Brief introduction to the EuroADAD case material

The material speaks for itself in terms of its structure, contents, aims etc. But why use it as a case of texts in practice here? What is the relevance?

Psychologists and other academic staff are typically the specialists who work with texts in fields dominated otherwise by semi-professionals who are sometimes said to represent "oral work cultures" such as nurses, pedagogues, social workers etc.  To be more precise and more general, everybody works with the information infrastructures in those practices, but it is typically the academic staff who deal with them from a meta-perspective: as something which can be evaluated, replaced, constructed, developed etc. rather than just used.

When a psychologist supervises social worker staff, it is (mostly) s/he who reflects the concepts and the form of verbal interaction that is staged as a tool; psychologists are responsible for drawing up project outlines; psychologists conduct structured interviews to provide diagnostic and evaluation data; etc. In short, psychologists deal with "concepts" as objects - as artifacts, tools that are produced/constructed to represent, frame, organize etc. practice - that is, speaking in terms of process, with objectifications. And psychologists should be able to reflect such objectifications.

Currently, a wave of documentation, evidence-basing, and standardization is flushing the public sector, and in particular, the field of social work. The rhetoric is often that this is the first time that these practices are finally documented so that we now have a chance to know what we are doing and what it effects. One can speculate what kind of "clearance" that this rhetoric constitutes; what is forgotten when this is remembered, what is rendered invisible when this is highlighted? At any rate, the process, as seen from within, is typically one of cultivating virgin land.

In the field of drug addiction treatment, the DanRIS system has been implemented over the later years in Denmark. Institutions perform structured interviews called the ASI - addiction severity index - and report data to the Danish Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Aarhus. The center ambitioned this to not only serve to monitor the population of "addicts" and its distribution across institutions, but also as a tool for local monitoring and development of treatment practices in each institution. This has not in fact happened.

The EuroADAD has broadened its field of application from young drug addicts to the general youth field. But the scheme seems to be at current one of the candidates for what will be used to standardize information on clients specifically in Danish work with young drigs misusers. This work of attempting to establish a national information infrastructure is going on in these very weeks in the fall of 2004.

In this case, too, the aim is broader than diagnostic monitoring. Thus, at the U-Turn, the idea is to use the EuroADAD Feedback Form to structure the "action plans" that are made in dialogue with clients and which are supposed to form the overall structure of each client's activities (end, means, agents, objects).