Linkoping R&D Centre
The main objectives of the R & D Centre is to strengthen the link between research and practice in the sector of welfare (e.g. elderly care, care of disabled people, family support, social benefits, access to the labor market) in order to support local/regional development of knowledge, working methods.
The Center was established in 2000 and is a cooperation between nine municipalities and Linköping University in the county of Östergötland. The main tasks is to support workplace-based ”bottom up” projects, to function as a platform for regionally, national and international projects, conduct evaluation and monitoring projects, and to support development of new projects and networking together with member municipalities. The R & D Centre also have strategic partnerships outside Sweden and good contact with the Swedish Central Government Administration.
The chosen target group for Linkoping, Sweden for the LIFE project, is low income multi-challenged families linked to social work organized to a specific areas/districts. The municipality of Linkoping is testing a new form of organization of social work based on teams of social workers adopting a more generalist role and placed in specific areas. The new teams are supposed to work more holistically and also to cooperate with other public, private and alternative organizations, e.g. school, day care, health care, police, religious communities, sports clubs, merchants, charity etc. This way to organize social work differ significantly from the present situation which is rather centralized and specialized.
The R&D Centre in care and social work, Linkoping municipality, consists of 9 municipalities in the region of Östergötland, and is closely linked to Linkoping University and other universities.
At local level the R & D centers 9 partner municipalities e.g Motala, Åtvidaberg, Mjölby are included with their departments of social services and other departments/agencies involved in working with vulnerable families including health authorities, the education department and local employment offices.
R & D Centre will also disseminate to the VET sector who will directly implement the products/program and also to the political boards responsible for the relevant sectors who can use the findings of the project in the design and funding of future provision.
R & D Centre has close work relations with the Regional Development Agency, Region Östergötland.
At the national level the R&D Centre Linkoping for instance has strong links with the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and with the national association of Swedish R&D Centres in regions and municipalities (FoU Välfärd).
The stakeholder forum is currently based on professionals from the R & D center municipalities who has a leading role in the departments of social services but the composition could change over time.