A Refamilialized System? An Analysis of Recent Developments of Personal Assistance in Sweden

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

A Refamilialized System? An Analysis of Recent Developments of Personal Assistance in Sweden


  • Dietmar Rauch Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Elisabeth Olin Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Anna Dunér Department of Social Work, University of Gothenburg, Sweden


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Abstract:  The Swedish system of disability support is often praised for its comparably well-developed Personal Assistance (PA) scheme. PA is formally prescribed as a social right for disabled people with comprehensive support needs in the Act Concerning Support and Services to Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS). In the decade following the introduction of LSS in 1994, the PA-scheme expanded steadily to accommodate the support needs of more and more disabled people. It is commonly believed that the expansion of PA has substantially boosted the agency of both disabled people and their relatives. This article critically discusses in what direction the Swedish system of disability support has moved in the past decade. Is the common image of a system moving towards an ever increasing defamilialization of disability support still accurate? Or are there signs of stagnation, or even reversal towards refamilialization? What are the possible consequences of the more recent developments for disabled people and their relatives in terms of agency and equality? These questions will be discussed with the help of an analysis of the regulatory framework of disability support, statistical data and findings from public reports.

Keywords:  agency; assistance allowance; defamilialization; disability support; equality; familialism; personal assistance; Sweden

Published:   17 May 2018


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/si.v6i2.1358


© Dietmar Rauch, Elisabeth Olin, Anna Dunér. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.