welfare service system and in their encounters with it have striking similarities. Women find it difficult to know how to apply for and receive the services, social support and protection they need to cope in the vulnerable situations they struggle with in their daily lives. They describe service systems as complex, fragmented and complicated, with no clear logic and rules about how to work with them. For these women, the systems look like ‘a jungle with arbitrary rules’, as Virokannas et al. put it in Chapter 3 of this book. Women also said it was merely ‘good luck’ when they encountered an understanding practitioner and received help. More often, they experienced encounters with the welfare system and its practitioners as stigmatising, frustrating and even humiliating. Women who were mothers were afraid of using the services and talking to professionals out of fear of losing their children or not getting them back. Women face expectations, moral judgement and categorisations that do not correspond to their own understanding of the situation and the service needs they require to improve their lives and integrate back into society as ‘normal’ women and citizens. Because of these negative experiences, women avoid and even resist the service system rather than actively search for help, support and social protection, which again might worsen their situation. ...