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The Sistema Único de Assistência Social [Unified Social Assistance System] - SUAS: reflections on the concept of "psychosocial" in especial protection services


Since the promulgation of the 1988 Constitution, the Social Assistance policy has undergone major changes, culminating, in the following decade, in the implementation of the Sistema Único de Assistência Social [Unified Social Assistance System] - SUAS. SUAS is a non-contributory social protection mechanism, offered by the national, estate and municipal governments. Its actions and services are organized in two levels of social protection: basic and special. Normative documents determine that Special Social Protection (SSP) services should offer "psychosocial" interventions/support/follow-up to the policy users. However, they do not specify what it means, what type of activities it includes, what differentiates it from the other activities held by SUAS' interdisciplinary teams or why it refers mainly to SSP services. Therefore, this research aims to answer the following questions: how do professionals who work in the technical teams or in the management of special social protection services, situated in the city of São Paulo, understand the notion of "psychosocial"? And how is this abstract notion converted into concrete intervention practices? To answer them, a research will be carried out in two stages: first, a bibliographical and documentary research will be done and, in a second stage, semi-structured interviews with professionals who work in SSP services will be conducted. The expectation is that this research elucidates the diversity of ways to understand and implement the so-called "psychosocial" care/support, thereby contributing to critical reflection on what we have done and what we want to do in SUAS, as well as to the construction of new social technologies. (AU)

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