Outsourcing and precariousness of work in the social assistance policy

Mariana Prioli Cordeiro e Leny Sato, professoras do Instituto de Psicologia da Universidade de São Paulo (USP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

estpsi_logoResearchers from Universidade de São Paulo (São Paulo University) recently published at Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas) a paper on the working conditions at Sistema Único de Assistência Social (SUAS, Unified System for Social Assistance). After interviewing psychologists who work at social services, they concluded that the “outsourcing” of SUAS, a usual process in many Brazilian cities – prefectures of many Brazilian municipalities delegate the hiring of professional to private organizations, justifying it by legal and fiscal impediments to realize public tenders. This process contributes to the precariousness of the work conditions in that public policy, affecting both the quality of the service offered and the workers’ health. After all, that process is often characterized by temporary contracts, high turnover rates, late payment of salaries, dismissal of large groups of employees, lack of supervision and lack of continuing education.

Due to this precariousness of work conditions and the necessity of an intense emotional involvement, many psychologists think that working at the social assistance policy is only a possibility of having a first job, like a kind of “bridge” to a better job.

To reach those conclusions, the researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with psychologists hired by private organizations to work at SUAS public services, located in three states of the Southeast region (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais), that offer both basic and special protection services.

Besides discussing the interviews with psychologists, the researchers problematized the most common terms used to talk about those private organizations that offer public services, such as “non-governmental organizations”, “non-profit organizations”, “social organizations” and “outsourcing public-sector organizations”.

This research was supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Fapesp) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq).


CORDEIRO, M. P.  and  SATO, L. Psicologia na política de assistência social: trabalho em um “setor terceirizado”. Estud. psicol. (Campinas) [online]. 2017, vol.34, n.1, pp.41-52, ISSN 1982-0275 [viewed 27 March 2017]. DOI: 10.1590/1982-02752017000100005. Available from: http://ref.scielo.org/92cmbv.

External Link

Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas) – ESTPSI – www.scielo.br/estpsi


How to cite this post [ISO 690/2010]:

Cordeiro, M. P. and Sato, L. Outsourcing and precariousness of work in the social assistance policy [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2017 [viewed ]. Available from: http://humanas.blog.scielo.org/en/2017/04/07/outsourcing-and-precariousness-of-work-in-the-social-assistance-policy/


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