CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

At the instigation of the Multi-Annual Poverty and Social Exclusion Programme (Plan pluriannuel contre la pauvreté et pour l’inclusion sociale), organisation of measures against non-take-up is underway. This article draws attention to the fact that these measures may meet with resistance from social workers. A pilot programme implemented at local level by Social Action Community Centres (Centres communaux d’action sociale) showed that this resistance may not only concern the actual conditions of the programme but also – as seen in this example – the rationale behind the proposed measures. Two key questions are raised – the first one being the ineffectiveness of this type of social action. Indeed, measures against non-take-up could be interpreted as yet another escape route for social action, only serving to create even more demands upon social workers – not to mention more objectives to be achieved. The second question concerns a tendency to “customise” policies resulting in an accumulation of criteria and procedures for both professionals and users. This makes it impossible to take the expectations, criticism and right of refusal of individuals into account. This policy issue relating to non-take-up is at odds with how social workers view their profession and their role vis-à-vis their public.

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