Adam Ihse / TT.
Candles outside the home in Mölndal where a 22-year-old worker was stabbed. Photo: Adam Ihse / TT. Credit: Adam Ihse

Staff report tough conditions at youth-homes

"The number of staff hasn't increased to fill the needs of these children"
3:59 min

The fatal stabbing of a 22-year-old worker at a home for unaccompanied minors in Mölndal is putting the working conditions at similar homes under scrutiny. 

Kristina Folkesson, an expert in social affairs at the trade union Vision, confirmed for Radio Sweden that their members working in homes for unaccompanied minors report tougher working conditions. Recently the number of refugee children has skyrocketed, and according to Folkesson, the number of full-time staff and substitutes at the homes has not kept pace.

"There is a lack of staff that are able to meet the need of these young children," said Folkesson. She said that was especially true during night shifts when many minors tended to deal with the effects of trauma. Often only one staff member was available.

Tabloid newspaper GT confirmed that the 22-year-old victim in Mölndal had been working on the night shift by herself.

Folkesson would not comment on the Mölndal case, but when asked about rumored threats and violence, she said that generally their members say they feel safe when they are working at the homes for unaccompanied minors.

"They are good in general. But since there have become so many children at these centers, there has been a lack in the work to prevent threats and violence," she said. "And that used to be a well-organized work, but we know employees haven't been able to work on that in a structural way."

Folkesson confirmed that younger and less-experienced staff were filling the increased demand for personnel, but she did not necessarily see that as a problem.

"These people have a strong interest in working with these children. Actually it's the workplace that should secure that this staff now employed get the introduction that they are entitled to and in need of to do a proper job," said Folkesson.

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