A research on the role of the Support Administrator from a psychological perspective

Rosa Maria Paniccia, Cecilia Sesto, Fiorella Bucci, Luca Ruggiero, Nicola Leone


The institution of the Support Administration in Italy makes part of a wider international movement of judicial innovation aimed at countering the marginalising effects related to the XIX century concept of insanity, and at maximally appraising residual abilities of vulnerable subjects as well as sustaining their autonomy. The research presented in this contribution wanted to explore the experiences that are accompanying the implementation of this new institute, through interviewing Support Administrators in the city of Rome. The collected interviews have been analysed through Emotional Textual Analysis. The law intended to set a bulwark in order to contain the medicalisation of fragility and to support people with a wide range of - also temporary and partial - inabilities in their social needs and life projects. With respect to such purposes, the research data show limited results. The intervention of the support administrators seems circumscribed to cases of highly severe invalidity and to basic administrative acts aimed at survival. The expectations of the assisted person are not considered in the intervention. The mandate towards the new institute existing in the healthcare field seems to find no response. The research findings show a fundamental contradiction: i.e. the institute of Support Administration has complex relational purposes but at the same time, it hampers the development of competence in dealing with relationships. Such contradiction finds its origin in a culture of solidarity that in Italy is in conflict with the employment of professional competences and prescribes instead the voluntary nature of the institute.


safeguard; legal capacity; vulnerable subjects; rights of the person; relational resources.

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Rivista di Psicologia Clinica. Teoria e metodi dell'intervento

Rivista Telematica a Carattere Scientifico Registrazione presso il Tribunale civile di Roma (n.149/2006 del 17/03/2006)

ISSN 1828-9363