The browser you are using is not supported by this website. All versions of Internet Explorer are no longer supported, either by us or Microsoft (read more here:

Please use a modern browser to fully experience our website, such as the newest versions of Edge, Chrome, Firefox or Safari etc.

Roberto Scaramuzzino. Photo: Patrik Hekkala

Roberto Scaramuzzino

Associate Professor | Teacher | PhD in Social Work

Roberto Scaramuzzino. Photo: Patrik Hekkala

Italian and Nordic social workers’ assessments of families with children at risk


  • Paolo Guidi
  • Anna Meeuwisse
  • Roberto Scaramuzzino

Summary, in English

The question of how social workers view child welfare problems and what are seen as appropriate interventions has been subject of debate and research the last decades. The aim of the study is to investigate how different child welfare models influence social workers’ assessment of cases involving children at risk. This is done by identifying differences and similarities between Nordic and Italian social workers’ assessments regarding the levels of intervention, their line of reasoning and the types of intervention proposed. A recent comparative study of social workers’ assessment in four Nordic countries reveals a tendency to apply a common model in social work with children and families. The data for this study, collected through a qualitative vignette study involving 18 Italian social workers, are compared with the results of the Nordic study. The analysis displays certain differences between Italian and Nordic social workers’ assessments, in particular with adolescents, but also indicates similar approaches with babies and children. The similarities in the assessment of Nordic and Italian social workers, especially in the line of reasoning, indicate a common professional base of values and knowledge among social workers working with families. The study also shows that child welfare models, as institutional factors, actually influence social workers’ assessment of cases involving children at risk, when it comes to level of intervention and intervention proposed. Such influence seems to be mediated by meso-level organisational factors related to how social work with children at risk is organised.


  • School of Social Work

Publishing year







Nordic Social Work Research





Document type

Journal article


Taylor & Francis


  • Social Work


  • social work assessment
  • child welfare models
  • vignette method
  • Nordic countries
  • Italy




  • ISSN: 2156-857X