Published: 09-05-2018 09:02 | Updated: 09-05-2018 09:15

“Research in personal assistance is a subject I consider important”

Hello, Lill Hultman, doctoral student at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society. In your doctoral thesis you provide a more in-depth understanding of personal assistance from the perspective of both young assistance users and social workers. The new government directive was recently submitted to the LSS investigation, and it mentioned assistance compensation. What do you think this means for young assistance users and social workers?

Lill Hultman“The biggest difference is that the savings requirement for personal assistance has been removed, and that the end date for the investigation has been postponed until December. This is good news and feels like a step in the right direction, at the same time that there is still much to be done to put the LSS legislation back on its original footing. Sweden has approved the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.”

Can you describe some of the results produced by your thesis?

“The results show that young people want the opportunity to do the same things and make the same choices as others of their age. For the young people taking part in this study, access to personal assistance was a prerequisite if this is to be achieved. The thesis also shows that young people would rather have skipped the needs assessment meetings because they find it offensive parading their disability in front of others and describing what they can’t do. Young people feel they have no influence on the structure or content of the meetings, nor on the decisions reached that have a huge impact on their circumstances in life. I have also come to the conclusion that, in the absence of legal norms and case law, social workers turn to themselves and their own values.”

Why did you choose to research this particular subject?

“Research in personal assistance is a subject I consider important because assistance reform gives rise to dialogue on what we consider to be a good society. Being assured of the right to be able to live one’s life the way others do places huge demands on a functioning welfare state.”

What are you going to do now?

“After the public defence of my thesis I want to continue my research from a child and young adult perspective. Children and young people with disabilities are a heterogeneous group, and for that reason it is even more important to give them a voice so they can relate their individual experiences. Moreover, previous research shows that what children and young people think often differs from what adults believe children and young people think.”

Doctoral thesis

“Live life! Young people’s experience of living with personal assistance and social workers' experiences of handling LSS assessments from a child perspective”
Lill Hultman, Karolinska Institutet (2018), ISBN: 978-91-7831-062-3

On 24 May Lill Hultman will publicly defend her doctoral thesis at Stockholms sjukhem in the Magnus Huss Aula.