“Considering the clients we have, these results are sensational,” says Sture Korpi, director general of SiS, the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care, which operates the home for abusers placed in compulsory rehabilitation and which evaluated the network method.
The women at Fortuna House were sentenced to care under the Act for the Care of Abusers. During the project period, 2000–2002, the women were assigned a contact person with whom they established a relationship of trust. The contact person saw to it that the women also received continued support after they had left the home. This relationship as such proved to be valuable, and it helped the women find the spark to join the network or parts of a network that still existed.
“We want to emphasize the power of the social network that many clients still have, in spite of it all,” says Gunnel Elf, director of Fortuna House.
“By working with our clients professional and private networks we can get a better picture of the client’s life and thereby get a more realistic and reality-based care plan,” says Ell-Marie Wärmdegård, a psychotherapist at Fortuna House, who wrote the report.
Success with 18 of 20
In the course of the project, 18 of the 20 women who took part got out of their abuse. Ten of them managed to be free of drugs the entire time. Eight clients relapsed, but with new care plans they completed the project and shook their habits. Two clients quit the project and resumed their abuse.
“When a woman returns to her abuse or is in the danger zone for relapse, the network mobilizes its resources,” says Ell-Marie Wärmegård.
The notion of a chain of care
The SiS is endeavoring to create a well-functioning chain of care by redoubling its cooperation with both health care and social welfare professionals in Sweden. The government has decided to earmark SEK 300 million over a three-year period to subsidize care for abusers at the municipal level. The local resources that then become available can be deployed for other links in the chain of care. At the same time, municipalities will be in a position to offer high-quality follow-up care, networks, and housing as well as work-place assignments, jobs, or daily activities. The government calls the commitment “A Contract for Life.” In its project, Fortuna House has already put into practice a successful example of the chain of care.
The Swedish National Board of Institutional Care, SiS
SiS is a governmental authority that provides care, investigation, and treatment of young people with severe social problems and of adult substance abusers in Sweden. An important part of SiS’s mission is also to evaluate the outcome of care efforts, develop methods, and initiate research in the field.