The home as a site of state intervention

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In the social field, state representatives have carried out home visits for over one hundred years. To date, we know little about how such home visits are organized, how they are carried out and to which degree they disturb the privacy and integrity of the families and individuals concerned.

  • Project description (completed research project)

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    Social work home visits are state interventions into the privacy of the affected persons and therefore have major implications with regard to fundamental rights. The underlying dilemma of welfare and of coercion persists to date. Our project focuses on the current and former practice of home visits at the intersection of Vormundschaftsbehörden/KESB (guardianship authorities / Swiss Child and Adult Protection Agency) and Fürsorge/Sozialdienste (welfare / social services). Based on case records (personal files), we reconstruct how home visits were/are used in the German-speaking part of Switzerland from 1960 to 1980 and from 2000 to today. In addition to the analysis of the case records, we conducted interviews with the affected persons as well as with professionals and to the degree possible, observed home visits.

  • Results

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    The summary of the results for this project are available here:

  • Original title

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    The home as a site of state intervention. Social work home visits in child and adult protection in the German-speaking part of Switzerland (since 1960)