Sweden: social workers say they cannot cope

A rising number of people survive on the most basic state benefit, with the number currently at 400,000.

Despite social services focusing on helping families with children get work, there are simply too many poor families for social workers to cope with, reports Swedish television SVT.

Dalia Eid works at social services in Nyköping says they can only rush to help the most urgent cases, and it feels like shes constantly putting out fires.

There is also a rising proportion of people who are long-term dependent on the minimum benefit.

The head of Nyköping social services,Victor Eriksson Gonzales, says the target is for staff to work with a maximum of 35 cases simultaneously, but currently the number is more like from 50 to 100.

Since reforms in the sick pay system more people previously seen as unfit to work are now claiming other forms of support, with many transferring to the basic state benefit.

Related stories from around the North:

Norway:  The food crisis in the Far North, Barents Observer

Canada:  Poor living conditions plague Nunavut communities, CBC News

Radio Sweden

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