Dilemmas and Conflicts of Various Professional Roles within a Human Service Agency
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The purpose of this article is to analyze the workplaceexperience of three groups of professionals at the ChileanNational Service for Minors (Servicio Nacional de Menores,SENAME) through the study of the tensions and dilemmasthey face in carrying out their roles. This public institutionis tasked with protecting and caring for the most vulnerablechildren and adolescents throughout Chile. By systemati-cally studying the subjective experience of its workers, thisarticle opens perspectives to understand organizationaldynamics operating beneath the institutional surface.Among these dynamics, there are identified the isolationand atomization of workplace relationships, the idealizationof own role, the lack of emotional and professional support,and persecutory anxieties. In this context, the articledescribes the main“collective social defenses”that profes-sionals employ to face high levels of anxiety and conflictthat the work done in this institution stirs up.
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