CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition
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Reference Points

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Part 1: The Reasoning behind Public Policy

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Part 2: Impacts on Institutions and Careers

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Part 3: Effects on the Public

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Research on Social Issues

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For several years, policies to combat poverty and social exclusion have favored the concept of “activation,” which aims to integrate people into the job market. Measures of social and professional assistance, which fall under a form of contractualization articulating rights and duties, have been developed to hold beneficiaries responsible in their process of reinsertion and to help them reach a point where they are no longer in need of assistance. In this way, professional practices of the involved assistance providers, working for various institutions, social workers in particular have become familiar with the changes in the rise of individualized assistance. This issue deals with the development of assistance practices with regard to the objective of job-market insertion. The first part examines the reasoning behind public policies that support this development through looking at new action frames of reference for actors in the social and employment fields. The second part analyzes the impacts of this systemization of assistance on institutions and careers. We can see the effects on agent activity, the meaning of assistance, and, on a broader scale, the changes in social worker practices. Finally, the third part deals with the effects on the people receiving assistance, in terms of the relationship with the assistance agents, as well as in terms of the impact on the professional and social paths.
Created in 1946, this journal is published by the French National Family Allowance Fund (Caisse nationale des allocations familiales) as a tool for reflection for social workers and a place for synthesis and debate for researchers and decision makers. Read more...
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