FSD3183 Sociobarometer 2017

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  • SOSTE Finnish Federation for Social Affairs and Health


employment, employment services, health policy, health services, social inequality, social security benefits, social services, social workers, unemployment, well-being (health)


The sociobarometer is a wide-ranging survey charting expert opinion on the welfare of Finnish citizens and on the present state of welfare services. Themes for the 2017 survey included current state and future of the services, inequality, social security benefits, customer fees, the health and social services reform (sote reform), social assistance benefit, and (un)employment. The respondents were managers of municipal health and social service offices, managers of employment offices, and management of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), as well as social workers and Kela employees.

There were separate questionnaires for each organisational sector, with somewhat differing questions for each.

The first questions studied the state of well-being in general. Managers of municipal health and social service offices and managers of employment offices were asked how well necessary services could be secured with the current resources. All respondents were asked about the influence of different factors on well-being in the coming years (e.g. unemployment, access to services, health issues, income disparity). Next, views were examined on inequality as well as the level of basic security. Respondents were enquired the minimum income that allowed decent subsistence for a person living alone in the municipality, and they were asked whether the level of different social security benefits should be increased or decreased. Assessments on the availability of fairly priced rental apartments in the area were also charted. The managers of municipal health and social service offices were asked about customer fees for health and social services and they were presented with attitudinal statements regarding customer fees.

The next theme concerned the regional government, health and social services reform, and questions were mostly presented to managers of municipal health and social service offices. They were asked to evaluate the reform in general as well as how different aspects the reform succeeded and what factors had affected its success. The survey also examined views on how costs of the reform could be kept down in the long run, and what effects the so-called freedom of choice for customers would have on e.g. the availability and quality of services.

The respondents were asked whether they thought it was the right call to transfer the responsibility from municipalities to Kela for granting and paying basic social assistance. Further questions were presented to social workers and respondents from Kela concerning the social assistance benefit. They were asked to evaluate the likeliness of a variety of effects caused by the transfer (e.g. whether the transfer would increase/decrease administrative costs, lower the threshold of applying for social assistance, speed up getting a decision for social assistance, or reduce bureaucracy). The respondents were also asked to what extent they agreed on a set of statements regarding the implementation of the transfer (e.g. whether the respondent's own organisation had informed people sufficiently about changes, whether preparations had been sufficient, and whether employees knew how their work would change). Their experiences during the transition period were also charted.

Finally, managers of municipal health and social service offices, employment offices and Kela offices were asked about employment and unemployment. The respondents were asked to evaluate different factors affecting employment negatively as well as the effectiveness of different political actions in increasing employment (e.g. stimulus policy, enhancing employment services, decreasing the level of unemployment security). Questions for managers of employment offices also covered long-term unemployment, youth unemployment, employment of immigrants, and factors affecting the employment of these groups. Questions were also asked about the effectiveness of cooperation between different unemployed groups and organisations promoting employment.

Background variables included, depending on the respondent group, time spent in current role, educational background, qualification, and major region, service department or insurance district.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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