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Making Life WorkFreedom and Disability in a Community Group Home$
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Jack Levinson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816650811

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816650811.001.0001

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Endless, Uncertain Work

Endless, Uncertain Work

(p.93) 5 Endless, Uncertain Work
Making Life Work

Jack Levinson

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter examines the dilemmas that counselors face at Driggs House. The climate of regulation and accountability that dominates social services, both private and public, is always at odds with an ideology of care. That is, bureaucratic rationalization and the prevailing focus on client autonomy and individuality are always in tension and must be made compatible in the work itself. Like all street-level bureaucrats, group home counselors have a great deal of autonomy. Much of their work is done individually with residents and out of view of supervisors and colleagues, and requires constant exercise of individual judgement. For counselors, having a great deal of discretion is an indication of the significance of the job, and they often emphasize the human dimensions that make their work serious professional work.

Keywords:   dilemmas, counselors, Driggs House, care, bureaucratic rationalization, autonomy, individuality, residents, supervisors

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