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The Sustainability of Public Social Services: A Qualitative Study

Department of Nursing, University of Huelva, 21071 Huelva, Spain
Department of Nursing, Physiotherapy and Medicine, University of Almería, 04120 Almería, Spain
Department of Nursing and Physiotherapy, Universidad de León, SALBIS Research Group, EYCC Research Group, 24071 León, Spain
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3860;
Received: 3 February 2020 / Revised: 4 May 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 9 May 2020
The 2008 global economic crisis heightened social inequality and drastically reduced equal opportunities for many people. It had negative consequences for social regulation in many European countries, which have dismantled their public social policies. The objective of the study was to describe social workers’ perceptions of their lived experiences in different areas of the public social services system. A qualitative study was developed, based on a hermeneutic approach. Six in-depth interviews and two focus groups were conducted with 20 social workers employed by community social services and the Andalusian public health service (Spain). The professionals agreed that the public social services system has been eroded, that the lack of resources has consequences for workers and the general public alike, and that the public authorities and the administration are responsible for this situation. Social services have become distributors of scarce resources rather than a social protection system that empowers and accompanies the most vulnerable. The system must provide the necessary resources and structures so that they can escape the situation of poverty, exclusion and social injustice. View Full-Text
Keywords: social work; social services; public system; professionals social work; social services; public system; professionals
MDPI and ACS Style

Ortega-Galán, Á.M.; Ortiz-Amo, R.; Andina-Díaz, E.; Ruiz-Fernández, M.D. The Sustainability of Public Social Services: A Qualitative Study. Sustainability 2020, 12, 3860.

AMA Style

Ortega-Galán ÁM, Ortiz-Amo R, Andina-Díaz E, Ruiz-Fernández MD. The Sustainability of Public Social Services: A Qualitative Study. Sustainability. 2020; 12(9):3860.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ortega-Galán, Ángela María, Rocío Ortiz-Amo, Elena Andina-Díaz, and María Dolores Ruiz-Fernández. 2020. "The Sustainability of Public Social Services: A Qualitative Study" Sustainability 12, no. 9: 3860.

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