Professional commitment among social workers represents their profound belief in the profession's core values and goals. It is related to job performance and work effectiveness, and it serves as a motivating factor for retaining in the profession. In a profession such as social work which deals, among other issues, with socially excluded people, this commitment is especially salient. The present study examined the professional commitment of social workers in the first couple of years in their profession, during which their professional identity is formed and established. The present study included 164 social workers from various demographic backgrounds in Israel. We administered a 4-part self-report questionnaire that included: (a) Professional Commitment Questionnaire (Rusbult & Farrel, 1983); (b) Role Ambiguity Questionnaire (Rizzo, House & Lirtzman, 1970); (c) Adult Attachment Questionnaire (Brennan, Clark & Shaver, 1998); (d) Socio-Demographic Questionnaire. Findings show that professional commitment was strongly correlated to role ambiguity, but not to their attachment style. We also found that there were significant differences in the professional commitment of social workers in different organizational sector (private sector vs. public and NGOs). According to the findings, it seems that in order to increase the level of professional commitment among novice social workers - managers and administrators should define in a clear manner the roles of the social workers, cutting the role ambiguity to minimum. Furthermore, policy makers should reduce the level of red-tape bureaucracy surrounding the roles of novice social workers, since it is possible that novice social workers might feel that the red-tape bureaucracy is preventing them from fulfilling their professional roles. A close supervision might play a central role in improving social worker's professional commitment, and resources should be allocated for it.
Meeting the needs of students from different cultures creatively, professionally, and responsibly is a big challenge facing schools of social work. This longitudinal study deals with the preferences regarding different fields in the social work profession of 186 secular and Haredi social work students in Israel. Findings show that at various times, there were significant differences between Haredi and secular students regarding the management and supervision occupations and community practice. The study findings and their implications on the social work profession and social work training are discussed. The multi-cultural aspects of teaching of professional socialization are also discussed.
While it has been agreed that mediation is a space for dialogue, communication and agreements, Poitras, Bowen and Byrne (2003) pointed out that guiding the intervention of the mediator in order to facilitate the relationship between the parties would be as important as encouraging the parties to consider the advantages of participating in the mediation process. Similarly, in an attempt to focus the intervention of the mediator to the construction of agreements, Poitras and Bowen (2002) emphasized the need for the parties to acquire a commitment to the mediation process, as it is a key element in reaching agreements. Considering the advantages of participating in mediation and acquiring a commitment to the mediation process, factors explaining the success of mediation, would be located in the Therapeutic Alliance. Friedlander, Escudero and Heatherington (2011) proposed a construct comprising four dimensions: engagement in the therapeutic process, emotional connection to the therapist, safety within the therapeutic system and shared sense of purpose among the parties. Once it was established that the engagement in the therapeutic process is a key element for both dialogue, communication, and for reaching agreements, Poitras and Bowen (2002) raised the following questions: • How can commitment to the mediation process be promoted? • Has it ever been carried out a thorough revision on how to start the mediation process in order to generate commitment? In this sense, various authors have pointed out the importance of building a therapeutic alliance in the early stages of mediation, in order to facilitate the relationship between the parties and to enable the possibility of reaching agreements. Saunders (1985); Davis and Gadlin (1988); McKnight, Cummings and Chervany (1998); Poitras and Bowen (2002); Gainey and Klaas (2005) and McKnight and Chervany (2006), clarified that the construction of a Therapeutic Alliance, mainly the dimensions concerning the engagement in the therapeutic process and safety within the therapeutic system, would enable the success of mediation not only in relation to dialogue, communication and construction of agreements, as has been pointed out so far, but it would also help stabilize the relationship between the mediator and the parties. For this reason, it is important that, when initiating the mediation process, the mediators have in mind the relevance of building a therapeutic alliance, in order to economize on resources and better manage the mediation procedure.
Psychosocial intervention with multi-problem poor families implies a series of challenges for the professionals who make up the help macrosystem. The research topic is the relation between multi-problem families and the larger systems. A multi-problem family can be described as one which shows these requirements (Cancrini, 1985): a) two or more members with symptoms of physical, social or psychological difficulties, as mental illness, drug addiction, serious and profound economic difficulty, delinquency, etc.; b) difficulties that remain unchanged across generations; c) difficulties to solve their problems (lack of autonomy); d) prolonged relation with social services and other personal systems. Larger systems can be considered as personal systems that are involved in a relation with a person or a family because of different reasons: social services, judicial services, health services, childhood protection system, and so on. These professionals establish different types of relation with the family: some of them (as it is the case of social workers) may meet and get to know the whole family; in contrast, some may only meet one member of the family (for example, a professional who works on a member’s drug addiction), and maybe they have no need to know about the family members. Therefore, it is not uncommon that a complex situation involves more agencies and professionals than family members. In fact, some authors (eg. Imber-Black, 1998) point out that families in “multi-problem” situations become “multi-agency families”. Each expert approaches the situation from his or her professional angle, and views it through special lenses. However, if we want to be successful, we have to coordinate our efforts, in order to plan interventions adequately to improve the families’ quality life (Sharlin & Shamai, 2000). Therefore, in order to plan successful interventions, we should analyse the professional’s role. The question is, then, how can we know what professionals think about their intervention in those situations? In this research we suggest a questionnaire with items that could be considered as essential in order to establish a cooperative framework with a multi-problem family and the larger systems involved. The sample will be obtained from social workers that develop their work in social services in Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), specifically with these type of families (N=120). According to the general systems theory and the ecological model, the family and all the professionals and agencies that are working together become a macrosystem that should be considered by itself. Related to this, the macrosystem has different parts that interact with each other, continuously receiving feedback and readjusting their actions. Furthermore, larger systems are, for the most part, fragmented, and this discoordination may aggravate the problems they are supposed to solve, becoming “multi-problem services” (Minuchin, Colapinto y Minuchin, 1998). To sum up, in this research we are interested in studying the features that we should consider at the start of the relation between a multi-problem family and some larger systems, paying attention to the role of the social workers, and the way in which they establish a collaborative alliance with the family.
No issues no public was a phrase coined by Noortje Marres to highlight the role that issues play in involving publics in politics. For Marres, public and politics coalesced around issues; without naming the issue, there could be no politics. She was also lamenting the decline in democratic participation, or rather, public spaces for democratic involvement. Here she shared an important caveat for opening dialogue – we must identify the issues that disadvantage vulnerable people – and perhaps the most salient issue for social workers is the austerity of the neoliberal welfare state. This paper begins with a critique of neoliberal welfare, before outlining why Nancy Fraser’s theory of social justice best fits social workers’ political agenda. It ends by looking at the service-user movement as a site for direct social work engagement to undermine the neoliberal reprivatisation discourse and promote just action.
Two main purposes of the presentation are to introduce the appliance of supporting youth voice in decision making as a method of work with youth at risk elaborated within two international educational projects “Future Youth Schools Forum” and “ICT Guides”. Both projects are based on the participatory approach understood as a practical way to democratization of social relations in school and out of school environment and as a chance to build students' capacities to act consciously towards a more democratic and equal society. The presentation contains of research findings focusing on social participation of youth at risk, conducted in seven European countries (Cyprus, England, Italy, Lithuania, Spain, Germany, Sweden), collected along with surveys and focus groups interviews. There will be critically reconstructed adults teachers perspective on youth at risk as the term have a strong intuitive meaning and, when used, refers to indicators such as socio-economic background, migration or minority background, learning disabilities and special educational needs, school failure. Another aim is to reconstruct the youth perspective on participation. When referring to the responses of young people, it has to be pointed out that young people generally show a limited understanding of the need to participate in local/global actions. At the same time they express some interest and wish to take part in them, but in most cases this results from external motivation, which means that they recognize their value because they allow them to achieve some personal benefits, e.g. a good note at school. They described their involvement in developing skills in a similar way: in terms of improving their position in school and in general in their future life, and this was the only part connected in any way with work The research shows that there is a tendency to asymmetric relation between youth and adults in school environment when practicing participation what results in different understanding of the term “participation” between them two groups. The differences are visible in particular in perception of their roles and responsibilities but also in the way they reflected on their position in schools and their point of view about school as an institution. Conclusions are focusing onto challenges, barriers and recommendations for social work, oriented onto the participatory methods of work with youth at risk.
Cooperation and networking are crucial for social work. More and more interorganizational and interprofessional collaborations are required. Quite often they are promulgated as a panacea or sure-fire success. But such unilateral constructions are part of the myth of cooperation. Interorganizational and interprofessional collaborations can be both – a space for dialog and understanding just as an area of tension, conflicts, barriers, power structures et cetera. Promising perceptions provide the »governance perspective« (Lange/Schimank 2004) and the theoretical reflections of »social work as border-work« (Kessl/Maurer 2012; Bütow 2012). Thus, interorganizational and interprofessional collaborations can be defined as a combination of different mechanisms of coordination of action such as cooperation/networks, hierarchy, community or competition. Therefore, it can be comprehended as a process of drawing boundaries as well as border crossing. For empirical studies accordingly the ambivalence of practices of differentiation on the one hand and modes of bridging them on the other hand comes into view. In the presentation these considerations will be exemplified and discussed within the research project »Processes of understanding between partners in interorganizational collaborations«. The methodical approach is based on the episodic interview of Uwe Flick (1996). The sample includes 15 pedagogical professionals of youth welfare services and kindergartens for each group, who already gained experiences in collaborations in child protection work. In my paper, I will first summarize some of the theoretical framework of the used definition of collaboration in the project. Furthermore, I will show prevailing differences between youth welfare services and kindergartens, which can be located on several levels (individual, organisation, profession). Finally, I will give first insights in reconstructed practices of differentiation and processes of understanding between professionals to overcome differences and difficulties.
The transformation of the political and social system in 1989, after the dissolution of the Soviet block, led to fundamental changes in the structure of social welfare provision based on the decentralization of the state and the revival of local governance. The seminal public administration reforms of 1990 and 1999 were crucial in the formation of the new social welfare institutions. The 1990 legislation concerning social welfare and local government resulted in the establishment of welfare institutions with decentralized organizational structures. Communal (local decentralized social welfare agencies) became partners of central and regional state institutions. The second major reform of public administration in 1999 introduced the full-scale decentralization of state welfare, the enhanced autonomy of local communities, the development of self-governance among service users, the privileging of the family as the subject of social policy, and the reconstruction of civic society in order to develop the principle of subsidiarity. Two new tiers of the local –government were introduced and the parameters of the social welfare system expanded by adding care and the welfare of children and young people to the range of activities. The latest, and still in use, Social Welfare Act of 2004 enacted in 2004 was aimed at building a welfare state through the introduction of community representatives, non – governmental organizations (NGO) and volunteers into the sphere of public social welfare organizations, through stimulating labour market activation for the long term unemployed, and finally, by implementing “contracts” setting out the conditions under which financial aid might be delivered. This was intended to encourage inactive beneficiaries to participate in the process of aiding local communities through voluntary work. The paper will attempt to judge the effectiveness of these reforms. The fundamental question remains whether the policy changes meet social needs, in particular, have they met growing demand for care services from growing number of the elderly in Poland. Research studies prove that community care for the elderly is still not an alternative for institutional forms of services in many local and regional authorities. There are many reasons for such a situation one of them being lack of integration of social work with health care. The paper provides a critical view on the shifts towards deinstitutionalization taking place in local welfare governance in Poland. The main conclusion is that there are problems with access to services in community and welfare governance in this area seems to be now at risk. My findings show that it is difficult to speak about service universalism in care provision and social services and health services integration. Social workers do not cooperate with health care workers, the elderly are not listened to and informal carers are excluded group from participation in creating local welfare for the elderly.
Forced and early marriage (FEM) is defined as a union which lacks the free consent of at least one concerned party (cf. UN A/HRC/26/22: 4). It undermines the free choice of a spouse and therefore directly attacks democratic and humanistic core values that were agreed upon in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights from 1948 (cf. Article 16, Resolution 217A (III)). Mostly constructed as a subcultural issue of the immigrated Muslim ‘other’, blaming ‘cultural differences’ for the practice (cf. Sabbe et al. 2014: 172), FEM can be viewed as a consequence of globalisation and the increased mobility of people. However, when considering the vast variety of ethnical and religious backgrounds of victims of FEM (cf. Alanen 2015: 228), other sociodemographic factors, such as age and gender, as well as a closer scrutinisation of the understanding of the term ‘forced marriages’ through time challenge the predominant explanation of FEM as a consequence of migration and globalisation. Forced and early marriages thus pose a challenge to social workers, who are working for and with the survivors to enhance preventive measures and intervention strategies for this complex issue. EU Fem Roadmap, a research project co-financed by the “Rights, Equality & Citizenship” Program of the EU, simultaneously conducts research on FEM in five EU member states (AT, DE, FR, PT, UK). The research project aims at designing a roadmap for frontline professionals to provide a multi-sectoral response. First results from the internationally conducted expert and survivor interviews of the project shall be discussed with regard to different theoretical approaches to FEM as well as the existing challenges and solutions of frontline professionals.
Social work in China has developed at an unprecedented pace under the support and guidance of the government. By the end of 2015, more than 4600 professional social service originations have been established and professional social workers have exceeded half a million throughout the nation. The majority of social service organizations employing social workers are located in in urban, and rather well-developed areas. Although the central government has strong aspirations to develop social work in rural China, social workers scarcely have a presence there and formal social services, such as education and healthcare, remain underdeveloped. However, China’s rapid economic development has widened the urban-rural development gap. Poverty and underdevelopment are major social challenges in rural China, with 55.75 of 600 million people living in poverty. The economically active population has gravitated to the large cities that offer better employment opportunities, leaving women, children, and the elderly behind. In this paper presentation, I argue that, for social work to make a meaningful contribution to addressing the social challenges in rural China, it needs to situate its interventions within a broader framework of social development and engage communities in articulating their needs and devising local solutions to local problems. I outline the relevance of developmental social work as an approach that stresses the importance of a multidisciplinary approach; working with naturally occurring networks; and shaping culturally appropriate strategies with the participation of local people. I discuss initial insights from a study on three grassroots organisations and two retail stores in Puhan, an area of two towns in rural China. These grassroots organisations are working to improve the wellbeing of rural communities through a range of environmental, social, and economic interventions in 43 villages. Community workers in Puhan provide nine different services to local households including: daily care for the elderly, education for children, traditional handicraft manufacture, commodity purchase, agricultural material purchase, agricultural products sale, the provision of micro loans, soil improvement, and agricultural technology training. By studying how these interventions are provided, the aims of my research are to theorise a culturally appropriate model for social work intervention in rural China and to figure out how bottom-up organisations in rural China might be formed to ensure responsiveness to local needs at a community level. Key words: social work in China, poverty and underdevelopment, developmental social work, rural development
Title: SOCIAL WORK, SOCIAL PROFESSIONS AND GENDER – History and actuality in Portugal Interuniversity PhD Programme of Social Work - Portuguese Catholic University & University of Coimbra. PhD student: Teresa Alves Advisor: Professor Doctor Francisco Branco (Catholic University of Portugal). The research project has as core problematic the study of social professions from a gender perspective. It is based on the relevance of the understanding of the social professions, and of the social work as a feminized profession, considering that the gender dimension has been a less explored approach in the study of social professions and social work in Portugal. The research aims explore the theoretical hypothesis that there are professions, namely in the social field, which have historically been constructed as "women's work", as is the case of the professions grouped in the Anglo-Saxon designation of caring professions (Hugman, 1991; Cancian & Oliker, 2000; Bessin, 2005; Letablier, 2007). In analytical terms, it is intended to explore several clues that appear to be particularly heuristic. On the one hand, to analyze the evolution of the professional 'social work' in its relationship with the State, and on the other, to explore the clue that socio-occupational identities are embedded attributes associated with the feminine gender, in an approach regarding the relation between sexual differentialism social professions and models of professionalism, including how gender stereotypes reproduce in the social work, which have implications for status, professional profile, attributes, and power as a profession marked by sexual differentiation, in their genealogy , history and actuality. The general objective of research is to uncover the gender dimensions of the social worker profession, in order to understand how the identities of the social workers are built in the implied intersection of identity dispositions and strategies - identity for themselves, and the statutory dimensions of the relationship with the State - attributed identity, elaborated empirically combining and historical approach based on secondary sources and archives and narrative interviews with women and men social nowadays. Despite its focus in the social itinerary, the project also intents a comparative approach both to other social professions in Portugal and to social work historical trajectory in other relevant contexts.
The transformation that began in 1989 in Poland led to many changes that in turn influenced the functioning of an individual, family and community life. Numerous reforms have gradually changed the shape of child and family welfare system as well as the method of providing care for children from multiproblem families. The main aim of the presentation is to present the role of family assistantship as an innovative solution in work with children and families, who are experiencing daily difficulties. However, a question arises whether, despite a new approach to work with families, the assistantship does bring the expected results or do rather numerous barriers caused by historical background hinder it? It seems that family assistantship definitely provides an opportunity to better support families in their functioning but also faces many barriers that hinder the practical implementation of the concept. The presentation is based on an analysis of Polish publications of the family assistantship as well as reports on the family assisting.
This symposium combines three approaches to (de)radicalisation: a literature study, a policy discourse analysis and an impact study on youth welfare work. 1: Deconstructing ‘radicalisation’ In the aftermath of the attacks on the Twin Towers, the concept of ‘radicalisation’ was developed by security experts as a way to grasp the root causes of terrorism. Successive waves of attacks in European cities between 2004 and 2016 by home-grown terrorists lead to attempts to better understand this concept. These questions were researched: what is radicalisation, how is it linked to violent extremism and terrorism, what are individual, group or societal dynamics of radicalisation, …? Paradoxically, while the academic concept of radicalisation was generalized as a complex and multi-layered process leading to violent extremism, at the same time it became specifically connected with Muslim beliefs and activism. In a critical literature study, we show how - despite its academic omnipresence - ‘radicalisation’ remains an ill-defined, ambiguous and controversial concept. 2: Deradicalisation policy paradoxes in Flanders: Countering or reinforcing stigmatisation of Muslim youth? In contrast to this academic uncertainty, the paradigm of ‘radicalisation’ primarily became a political issue. In its apparent simplicity the concept of radicalisation was very attractive for policy makers in their attempts to deal with the consequent fear. The ideological assumptions of the concept became common sense with a strong emphasis on individual determinants and a focus on Islamic ideology. The departure of young Flemish fighters to Syria and the attacks in France made ‘radicalisation’ an important topic in Flanders. New Flemish policies on the prevention of radicalisation were developed that claim to avoid blaming religion as a determinant and state to put emphasis on the enhancement of positive identity development of young people at risk in youth care. At the same time, these policies mainly target vulnerable youth in Muslim communities, and ask considerable involvement of local authorities and social work organizations. Through a discourse analysis of the main Flemish policy documents on ‘deradicalisation,’ the underlying assumptions and paradoxes are clarified. 3: The imaginary elephant in the room of youth welfare work The impact of new radicalisation policies and discourses are examined through 3 casestudies in youth work organisations in Flanders and Brussels. Their explanations of radicalisation, approaches to deradicalisation, and approaches to collaboration are examined by means of observations of activities, 11 interviews with youth workers and 6 interviews with team leaders. The organisations show an ambiguous reaction to (de)radicalisation: it is rejected explicitly because of their stigmatising effect on the Muslim youth and the effect on the bond between workers and youngsters. However, the workers still focus on identity development as a part of their general pedagogical approach. Different elements of the radicalisation terminology and the focus on religion are incorporated implicitly. Their proclaimed focus on societal root causes as explanations for political violence are, however, not incorporated in their approach with young Muslims. The pedagogical approach seems to trump out more structural work on discrimination and inequality, and ends up matching the dominant deradicalisation approach.
It is now widely accepted that social work is a western construct that emerged from epistemological foundations that are an expression of European social and cultural development. Consequently, epistemological/theoretical orientations underpinning its practice methods have an ethnocentric and Euro-centric bias that do not tend to reflect the worldview/realities of non–westerners whose absence from theorizing space has been enacted through historic colonialism. In order to make social work relevant in meeting the demands of contemporary culturally plural communities equitably, there is need to demand a corresponding plurality of epistemology inclusive of those that speak from the cultural location(s) of ethnic minorities. Given the cultural oppression implied by a mono-cultural praxis that arguably manifests itself in over-representation of blacks in services with a social control function in many western countries, one of the aims of this paper is to maintain that the social work education in the domains of theory and practice is constrained by a damaging Euro-centrism reflected. This, in turn, is reflected in social work interventions with black African families in many western countries such as the Republic of Ireland. Research evidence suggest the increasing valorisation of indigenous (non-western) knowledge, methodologies and approaches to social work have exposed the inadequacies of Western approaches when applied to non-westerners. Rowe, Baldry and Earls (2015) contend most western social workers are, however, unaware of the colonizing and racist assumptions underpinning their praxis. If, therefore, these practitioners are to achieve true social justice and equity in their work with non-westerners, they need to help prompt a paradigm shift that takes us beyond the confines of norms and assumptions of the dominant Western approaches. Through a process of decolonization, permitting multiple epistemic voices to emerge by strategically utilizing theories and understandings from various fields and conceptual frame works, it may be possible to unmask the logic, workings and effects of internal colonial domination, oppression and exploitation (Tejada et al., 2003: 21). However, this would also involve continuing recognition of the utility facets of European and North American theories e.g. Bourdieu, Gramsci, Foucault, and Fraser.
In social work, civil society is expected to function as an advocate for marginalized groups’ rights, as a counter-weight to public authorities and as a service provider intrinsically different from statutory services by its capacity to be closer to the users’ experiences, more open to users’ involvement, and less controlling towards clients. Hence, traditionally the leaders in civil society draw their legitimacy from their capacity to live up to these expectations, often as representatives for organizations that lack formal power and a stable resource base. They are therefore not usually associated with elite positions in the same way as leaders in the political and business spheres. From a theoretical point of view, they have rather been interpreted as a “counter-elite” that challenges other elites and functions as watchdogs. A series of changes in public governance and within civil society itself however suggest a growing elitization of civil society. The state has raised expectations on civil society actors to partner in solving societal challenges. Civil society actors are increasingly expected to act as policy professionals, experts on different issues, or advisers in policy-making processes through consultation processes. The development of New Public Management models, a broadening contract-culture and raised public expectation on ‘value-for-money’ have put pressure on civil society actors to act as professional deliverers of public services and to step in when the state fails to deliver. An expanding service-provider role pushes civil society actors to develop new skills and to become more business-like in its operations and values. In addition to these external pressures on civil society organizations and its leaders transformation processes internal to civil society itself also challenge them. NGOization, bureaucratization and professionalization are also pertinent features of civil society. Furthermore, processes of individualization have made individuals less inclined to participate in formal associations and instead fostered orientation towards short- term engagements and social media has become an increasingly important method for collective action. Civil society organizations are thus acting in a more complex political environment, which can be understood as both rewarding and demanding. These processes might challenge the status and traditional role of the ‘elected leader’ in favor of the professional leader. Their engagement in civil society might not primarily be seen as a question of collective values, but as providing the organization with the necessary skills and expertise to navigate the “treacherous waters” of a more competitive environment. This paper focuses on elected and employed leaders in civil society and investigates the way in which their position is framed by the organizations they are appointed to lead. The paper draws on a study of more than 30 statements by Swedish civil society organizations about their newly elected or employed leaders and is part of a research project on civil society elites in a Swedish context. The aim of the paper is to present the research project’s main themes and some preliminary results.
As a global phenomenon, the aging of population challenges the welfare services in most of the countries. Social work is a profession committed to meet the needs of seniors, one of the need is keeping connection to society and social networks. Research indicated the usage of ICT could enrich social interaction, therefore some welfare services have been provided on supporting seniors using ICT in Finland and China. This article deals with two cases which are the welfare services projects on supporting seniors using ICT both aimed at improving and enhancing the quality of life among older adults in Finland and China. The data collection methods used were participatory observation, focus group interviews with the elderly participants, interviews with the practitioners as well as the project’s documents. From the multi-sectors service perspective, comparative research method has been implied to identify the essential features of the role and task of different sectors in the two cases. As conclusion, although Finland and China have historical and cultural differences, the social work practice for seniors are analogous in the multi-sectoral service model which consists of the third sector, the informal caring network, the public sector and the market. Furthermore, this article contributes to the method of comparative research on different social work practices.
It is obvious that all social work practices take place within a political context. But is the consequence of this thought that it should politicize? In the context of the global definition of social work, this seams not evident. The word 'politics' is not explicitly mentioned, although the definition mentions human rights, social justice and liberation. Yet the commentary states that human rights comprise political, social and ecological rights and that these are interdependent. It also mentions participatory work and definitely advises to work with rather than for people. Nevertheless, is it striking that the word 'democracy' is absent in the text. The commentary ends by stressing that all social workers across the world should commit to the values of the definition. But is value driven action necessarily political and democratizing? This paper tries to shed a light on Rancières view on politics and how this is meaningful for social work. Politics is for Rancière synonymous with democracy. But democray, for Ranciere is not a political system, but a scandal: the scandal that none is more qualified to govern than another. Indeed Rancière sees the equality of men not as a goal to be realized, but as a principle, as a starting point. Therefore, the scandal of democracy signifies also that there is not and never will be a single principle of the community that would legitimate the acts of governors based on laws inherent to the coming together of human communities. In other words: there will never be an ideal society where human completion - the reign of justice- will be achieved. Every society and each government will always arrange society by defining different groups with different functions, places, qualities and responsibilities or in one word: by creating inequality. Rancière calls this 'police'. Politics, which is just another word for democracy, is every action, bearing on the principle of equality, that challenges this police. Because Rancière takes equality as a starting point, he is also critical to the social sciences, not only because these tend to naturalize the societally based partitions, but also because they tend to install ‘knowing masters in emancipation', which is in Rancière's point of view a contradiction in terminis. "If the sociologist can be helpful to the person in front of him", says Rancière in his 2006 preface to the new edition of Le philosophe et ses pauvres, "it's not by explaining to him what are the causes of his suffering, but by listening to his reason(ing)s and by understanding them as reason(ing)s and not as an expression of misfortune". The same should be said about the social worker, whose fundamental attitude is respect for the people he works with. "Contempt produces the ignorant, not a lack of science”. Like Rancière, social workers should "not take for imbeciles those of whom they are talking, whether they happen to be floor layers or university professors". This principle is also the principle of democracy, hence of politicization.
Forced migration changes the social and spatial positioning of refugees and their social relations. Research on transmigration has shown, that settling down in another country doesn’t mean that contacts to family and friends from the country of origin lose in im-portance (Herz, 2010), much more to stay in touch with the family is for unaccompa-nied minor refugees highly relevant. At that point the use of digital media is of central importance for the production, maintenance and participation in a “transnational every-day life”. Medial and social participation are connected in a digital world (Kutscher/Kreß, 2017). Recent studies on the media use of refugees show that the smartphone with its functions such as Facebook and WhatsApp is vital (Kutscher/Kreß 2015; Gillespie et al. 2016; Richter et al. 2016). This allows interpersonal communica-tion, which is not linked to space and time. Virtual closeness can be enabled. Integra-tion into transnational social networks fulfills different functions for (young) refugees. “Traditional research on social capital has shown the benefits people can get from their social networks; strong ties provide them with emotional support (hence also bonding capital), and weak ties provide them with non-redundant information and different per-spectives (bridging capital)” (Utz/Muscanell, 2015, 420). Transnationalization is in a globalized, digital and from forced migration coined world an increasingly relevant socialization dynamic. Against this background, it is necessary to consider the extent to which social work has to take on this topic in relation to its clients: How can the transnational everyday life be part of the work with the clients or even more critically should it take part? Moreover social inequality is reproduced in the digital world. Participation in transnational everyday worlds can be limited by the equipment and restrictive media policies in youth welfare institutions, as well as by the possibilities of the young people themselves with regard to their abilities and often also financial resources. Literature Gillespie, M. et al. 2016: Mapping Refugee Media Journeys. Smartphones and Social Media Networks. Research Report. URL: www.open.ac.uk/ccig/sites/www.open.ac.uk.ccig/files/Mapping%20Refugee%20Media%20Journeys%2016%20May%20FIN%20MG_0.pdf [20.07.2016] Herz, A. 2010: Informelle Unterstützungsstrukturen in Zeiten der Transnationalisierung. Von push-pull und Integration zu transnationaler sozialer Einbindung. In: Sozial Extra. Vol. 34, Issue 1-2. VS Verlag, Wiesbaden, S. 41-43. Kutscher, N./Kreß, L.-M. 2015: Internet ist gleich mit Essen. Empirische Studie zur Nutzung digitaler Medien durch unbegleitete minderjährige Flüchtlinge. Projekt-bericht in Zusammenarbeit mit dem Deutschen Kinderhilfswerk. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1028.8729 URL: http://bit.ly/1OAnwtI Kutscher, N./Kreß, L.-M. 2017: Zur doppelten Funktion digitaler Medien für junge Ge-flüchtete. In: Medienpädagogik der Vielfalt - Integration und Inklusion. Dieter Baacke Preis Handbuch 12. München: kopaed, S. 53-57. Richter, C. 2016: Flucht 2.0. Mediennutzung durch Flüchtlinge vor, während und nach der Flucht. http://www.polsoz.fu-berlin.de/kommwiss/arbeitstellen/internationale_kommunikation/Media/Flucht-2_0.pdf (Abfrage: 08.04.17) Utz, S./Muscanell, N. 2015: Social Media and Social Capital: Introduction to the Special Issue. In: Societies 2015, 5. DOI:10.3390/soc5020420, 420-424.
Economization of the social and educational sector foster a dismantling of the welfare state, leading to changes for young people dependent on assistance and support in many European countries. Insecurity are the rule rather than the exemption for an ever-broader strata of society living in lack of social, cultural, and existential perspectives. This calls for progressive social services, a new foundation for a flourishing human life in Europe with attention on the conditions and opportunities for activities oriented towards a critical civic society, democratic principles in public planning and decision-making discourses, and fundamentally of perspectives that define the structural preconditions of a ‘good life’.
Intolerance and the Vulnerability to Error: How to Reinforce Social Health? Cristina Curtolo, M.A., Department of Law, University of Macerata, Italy The premise is that studying partial phenomena of the cognitive and emotional functions of individuals and the social systems of the community they belong to helps to identify the competence to solve problems as well as the beliefs and prejudices related to ideologies. This approach allows us to focus on the relationship between a sense of right and needfulness as feedback of the way in which society operates, dynamically influencing citizens’ behaviours, opinions and views of the world. From the holistic perspective applied to the biopsychosocial model of relationships, the idea is that the emotional climate that establishes tolerance and social solidarity also depends on overlapping factors which unify in the process of the vulnerability to error, whose Archimedian point is the consequence of various types of damage which determine widespread malaise. The theoretical starting point comes from studies I have conducted on the quality of the Italian legal system concerning divorce, on marital conflict and on parental psychological competence. The data collected explain how the individual trait of aversion to knowing and the frequency of wrong value judgments arouse strong emotions whose negative value conveys hostile and conflicting relational dynamics (Curtolo, 2010; 2012; 2015; 2016). In Italy, the proof that there is a highly litigious atmosphere that charaterizes the interactions in the different contexts of coexistence can be seen in the high number of cases brought before the Courts. This information is indicative of a lack of personal qualities necessary for the common-sense option of private mediation. This contribution draws attention to psychological factors that both facilitate and impede dialogue, with the aim of suggesting some interventions that could improve the development of cognitive and emotional abilities that are the pillar of rational thought that sustain in people the sense of responsability.
Compassion Fatigue (CF) is a concept that is linked to the processes of the helping relationship that the professional establishes with the client. The scientific literature and the professionals’ practice show that building solid ties with people who are suffering from traumatic events has negative emotional and cognitive consequences on the professionals who support them. CF is a concept that is associated with the "cost of caring" for others who are suffering from emotional distress (Figley, 1985). Compassion is defined as a feeling of deep empathy and sorrow for somebody who is suffering, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate distress or solve their problems (Figley, 1985). CF is not the end result of a process, but rather a phenomenon that affects all those professionals who use empathy as a vehicle to understand the significance of the other’s suffering. Thus, compassion fatigue, unlike burn-out or vicarious traumatization, is present in the daily practice of all professionals in helping relationships. Empathy is the essential resource for all professionals in the psychosocial field, which generates the ability to approximate and establish bonds with the client. The difficulty arises when we encounter professionals with high levels of empathy who work daily through the helping relationship with people and families coping with suffering, stress or trauma. Research tells us that the discomfort suffered by professionals involved in the management of highly traumatic and stressful situations can be identified as CF (Acinas, 2012). The social worker is the professional trained to listen, support and guide people in situation of distress. Taking into account that, by the nature of their work, social workers are continuously exposed to the hearing of a narrative of highly traumatic events, they are likely to suffer the consequences of the so-called "Compassion Fatigue". Empathy-satisfaction, personal and professional self-care are mechanisms that diminish the possibility of suffering from empathy. The aim of the present study, which is at the data collection stage, is to analyse the phenomenon of empathy-erosion in the Social Workers of the Island of Mallorca who work in services linked to primary care, health care, dependence, disability, children in difficulty, and gender violence. The research aims at evaluating the prevalence of CF in social workers of social services in Mallorca; establishing relationships between empathy profiles of social workers and the level of CF that they present, and identifying the general and specific self-care mechanisms that contribute to alleviate CF levels in social workers.
The globalized world extended to the people and human mobility has acquired a global scale, boosted mainly by the mass exodus of people seeking security and freedom. In large parts of the world, particularly in Europe, border controls prove to be fragile and many countries are "invaded" by desperate and hopeful people, putting heavy pressure on European states and respective migration and refuge policies. However, it is not enough to redefine these policies, since in the medium and long term the greatest challenge lies in the integration of these people into the host societies, a task that involves, in particular, Social Workers. Yet, working on the integration of these distinct populations by the cultural, ethnic and religious diversity requires knowledge and cultural competences that must be acquired and developed through Social Work (continuing) education programs. This article aims, on the one hand, to highlight the relevance of the Culturally Sensitive Social Work in the face of increasing human mobility and, on the other hand, the indispensability of Education for Cultural Sensitivity of students and Social Workers. In this sense, it is argued that it is essential for Social Workers to acquire accurate knowledge and cultural competences that enable them to work effectively both with people and with the institutions and host society. Key words: Social Work; Human Mobility; Diversity; Education; Cultural Sensitivity; Cultural Competence.
Ever since the 2000s, statements in the germanophone discourse become more frequent which say that Social Workers have problems with their professional identity. For example, Lüssi (2008) says that everywhere where Social Workers meet or where something is written about Social Work the topic of the identity problem of the occupation is mentioned. It could even be said that having an identity problem is part of the occupational identity (cf. p. 23). With that said it is surprising that questions regarding the identity problem of Social Workers in the germanophone studies are not really regarded. Moreover, there is no consensus in the respective literature what defines a professional identity. Instead, the most different determin-ing factors are lead in the discourse. Therefore, the dissertation focuses on the following question: “What brands the professional identity of Social Workers?” The theoretical part is composed by two parts: 1. As the heuristic explanatory model for con-structing identity – and therefore a professional identity (understood as a partial identity of a subject) – the model of Keupp et al. (2006), called “Mundane identity work” is used which highlights the construction performance of a subject. 2. A sociological-professional access appeals to four different profession theories of the germanophone Social Work because pro-fession-theoretical foundations shall serve as normative reference points for the tuition and self-concept of the occupational area, according to Dewe/Stüwe (2016) (cf. p. 9). Profession theories shall fulfill the function of so called “sensitizing concepts” simultaneously in the frame of the research project. Around 15 problem-centred interviews shall be conducted with Social Workers in different action fields in the empirical part. Different identity types shall be filtered out n the basis of comparative case and case contrast to repatriate the overall outcome with the theoretical professional discourse of Social Work and allow for a critical classification.
Equivalent to the field of social work the field of education has experienced vast political requirements about the need for educational practice to be an evidence-based/informed practice (Bryderup 2008). This denotes; 1) that practitioners apply educational strategies, that empirical research has validated/confirmed to work or have an impact, especially, on students learning outcome; and 2) that scientists and practitioners work a lot closer to each other, where they ideally have an open dialog about what issues practitioners need to be fixed and how it is done (OECD 2004:20). Based on theory of causation, the presentation try to illuminate how this open dialog is omitted and instead is substituted with huge and tortuous research rapports like systematic reviews and meta-analysis’, which I argue instrumentalize the knowledge process between research, practice and policy. As evidence for my argument, I use six systematic reviews conducted by the Danish Clearinghouse of Educational Research (DCU) as an empirical example and insight of how the language and dialog between researchers and practitioners is mechanised. I focus exactly on these rapports because; 1) their goal is to find the “the chain of causal assumptions that link programme resources, activities, intermediate outcomes and ultimate goals” (Nordenbo et al. 2011:63), which means to find what works. 2) their goal is that practitioners not only read the causal conclusions but apply these to change their practice (DCU 2013:12). 3) OECD (2004:26) argues that systematic reviews are a golden way of making a bridge of knowledge and a dialog between practice and research as well as research and policy. 4) The Danish Ministry of Education (2017) attribute these rapports to be the best and most significant evidence behind political decision about educational interventions. The presentation unfolds that around eighty percent of the 1418 found causal statements about what works in some way or another are subsumed under regularity theories of causation. But in contrast with many critics of the evidence-based movement, I argue that we need to understand the notion of regularities and the notion of causation in a most more complex way, if we adequately want to understand the way causality is extrapolated in the so call evidence-based research. The final parts of the presentation will be centered around a perspective of the consequences of this mechanized causal language and instrumentalized dialog. I argue, that the major problem is that these instrumentalized causal statements overlook the probabilistic causal foundations in the primary research, from which the statements are condensed from. This confusion can lead to dramatic consequences, when the major goal of the research is that the conclusions are applied in practice. This is so, because these regular causal statements do not tell us that what works for whom in what circumstances and how, and it therefore may lead to, that research disseminate recommendation about interventions which do not work, or worse, work bad for some (sub)populations. Thereby, the presentation tries to clarify the significant differences between finding/hunting causes vs. using them.
There have been many processes affecting the functioning and shaping up of the society since the end of the 20th century. The so-called informatization is one of them and it introduces, among other things, the implementation of the information and communication technologies (hereinafter „ICT“) to various areas of life. This process also brings changes in the performance of practical social work, while its impacts are assessed ambivalently both by the social workers and the clients. Professional discussions are focused on topics such as the influence of informatization on the identity of social workers; digital exclusion; confidentiality of social work, ethical aspects and dilemmas; organizational, administrative, and bureaucratic issues; and education or utilization of ICT within the work with specific groups of people (e.g. people witch disabilities or senior citizens). The conference contribution presents partial results of the dissertation thesis research whose aim was to find out how the ongoing process of informatization permeates the Czech social work aimed at the target group of vulnerable children and their families. The main research question asked: What meanings do Czech social workers associate with the use of ICT during their interventions with vulnerable children and their families? This research took advantage of qualitative research strategy. The use of semi-structured individual and group interviews has enabled us to collect data from social workers involved in social activation services for families with children and in social-legal protection of children. The choice of the informants was deliberate – through the institutions. We used the procedures of situational analysis to analyze and interpret the data. First, we processed the data using open coding; subsequently we worked with cartographic maps to create a messy map, an ordered map and a relational analysis focused on one selected area that appeared to be the most significant from the perspective of the social workers. The research results have shown that social workers perceive the process of informatization very intensively, especially in the field of: (1) relationship between the social worker and the client, (2) mutual communication, (3) and the way in which interventions are carried out. This article is also closely focused on the area of communication between a social worker and a client. According to the questioned social workers, the following factors, which reciprocally influence each other, have impact on the use of ICT within the mentioned framework: (1) society, (2) organization/social services and social worker, (3) client. The research has also identified the benefits and pitfalls of using ICT in communication in the Czech social work, which are brought by the individual factors. Based on them, we have formulated recommendations for social work practice.
Secondary school dropouts are increasingly considered as a problem, with both negative social and individual consequences thoroughly accounted for in the literature. Higher summer loss and drop-out levels have been attributed to educational level transitions, as well as to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. As a response, some educational systems have put in place remedial summer school programs. Evaluations of such programs, nevertheless, are mostly restricted to quantitative impact evaluations of academic outcomes. In this study, we employ a qualitative case study of the Uruguayan Programa Tránsito Educativo to explore both the benefits and risks of using a summer school approach to prevent drop-outs in the transition to secondary school in a Latin American setting, where early secondary school drop-outs are a pressing concern.
Finnish social policy in turbulence Since 1990, Gøsta Esping-Andersen’s analysis of welfare regimes has became a standard way of understanding social policy models. Finland, traditionally considers as one of the Nordic welfare model countries, has promoted universalism, and public service production mainly by municipalities has been a backbone for social and health care services. Recent years there has been a remarkable change in Finland’s course of social policy towards a more market oriented, neoliberal policy. Are Finland’s policymakers going to move Finland from ”Nordic” to liberal welfare regime? General elections in Spring 2015 parties of the left lost and right-wing parties won. In May 2015 Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s center-to-right wing government started with rhetorics of ”saving the country”, and the turn to neoliberal social policy became more determined. Sipilä’s cabinet consists of three parties: the Moderates, Center party and the True Finns, the last mentioned being a populist party with a remarkable portion of the supporters coming from right-wing, anti-immigration part of the population. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä comes from the Center party, and he entered politics after a long career in business, and he is a very wealthy person (in Finnish terms). Remodelling the welfare regime is a stepwise process. Sipilä’s ministry started by introducing several cuts in social benefits. Sipilä’s cabinet planned severe cuts in government spendings. There are changes in unemployment policy towards more aggressively activation-oriented direction. The ruling parties are not unanimous about all of the planned reforms: for example the liberalisation of alcohol policy and tightening of the immigration policy divide the cabinet parties. In May 2017, one of the most crucial changes is still debated in the Finnish parlament. If the ruling coalition stays on it’s chosen course, in January 2019, all social welfare and health care services, currently mostly publicly funded and provided by municipalities or by associations of municipalities, are going to be organised by counties and provided by privatised organisations. At the moment, Finland do not have county-system, so the social and welfare reform might bring forth a major change in the administrative structure of Finland. Together with the proposed privatisation of social and health care services there is a serious risk of turmoil, addressed by many experts in health and social care. Although the current dramatic changes in Finnish social policy from the Nordic welfare model towards a neoliberal model, there has been a very limited public debate about the government’s goals for these hoped-for changes in terms of social policy outcomes. This paper is going to evaluate the current development following classic Titmussian social administration tradition. According to Paul Pierson, welfare states are integral to the workings of modern political economies. Changes in welfare state lead to changes in employment structure. Both of these processes might lead to changes which the current ruling government do not see in advance.
This contribution focuses on issue of theoretical concept of „home“. The athor tries to answer the following question. „How can the sociologists and the social workers to approach the phenomenon of home?“ The sociologists usually describes a home spatially . In the other times, in sociological literature this concept can be replaced by the synonym "community" (Keller 2009, 2013). Any sociological authors (Edgar, Meert 2005) look at home through different properties. The main property of home becomes the depth of social relations which people follow up with others. This state of affairs suggests that home becomes meaningless indefinite concept. This concept can be defined with various ways. This is not only in sociology but also in one of their related fields - in social work. For social workers is home problematic concept too. Their profesion is focused on solving cilent´s issues. When social workers look at client´s home like a issue they wolud reduce it to housing (Rozhoň 2015). However, the feeling of home can shape the individual's identity. It is necessary to take care of the background that the home brings us. Hogenová (2008) this kind of care compars to sense of human life. The issue of housing or home is not connected with individual´s lives only . This is an up-to-date topic which related to the events in today's society. It could be reason why this topic has been the subject of socio-scientific research – according to Lux (2001) since the 1970s. Researchers assume that secured housing is working like a prevention against the spreading risk of social exclusion. Exclusion hurts members of various social groups (eg. people with disabilities). In my contribution I present some of the concepts of the home to which these scholars have come. I try to criticize the present concepts and supplement them with the information from interviews with physical disabled people about their homes. These interviews are carried out in my doctoral theses (called „Housing of people with physical disabilies who lives in Ostrava).
This paper is based on a 4-year-long Finnish research project that examines the contribution of social work and social policy to the sustainable development of European societies. The first phase of the project focuses on ecosocial innovations on the local level. We argue that all over Europe ecosocial innovations are emerging which can serve as small-scale models for a transition towards a more sustainable society – ecologically, socially and economically. We widen the understanding of social innovations by using the notion of ‘ecosocial’. The ecosocial innovations we are interested in are aware of the interconnectedness of all dimensions of sustainability. They can have different legal forms: registered associations, cooperatives or self-organized groups of grassroots level actors. They develop new sustainable practices, including new forms of work and employment, which not only fulfill individual needs but also change social relationships in their communities. Many of them are open to all interested people; some specialize on young people, unemployed or living in precarious situations. Furthermore, the innovations should be part of social and solidarity economy and therefore provide ideas about what policy changes are needed in times of transition. This paper presents results of the second work package of the project, which consists of two steps: Firstly, a map of existing ecosocial innovations in European countries (Finland, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the UK) was created to illustrate predominating trends. We ask what kind of ecosocial innovations can be identified in the respective countries? Secondly, based on these findings, a selection of ecosocial innovations was made in order to conduct empirical case studies. Three ecosocial innovations from Finland and one from Belgium, Italy and Germany were chosen. For our cross-national, multi-case study we mainly used semi-structured individual interviews as well as group interviews. The interview partners were founders, coordinators, workers and participants involved in the ecosocial innovations. To back up the interview data we also included documents in our study and conducted several field visits. We will present the results of the thematic analysis which we conducted based on our interview data. The main themes are the following: innovative potential of the ecosocial innovations, enabling settings and structural obstacles, sustainable use of resources and possible changes in local communities and national policies to promote the innovations. The case studies also illuminate the role of social work practice and theory in the selected ecosocial innovations and provide suggestions about a possible involvement. The roles we found in our cases varied from main driver to no role at all.
The great changes of the economy and the socio-political system have been going on in Poland since 1989. The transformation from the centrally managed system to democracy established, has become a key issue in creating of the new social policy and the new model of welfare State. This process bring about visible and positive effects in the sphere institutionalization and professionalization of social work, giving the legal background for the social services, and answering some great challenges in the field of social problems and the needs of vulnerable groups of clients. In Poland the State plays the most important role in the delivery of services and social assurance for citizens “at risk” and many - mostly public organizations support vulnerable groups of clients at the national, regional and local level. On one side, the platform for social work changes has influenced the creation of local governments directly responsible for the life quality of those excluded in local communities, which also has involved new tasks for social workers, being employed in welfare organizations. On the other hand, the professionalization process has tended to establish the group norms of conduct complex social services and higher qualification of members of a profession in accordance with general expectations of the profession. In prospect of theoretical approaches - professionalization becomes the social process by which any trade or occupation transforms itself into a true profession of the highest integrity and competence. This process has involved establishing acceptable academic qualifications, as well as professional association to oversee members of the profession and protect their professional autonomy. Establishment of social work as a profession and a discipline has become an object of diametrically varying views on its function in the modern European society of the 21st century; depending on the adopted theoretical perspective, social work is treated as an expression of civilisational progress and social changes or as an instrument of stabilisation and conservation of unjust social relations. Typically, social work becomes a part of the socio-economic system, performing protective functions not only with respect to the “needy”, but also shielding the interests of the ruling class. In context of this changes appear new social problems and new elements that nowadays constitute the identity of social work and its social functions. The paper focuses on the transformation of social work in Poland at the field of institutionalization and professionalization and reflect on new functions of social work in prospective of appearance social problems and new social policy instruments. Keywords: institutionalization and professionalization of social work, new functions of social work
There is a number of currently 308 young people living in closed custodial accommodation as part of youth welfare services. This group of young people is classified as the difficult ones, for whom control and discipline is legitimized in term of an ‘ultima ratio’ of education. Against all evidence, proponents argue that closeness, strict regulations and disciplinary action is legitimized and appropriate in the case that “softer” interventions are not expected to work. This paper shows a number of similarities between regular residential care and the alleged ultima ratio of closed accommodation, if it comes to control and punishment. These correspondences are reconstructed on the fundament of qualitative interviews with young people in different institutions of ’regular’ residential care, with members of the pedagogical stuff and with officers from the youth welfare office. The analysis focus on the strictness of everyday regulations within the institutions. These turned out to having only few democratic elements while regulating most parts of young people’s everyday lives. The institutional rules are characterized by a preventive rationality based on generalized mistrust against those living in residential care. Different kinds and ways of disciplinary punishment stabilize institutional rules by means of restrictions of freedoms and the distribution of privileges and sanctions (e.g. extra work hours). These restrictions are not always used as ex post punishment, but also as preventive action. Young people in institutions referring on so-called phase models, meaning they have to merit their access to music, television and devices with `well-behaviour’. Those restrictive practises of residential care is legitimized by constructions of young people as “deficient others”. The interviewed welfare officers do not classify their clients as deviant potential criminals, but attribute a lack of cognitive abilities to them, which brings them to a state of being `close to disability’. Professional social workers tend to apply the attributed circumstance of being `almost disabled’ as legitimation for strict rules, easy to understand and to follow, stabilized by `consequences’ – an euphemistic description for punishment – as a learning-treatment, providing orientation and safety for this particular group of young people. Hence, the ugliness of punishment is covered by paternalistic semantics to justify interventions, implemented for those young people having a presumed lack of coping with the complexity of democratic participation. The use of disciplinary practices is based on these kinds of needs-interpretation that results from declassification of clients and the assumption that participation and democratic institutions are not for “them”. Social workers did not vary much in their interpretation of the use and need of control, sanction and disciplinary practices. However, the clients of residential care have heterogeneous perspectives on these restrictions, depending on how the institutions conducted punishment, the level of affectedness, the kind of care relation and the level of loyalty they had with staff members of the institution. These empirical results on legitimation and effects of regulation, control and disciplinary practices will be framed by ethical reflections on the good life in residential care.
Since the dissolution of military dictatorship and return to democracy in 1985, social work in Brazil has emphasised the concept of citizenship as fundamental in the provision of social assistance. This accentuates universal inclusion, democracy, popular participation and human rights in the provisioning of social assistance as opposed to traditional top-down acts of charity, care and compassion. Through the process of re-democratisation of the Brazilian society, the concept of citizenship has been central in discourses, discussions and practices of social assistance and in the construction of social work as a profession and as an academic discipline. In the provision of social assistance, the concept of citizenship, places social work in confrontation with social structures of personal relations, alliances, privileges and patronage, which has prevailed in Brazilian societies for centuries. This confrontation is not only manifested on the abstract macro-structural or philosophical level, it also confronts everyday social interaction. Based in fieldwork done among professional social workers in a public Reference Center of Social Assistance (CRAS) and at a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the same urban community, the presentation shows that the egalitarian principles of citizenship emphasized in the provision of social assistance are not necessarily accepted as empowering the citizens. On the contrary, the insistence of the moral superiority of principles of universality in the public services, undermines established social practices of softening the brutalizing consequences of the blindfolded law and the impersonal cold bureaucracy. Lack of sufficient resources and access to incentives that are adequately adapted to the various needs of the citizens, catches the professionals in the public services in a limbo between different moralities. Insisting on equality, is also to insist on anonymity as the individual is reduced from “somebody” to “anyone”. The citizen is left without connections or relationships of significance, handed over to be dominated by the rule of law. This is not unique to Brazilian societies, but in Brazil there are strong moral expectations that the professionals use their position in the system to find ways to alleviate the problems of the citizens, even though this means to break rules. In this way, egalitarian principles and legal rights do not necessarily dominate the alliance between the professionals and the citizens. Rather, the professionals are met by expectations that principles of personal relations, evocation of sympathy and alliances are put to the fore as morally superior principles in practical social work. In this negotiation between different moralities of the individual as a citizen and as a person in a hierarchy of alliances, the professionals in the public services collaborate with professionals in the NGOs operating in the same neighbourhood. This gives access to other resources and more importantly, other principles for inclusion in the provision of social assistance, where moral considerations and professional discretion are less dominated by egalitarian principles of equality. Social benefits are in this way provided through both egalitarian principles, and hierarchies based in alliances and personal relationships.
This research project aims to assess under which conditions processes of diversification contribute to innovation in social services. The research context is to be the social services in South Tirol, which present an increasing number of services in a welfare mix system where nearly 36% are delivered by private organizations (Elsen 2015) and immigrant population is addressed as a specific target of the future social challenges (Provincia Autonoma di Bolzano 2008). Social work is challenged to achieve a balance between the danger of an extreme categorization and the recognition of diversity of the individual (Fargion, Frei, and Lorenz 2015). Furthermore it is not free from stereotypes and prejudices (Ashencan Crabtree, Husain, and Spalek 2010; Spinelli 2008) Diversity encompasses a structural and a cultural dimension. Those dimensions tend to remain separate in the literature (Hamburger 2009; Landis, Bennett, and Bennett 2004). This research project aims to apply an integrate approach in order to take into account the complexity of the demographic changes. The context will be hence analyzed with the theoretical framework of super-diversity (Vertovec 2007). Social innovation is popular in Management (Doppler, Lauterburg, and Egert 1998) but the danger is to reduce innovation to a tool to cut costs (Gallouj and Zanfei 2013). This project will focus on the process and on the means used, as highlighted in the Open Book of Social Innovation (Murray 2010), as well as the involvement of the complex network of actors and stakeholders and the attention to participative processes. will be the analytical criteria of innovation (Ife 2010; Murray 2010). Diversity can also be instrumentalized in order to justify superficial measures, which avoid structural transformation in organizations in terms of greater equality and inclusion (Ahmed 2007). The research project will hence apply the theoretical approach of super-diversity in order to get access to the diverse perspectives of the society capable to trigger a context-embedded innovation (Boccagni 2014). The present research aims to identify those processes in South-Tyrolean social services, which are innovative in recognizing the diversity of their users and of the broader context. The sub-questions, which arise, include: What settings are most appropriate to work with diverse users? How to be innovative in social services, considering the diversity of the population and the complexity of actors interplaying in its dynamic processes? The promotion of a transformative and participative process is the search of this project, which is gathering statistical and official sources in its desk research phase, in order to let questions emerge and to identify possible entry points. . Expert interviews and participant observation will follow in order to define the research design. What I’m intending to present at the TiSSA Conference is the theoretical and methodological framework of this study.
Abstract This paper reports on the findings of a broad qualitative study which examined the interactions of asylum seeking families with child protection/welfare social workers in Ireland. The Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method was used to collect data which was subjected to framework analysis to elicit themes. This paper considers the theme of: Child rearing cross-cultural perspectives of African asylum seeking families and child protection social workers in Ireland. A mixture of practice protocol, legislation and personal beliefs and suspicions surface as central to the behaviours of most social workers. Asylum seeking families perceive social workers as professionals who are disrespectful of their traditional child rearing practices. Whilst their social workers may misidentify unfamiliar child rearing methods as maltreatment of children, an unmediated position of cultural sensitivity runs the risk of suspending or undermining all standards. Nevertheless, sensitivity to diverse cultures on the part of social workers may mitigate some of the challenges that arise when asylum seeking families draw traditional child rearing practices from their countries of origin for application in Ireland. The paper uses the theoretical lens of cultural relativism and ethnocentrism. Keywords: cross-culture, child rearing practices, asylum seekers, social workers, Ireland.
Rising divorce rates and an increasing prevalence of higher-order unions are testimony to the major changes in family life during recent decades in Europe. Issues of family diversity are becoming critically important as the demographics of families change. Yet they are often overlooked or ignored in diversity discussions. The development of “doing family” as a theoretical framework goes beyond the fluidity and diversity of families. “Family represents a quality rather than a thing”. Key to this idea is the recognition that contemporary families are defined more by doing family things than by presumptions or assertion of being part of a family. Unfortunately, divorces or separations with long-lasting conflicts could hamper “doing family things” if families fail in their re-organization after the break-up and become dysfunctional entities. In the 1980’s, divorce mediation was introduced as an alternative for courts in order to come to an agreement resolving issues of custody, living arrangements of children and alimony after divorce as necessary condition for a successful re-organization of the post-divorce family life. Many years of practice clearly showed that mediation could benefit from ex-partners’ capacity to contain emotional distress and focus on children’s needs, from some history of parental cooperation and from acknowledgement for the value of the other parent to the child. On the other hand the usefulness of mediation has been doubted in case of high conflict. Especially for cases involving serious allegations of abuse, domestic violence and severe mental illness, regular mediation has been considered as inappropriate. More recently, a multidisciplinary impasse-directed approach came up as alternative for families experiencing a high conflict divorce transition. This approach brings together insight from many disciplines (psycho-therapy, mediation and social work) and aims to build an entire structure to support the parents’ and children’s growth and development. Educating and counselling parents about their children’s needs and using therapy to help the parents manage their family situations are crucial elements going beyond the ambition of completing agreements only. In this empirical study we focus on high conflict divorces and an impasse-directed approach as a strategy to deal with high conflict in divorce transition. We first introduce a typology of divorces based on the multi-actor survey data of “Divorce in Flanders”. Belgium (with Flanders as the northern part) is worthwhile to analyze given the country’s position as a front runner in European divorce statistics, with crude divorce rates between 2.8 and 3.3 from 2002 to 2008. The CDR has only recently decreased to 2.3 in 2012. New insights in emotional and structural factors of high conflict divorces can be useful to define and clarify potential and pitfalls in order to re-organize the post-divorce family. Afterwards, qualitative data of focus groups representing mediators’ experiences about dealing with high conflict divorces are considered in order to define the role of social work within a multidisciplinary and impasse-directed approach. So, this empirical study shows how social work can be considered as a space for diversity, cooperation and dialogue concerning family issues in a context of high conflict divorce.
Social work talk characterises professional interaction fundamentally. Parents and social worker establish relationships and negotiate problem definitions and solutions by talking. In their talk both sides have to deal with institutional demands. ‚Privat’ problems are transformed into ‚public’ problems and parents into social service users. Hence social work cases have to be constructed in communicative practices. These practices are not only structured by power relations but also shaped by cultural and societal images of parenthood. So, the constitution and definition of problems is related to the acknowledged concepts, ideas and imaginations of parenthood and parenting. To understand these images an empirical investigation of practices is needed. Doing research on social work talk can give an insight how the parents and social worker shape the specific process of negotiating parenthood. The paper will focus on specific practices in social work talk: responsibility, legitimation and categorisation. An empirical analysis of these social work talks discovers how social service users and professionals (re)produce categorisations of ‚deficient‘ parenthood and parenting, how both legitimate their position in social services and how they show responsibility. By focussing on social work talk the paper provides an insight into the ‚micropolitics of parenting’.
Sex trafficking is a serious global crime that compromises the psychological and physical integrity of the victims (cf. Rabe & Tanis 2013: 15ff.; BMFSFJ 2007: 7). The targeted exploitation of financial hardship or the vulnerability of foreign victims, as well as physical and psychological violence by the perpetrators, make the access to support programs difficult for victims and vice versa. Moreover, these structural restrictions seem to limit access to the field as well as the scope of action for professionals. Therefore, cooperation, as well as interconnectedness between social worker and the police, can be defined as necessities to provide appropriate support and safety for the victims. However, this implies that social workers are confronted with diverse tasks and objectives as well as with opposing mandates of the law enforcement agencies. These interrelationships between social work und police on an institutional level are led by different guiding principles regarding the contact and support of victims. While the police’s actions primarily aim to identify perpetrators, social work is focused on physical and psychological support. Since Germany and Austria are affected as transit-, market- and source countries for sex trafficking, it is crucial to address the motifs and institutional environments of counselling centres as well as their dialogue and cooperation with other professionals. With their psychosocial and social- educational support, counselling centres and hence social workers are a crucial support in the victims’ stabilisation. The joint research project PRIMSA takes an interdisciplinary approach to sex trafficking within a German-Austrian cooperation and will be the basic framework of this presentation. With its wide perspective on sex trafficking and its multifaceted subprojects, PRIMSA can appropriately respond to the complexity of this phenomenon. The presentation will give an insight into organisational structures and effectiveness of prevention and intervention programs and will highlight the position of counselling centres and social workers within the victim’s support network. Moreover it will point out the guiding principles, concepts and competences of social workers in the field of sex trafficking, and examine examples of collaborations between social work and police as well as the heterogeneous and mutual expectations which define their work.
High numbers of people migrated within the last years to Germany with a peak in 2015, when about a million asylum seekers crossed the border to seek protection or to look for a better life. Among them were several so called unaccompanied minor refugees who have been placed all over Germany in special youth residential care settings of social work organizations. The social work sector working with this population has grown on a high scale since summer 2015. After the young people turn eighteen the youth welfare services offer another support process for young adults to prepare them for their life after care. The right to claim this support is based within the German social law though the municipalities and their social work landscapes have different approaches to organize this field to meet the needs of young refugees. Very little is known about the different conceptualizations of these social work approaches as well as how young people perceive this transition passage. The research project seeks to explore the experiences of young people concerning their transitions from the youth welfare services into adulthood. How do they perceive support by social workers and other education spaces, which needs are met and what is left out? Which struggles and barriers do these youth face and which coping strategies do they develop? How do the minor refugees realize steps towards a decent life in Germany and what is the meaning of a “good life” to them? A qualitative in-depth research design will be used gathering different types of data related to the perceptions of the young refugees that were formerly resident in care settings. The design tries to conceptualize a high level of participation to give enough space for the young people to be part of the process of knowledge-construction of their own realities. Theoretical approaches are concepts of agency and human capabilities. The presentation will give an inside view into the project and discuss the methodological approaches (data collection instruments, field access) and initial findings from the data. References Nüsken, D. (2014): Übergang aus der stationären Jugendhilfe ins Erwachsenenleben in Deutschland. Frankfurt am Main Sievers, B. / Thomas, S. / Zeller, M. (2015): Jugendhilfe – und dann? Frankfurt am Main
The need for an elaboration of a mutual understanding between worldviews is steadily increasing in our societies today, due to growing economic, social, cultural, and religious gaps. To enhance wellbeing, integration and democracy, the growing gaps require a substantial level of communication between representatives for public institutions - such as social services - and citizens. Social workers share the insight that a specific communicative competence signifies the profession. They, however, also share the experience that social work is involved in a multidimensional battle about what power and communication is and ought to be, respectively. The battle is framed as New Public Management (NPM). The outcome of NPM’s rule seems to be leading towards strict conformal structures of power and communication in a time where professional ethics and knowledge could and, for all we know, should be guiding the interaction between social workers and citizens to enhance mutual integration in a globalized society. Research on power and communication in social work show a rather rigid understanding of power relations. Despite the use of theory, be it reflected, or heavily theoretically guided as for example in the case of poststructuralists, inspired by Foucault - and irrespective of the starting point or the theoretical awareness of the researcher - power seems to be described as a unidirectional process in which the social worker HAS power and the client IS powerless. As a part of this standard package of power, it seems as if the only recommendations of handling the lack of equality is to try mitigating it by empowerment. Empowerment is framing the power of citizens as clients most of the time. There is an intrinsic problem here, since the idea of empowerment seems to hold an automatically triggered top-down position as the process starts with the social worker passing power to the client. To enhance inclusion and democracy in times of social change and globalization, social work needs a theory of power and communication that makes sense, in the tight corridors of action offered in the social services. It is the aim of this paper to outline the conceptual brickwork necessary for the construction of a theory of communication and power in social work. The first conceptual brick is derived from the concepts of intersectionality, inspired by Foucault’s theory of power and the second from Habermas’ discourse ethics. The theories of Habermas and Foucault, respectively, are often perceived as incomparable, but I find a great potential in bringing them together. One binding element between them is the concept of intersubjectivity, a main component in the theoretical construction of Habermas and its connection to Arendt. Her theory of power and violence is another binding element. Even further Durkheim and the concept of moral delivers another conceptual connection. The clue for this theory is derived from my empirical studies of social work and cultural diversity. The next step is to apply the theory in an ongoing study aiming at understanding communicative processes between social workers and inhabitants in an exposed, suburban area in Sweden.
Armed conflict in Ukraine, which began in 2014, caused the need to establish a system of psychological rehabilitation and modernization of psychosocial support system of the military who participated in combat operations, their families and the families of those killed as well as civilians who suffered due to the conflict. Until recently ex-combatants as social work clients included mostly veterans of the Second World War (the number of which decreased each year), as well as the small amount of participants of local military conflicts in other countries (e.g. Afganistan). Some of the social and socio-medical services together with financial benefits or facilities were proposed to veterans within the social protection system. As for March 2017 170 thousand Ukrainian servicemen/women took part in armed conflict and have got the status of combatants. Much of them experience different psychosocial difficulties such as drug and alcohol addiction, frustration and depression, aggressive and violence behavior, symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autoaggression and suicidal actions, unemployment, the loss of self-control and faith in the future, misunderstanding of civil reality, reintegration problems, rejection of “peaceful” life, conscious or unconscious desire to return to a crisis situation etc. Difficulties of those gone through combat experience affect all the levels of human existence - physiological, psychological, personal, social, and can lead to persistent negative changes not only in those who survived this stress, but also in their families and relatives. Having no experience in this field, many of psychologists and social workers appeared to have no relevant competencies and skills to meet the complex of the combat stress related problems. Another challenge for Ukrainian social work is the fact that these "new" problems unfold against the background of a deep systemic crisis, limited financial resources which is why there is a massive reduction of social work specialists throughout Ukraine. According to experts (Paliyenko, Semigina, 2016) fragmental psychosocial rehabilitation programs for the affected by war groups launched in 2014 by volunteer groups and non-governmental organizations (based mostly at different international practices) did not develop into systematic, state-supported psychosocial support approach solving the problems of those who survived the stress of a combat zone. Reflections and visions of social workers and psychologists involved into the practices of psychosocial support to war veterans and their families at the individual and community levels will be presented together with the possible implications for the social workers’ capacity development.
In Croatia, the rise of family mediation is connected with new Family Law (2015) and according to that first information mediation session with family mediator is mandatory in divorce cases and cases including children. Family mediation is mainly organized and implemented in Croatian social welfare system as psycho social intervention and partially within civil or legal organizations and it is initiated on a users’ request which is given in written to licensed family mediator. Aims of this presentation are: (1) to give an overview of conceptualization and introduction of family mediation in Croatia; (2) to present results of research project on competences of family mediators and judges' perspective in family mediation, submitted by researchers and teachers from Department of social work, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb. According to the research results, family mediation is perceived as available psycho social intervention within social service, rather than an alternative dispute resolution procedure at courts. There are differences among judges in the level of understanding aims and values of family mediation and supporting implementation of family mediation. Although, it can not be generalized, we suggest that professionals would need well structured and focused support and further education to be able to take the best of it to their users. The results suggested there is generally positive perception of family mediation, while the practice of family mediation is not consistent and models of implementation should be evaluated and discussed in the future.
“Participation” is one of the most frequently used word in public discourse last years. Many politicians, academics, practitioners declare participative “sensitivity”, but they actions are very often structurally (post)colonial. Irrespective of the ambiguity is strategic or the effect of neoliberal governmentality, the question is worth to be raised: Are we (academics, middle-class representatives) ready for Participatory Action Research to be taken in the field of social work seriously? Two research projects will be a basis for answering to the question: participatory action research on onto-epistemologies of homelessness and critical discourse analysis of deliberative democracy. Finally some dilemmas and limits of participatory action research are to be reconstructed: power relocation, ontological and epistemological differences, values, the question of social role of science.
All over the western world, welfare states are eroded and reshaped according to activation logics. This is witnessed by a reduced access to public welfare and stalwart austerity in social provisions. Some scholars link these evolutions to the rise of an individual orientated, technical social worker professionalism that perpetrates to inequalities rather than combating them. However, this one-directional view on the social work may lead to a negative conception of social workers. Furthermore, little empirical evidence have shown how these shifts in the welfare state conjunct with or are an issue for professional practices. To shed light to this matter, we will discuss a study conducted in a public welfare center in Belgium which illustrates the complex conjunction between the shifting welfare state and the professional ideology of the social worker. Belgian social work face similar challenges as the rest of Europe. Symptomatic is the shift in the moral and legal framework of public welfare from a rights based approach to an activation based logic. The findings of this study were retrieved from 44 interviews in a large public institution. The respondents were questioned goals of practice and social work in general, they were asked to reflect upon used strategies and to discuss the nature of emerging social problems and institutional changes related to public welfare. In this study 6 distinct professional ideologies were identified: the assistance ideology, the benefit ideology, the education ideology, the safety net ideology, the tailor made ideology and the workfare ideology. These professional ideologies serve as frameworks of reference for interventions. They grasp the ideas about welfare goals as well as the use of methods to attain these. We examined the distribution of these professional ideologies among the respondents and circumscribed the backgrounds of these ideologies. Our findings point out that the ways in which social workers make sense of professional practice are complex and multilayered. Therefore, we express the need to overpass the debate about the decline of ‘the’ social worker. Challenged by the societal and political climate, our empirically based contentions in this particular public institution, hands out evidence that social workers do not shift en masse to the side of workfare activation logics. Instead, they accumulate ideas and strategies from different socialization processes in teams, institution and society. Social workers interlace and intermingle these professional ideologies into a multi-layered personal repertoire. Furthermore, the distribution of professional ideologies amongst the respondents revealed 2 Orwellian discourses mapping the complex conjunction between professional ideologies and societal change. The first is doublethink: social workers hold simultaneously contradictory professional ideologies in mind when addressing public services to the users. The second is thougthcrime, when social workers express views and strategies which are discordant with the local or national policy.
Many scholars and social workers describe a generational shift in professional ideology. Some argue there is a diminution of interest in the structural level of social problems. Also new generations of social workers are supposed to incline the idea of welfare conditionality. And thirdly, some debates describe an evolution towards an increasingly shallow technical, ticking-boxes professional. These evolutions are linked to the conference subtheme 3: challenges and possibilities for different methodological, theoretical and professional approaches in social work research and/or social pedagogical research. The critiques mentioned above are characterized by a nostalgic and one-directional understanding of professional ideology. In contradiction, a dynamic view on professional ideology claims that no generation holds the key to the absolute truth. In this view every generation holds a specific perspective: ‘earlier generations are endowed to retrospect the present from past experiences. While newer generations are able to prospect the past in its present significance. Therefore it is our contention that discussions and research about professionalism should be regarded from what we denote as ‘an intergenerational perspective’. This paper reports on an emperical study in the Public Centre for Social Welfare in Ghent (Belgium) as a part of my doctoral research. In this research Karl Mannheim’s generational theory is employed as an analytic framework to achieve this intergenerational perspective. Data were collected from 44 social workers from September 2015 until December 2015. To determine the relationship between generations and professional ideology, observations and semi-open interviews of different generations social workers were conducted. The interview questions examined aspects of professional ideology: goals, means and evolutions in social work and aspects of professional practice: experiences, methods and client contacts. Biographical questions inquired generational aspects, socializations and earlier meaningful experiences. The combination of an inductive narrative analysis (open coding) and a priori content analysis led to a descriptive set of 6 types of professional ideologies and 4 orientations in professional practice. Based on the empirical research in Ghent, we argue that all generations of social workers adhere various professional ideologies. This paper will therefore report on the distribution of the types of ideologies between generations and their relationship with practice. The findings indicate that historical and contextual factors play a role in frictions between professional ideology and practice. Whereas professional ideology is linked to effects of socialization in society, the professional practice of starting social workers is shaped by systems, procedures, protocols and supervision within the heart of the institution. Due to the incremental complexity of these systems, the professional practice of the newest generation is less linked to the professional ideology than it is to the institutional arrangements.
The presentation discusses an empirically and theoretically based perspective on youth work’s potentials to use Local Educational Politics as field for “enabling youth” beyond school and employability. In the latest German youth report, “Enabling Youth” has been defined as crucial task of youth work (BMFSFJ 2017). Stressing the fact that youth means more than qualification, it is a call for conditions which allow young people to cope with further challenges and for active advocacy of this notion in youth-related fields. Recent attempts to widen the German educational system on local scale seem promising to provide an adequate infrastructure as they build upon cooperation between schools, actors from non-formal education and communities to make education more comprehensive, participatory and social. In practice, though, local educational networks show a strong focus on school, one-sided orientation of non-formal education to support formal education and an underrepresentation of youth work, particularly on strategic level (Olk/Schmachtel, forthcoming; Duveneck 2016). A reasonable response from youth work is claim more influence with reference to the discrepancy between its expertise the concepts demand and its implementation as insights as coordinator of a local educational project from perspective of public youth work (AGOT NRW 2015) and advisory board member of exceptional projects funded by the Youth ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia have shown, but it does not prove to be successful. Instead, it rather intensifies reservations between youth work and school. To contribute to a more adequate implementation of local educational concepts and “enabling youth” beyond school and employability, the paper explores further potentials and approaches based on - empirical evidence on the discrepancy between the conceptual and actual importance of non-formal education due to competitive and managerial logics (Duveneck 2016) - identified needs for collaborative learning opportunities (Brüsemeister 2017) to bypass the competitive logics and provide preconditions for substantial cooperation. - youth work’s expertise in participation and approaches for diverse target groups as vehicle to challenge the structural superiority of formal education and convey an adequate understanding of its actual relevance. The presentation aims at discussing the results with a particular focus on challenges to transfer scientific knowledge transfer to politics and practical work from perspective of academics and professionals of social work. References AGOT NRW – Association for Public Youth Work in North Rhine Westphalia (2015): Bildung(s)gestalten. Offene Kinder- und Jugendarbeit und Familienbildung gestalten Bildungslandschaften. Abschlussbericht. http://dokumentation.bildungsgestalten.de/ (last access: 30.05.2017). BMFSFJ – Federal Ministry for Familiy Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (2017): 15. Kinder- und Jugendbericht. Bericht über die Lebenssituation junger Menschen und die Leistungen der Kinder- und Jugendhilfe in Deutschland. https://www.bmfsfj.de/bmfsfj/service/publikationen/15--kinder--und-jugendbericht/115440 (last access: 30.05.2017) Brüsemeister, Thomas (2016): Educational Governance in kommunalen Bildungslandschaften – Zur Literalität von Kommunen im Programm „Lernen vor Ort“. In: Arbeitsgruppe „Lernen vor Ort“. Kommunales Bildungsmanagement als sozialer Prozess. VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden. PP 211-236. Duveneck, Anika (2016): Bildungslandschaften verstehen. Zum Einfluss von Wettbewerbsbedingungen auf die Praxis“. Belz-Juventa, (Edition Social Work) Weinheim. Olk, Thomas/Schmachtel, Stefanie (eds.) (forthcoming): Educational Governance in kommunalen Bildungslandschaften: Empirische Befunde und kritische Reflexionen. Beltz-Juventa, Weinheim.
The choice of this subject was dictated by several motives. The first is the lack of researches about senior`s quality of life in the perspective of being a student of Uniwercity of Third Age. The subjects of Polish researches about senior`s quality of life are: opinions about supporting role of Nursing Houses (Zbyrad 2013, Maniecka-Bryła, Śliwińska, Szlawska 2010; Jurek 2010, Mielczarek 2010, Leś 2010, Leszczyńska-Rejchert 2008; Grzegorczyk, Kwolek, Bazarnik, Szeliga 2007), violence towards old women (Halicka, Halicki 2012; Sidorczuk, Halicki 2010), factors of life satisfaction sense (Halicka 2004; Dudziak 2010), meaning of life sense (Pikuła 2016) and changes in subjective and psychosocial senior`s life (Bartosz B., Bartosz N., Zubik A. 2012). On the other hand I have got some experience and knowledge about seniors life in insitutional spaces. I am keen on this subject. The main category in my project is life quality. This category is the base of social, humanist and medical researches. Educators are exploring goals, values and needs, sociologists styles and rules of life, psychologists sense of happines and well-being. In my project I understand quality of life by satisfying needs in perspective of person who is life actor (Kolman 2000). In m researches I will use universal, Abraham Maslow`s needs pyramid (Maslow 1990). The main aims of my researches are descripton of types of seniors actvivity at Uniwersity of Third Age and show its role in life quality creation. I`ll use quantitative researches model.
Parental education is an offer of social work, which aims to be inclusive and wants to be open for parents of all ages. However, adolescent parents use these offers rather seldom (e.g. Chamakalayil 2010). Hence, the dissertation project examines why adolescents do (not) use these offers. In public opinion as well as in prior research, adolescent parents are often presented in a deficit oriented way with focus on precarious life circumstances (Gundlach/Sylla 2017). From the perspective of institutions, the concept of life world orientation (Thiersch 1995) seems fruitful for working with various target groups of social work. Thus, this study wants to give an insight in the actual live world and situations of adolescents with their children. It is also analysed, how different ways of coping with stigmatisation influence the usage of offers of parental education. Therefore, focus groups (Schulz et al. 2012) and interviews (Witzel 2000; Bogner/Menz 2009) with adolescent parents and additionally with professionals of various offers of parental education in Hamburg were conducted. In the analysis of interviews and focus groups with adolescents according to Grounded Theory (Strauss/Corbin 1996), the initial results can be categorised into prospective expectations and apprehensions adolescents have with regard to these offers as well as actual functioning’s of using these offers. References: Bogner, Alexander & Menz, Wolfgang (2009): Das theoriegenerierende Experteninterview. Erkenntnisinteresse, Wissensformen, Interaktionen. In: Alexander Bogner, Beate Littig& Wolfgang Menz (Ed.): Experteninterviews. Theorien, Methoden, Anwendungsfelder (p. 61–98). Wiesbaden: VS. Chamakalayil, Lalitha (2010): Rückkehr zur "Mütterschule"? - Anforderungen an die Familienbildung angesichts der Situation einer vernachlässigten Zielgruppe. In: Anke Spies (Ed.): Frühe Mutterschaft. Die Bandbreite der Perspektiven und Aufgaben angesichts einer ungewöhnlichen Lebenssituation (p. 127–146): Baltmannsweiler: Schneider-Verl. Hohengehren. Gundlach, Hanna; Sylla, Cornelia (2017): The Challenge of Overcoming Deficit Orientation towards Adolescent Parents through Social Research in Germany and in the USA. In: Joachim Schroeder, Louis Henri Seukwa & Ulrike Voigtsberger (Ed.): Soziale Bildungsarbeit - Europäische Debatten und Projekte. Social Education Work - European Debates and Projects (p. 69–84). Wiesbaden: VS. Schulz, Marlen; Mack, Birgit; Renn, Ortwin (2012): Fokusgruppen in der empirischen Sozialwissenschaft. Von der Konzeption bis zur Auswertung. Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Strauss, Anselm L. & Corbin, Juliet M. (1996): Grounded Theory. Grundlagen qualitativer Sozialforschung. Weinheim: Beltz, PsychologieVerlagsUnion. Thiersch, Hans (1995): Lebensweltorientierte soziale Arbeit: Aufgaben der Praxis im sozialen Wandel. Weinheim: Juventa-Verlag. Witzel, Andreas (2000): Das problemzentrierte Interview. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung /Forum: Qualitative Social Research 1 (1), Art. 22, http://nbnresolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0001228
Title: PERCEPTION OF STUDENT SUPERVISION BY AGENCY SUPERVISORS – AN EXPLORATORY STUDY Abstract: Practice placement has been a basic component in Social Work Programs for over a century in Norway as elsewhere, and supervision of students has been a valued role for social workers. We have carried out an in-depth study of supervisors’ experience with supervision of students. The aim was to get more knowledge of student supervision today and the meaning of student supervision in different practice settings. We found that the content of supervision depended on the agency context. Supervision embodies core agency values. There was a lack of common ground between supervisors and the school, supervisors and the students. Author: M.D. Mari Nordstrand is an Associate Professor in Social Work at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences. Theme: Education
This would be the presentation of a part of the research project titled: “Women in intimate relationships. The critical and empirical study” (NCN nr 2011/01/D/HS6/02470). Presented project is located in qualitative research perspective. The data was collected by focus groups interviews and individual in-depth interviews with women living in permanent relationships – formal and informal, homo- and heterosexual. The data analysis was done using Critical Discourse Analysis. The results indicate that there are many hidden aspects of intimate relationships, which are oppressive to women. So in the first part of the presentation, I would like to show these kinds of oppression, as well as discourses which are produced by women to justify them and strategies which they apply to manage with hard everyday experiences. The second part of my presentation would be based on my experiences from Erasmus+ exchange visit to Sweden. I’d like to show some possible ways of dealing with such issues by changing women’s and men’s attitudes applied in Swedish welfare system, which in my opinion could be applied also in Polish social context.
Although Canada is one of the top ten trading nations in the global economy, homelessness continues to be a significant social problem. To better understand this paradox, we examine academic debates on best practices, and the genesis and sociocultural contexts of recent policies and community-based homeless services. Despite vibrant debate and scholarship on best practices in homeless service delivery, our critical review unveils the underlying ideology of service provision: the meta-discourse of neoliberalism, which results in time-limited programs, divorced from community needs, with an ad hoc development of services. Neoliberalism dismantled the Keynesian welfare system and many of the accompanying institutions. While arguing that individuals and families should be self responsible, the Canadian federal, provincial and territorial governments have downloaded responsibility for social service programming to community-based organizations. This has resulted in the burgeoning involvement of the voluntary sector in service delivery and the emergence of neo-philanthropy. We explore the collision between a social work commitment to social justice and the new neoliberal requirements for efficiency, competition, and business based rationalities of austerity and scarcity in human services delivery. We further explore how fiscal stringency and new public management requirements are shaping service delivery and contributing to the de-skilling of social workers. Short-lived programs, limited funding, ad hoc services and precarious contract employment result in social workers struggling with uncertainty and precarity in their own lives as well as in the lives of their clients. This neoliberal approach to service delivery leans on a “neutral” scientific approach, which targets efficiency and outcome. Within this paradigm, the social worker is positioned as a technocrat and the client as a consumer. Evaluation is channeled towards accountability, quantitative assessment of results, and market discipline. We wonder how we as social workers can counteract this trend in terms of our research, education and practice. We explore ways of resisting this discourse by highlighting how a social work commitment to social justice can mitigate the new neoliberal requirements in homeless services delivery.
Introduction: Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is Australia’s most prevalent genetic, life-limiting condition, characterised by a high burden of disease and declining health and wellbeing over time. The average life expectancy of people living with CF today is 38 years, due to a dramatic increase in survival over the past 20 years. With advancing age, people with CF experience increasing disease burden and deteriorating quality of life. Evidence also indicates that negotiating the dual demands of development during the adolescent and young adult (AYA) years (15-25 years) and a diagnosis of CF, can impact significantly on health and wellbeing. Compared to adult and paediatric populations, AYAs with chronic illness demonstrate higher rates of treatment non-adherence. This is related to treatment failure, worsening health status, reduced quality of life and reduced life-expectancy. Research also illustrates that young people living with CF report several biopsychosocial concerns relating to physical function, fertility, sexual function and body image; emotional functioning; mental health; social functioning; education; vocation; and financial and legal issues. In recognition of the unique health profile and needs of young people, adolescent health is now an established sub-speciality and principles of Quality Youth Care are well established. These recognise that young people require specialist, developmentally appropriate, holistic healthcare that considers both disease management, and the development that characterises the AYA years to best support young people to live the fullest life possible. Research Gap: Despite increasing evidence about best practice AYA healthcare and understanding of the known complexities faced by young people living with CF, little is known about how care is currently provided in adult or paediatric clinics to AYA patients living with CF in Australia. Principles of Quality Youth Care, considerations of self-management and self-determination, theories of human development, healthcare behaviour theory and systems theory all require consideration in any research intended to address this gap. These theories and approaches align with the practice philosophy and ethical and theoretical frameworks that underpin social work practice in Australia. Importantly, social work plays a key role in supporting the provision of Quality Youth Care and in facilitating the development of new, innovative models of care for young people. Aim & Methodology: This presentation is based on PhD research that aims to determine how care can be optimised for AYA’s living with CF in Australia. This will be done by examining the knowledge of healthcare professionals caring for AYAs about adolescent development, the needs of young people, and Quality Youth Care and; determining how care is currently provided to AYAs living with CF in Australia. This study will employ an exploratory, mixed methods design involving a national, online, mixed-methods, survey with multidisciplinary healthcare professionals. This will be followed with six qualitative focus groups with professionals from adult and paediatric CF clinics. The proposed presentation will discuss this research.
Significant research published over the past two decades speaks to the reform of healthcare both in Australia and internationally. This is based on a range of factors including changing population demographics and health related needs; the advent of new therapeutic approaches; economic rationalisation and increasing consumer expectation of high quality, collaborative care. This reform has seen the concept of patient-centered care bought to the forefront in health policy. This concept is now considered integral to the design, implementation and delivery of quality, effective healthcare and is widely embedded in Australian and international healthcare standards. Facilitating patient-centered care is a role that has been identified by medical professionals as most appropriately sitting in the domain of allied health professions, like social work, rather than the medical profession. The values and ethics of the social work profession include fostering self-determination and empowerment, working with people in the context of their environment and working across levels of practice. The roles of social work that exist within the healthcare sphere include bringing health related knowledge and expertise to processes of assessment, care planning, counselling, liaison, referral, education and advocacy. These values, ethics and roles, place social work in the ideal position to lead the evolution and implementation of models of multidisciplinary, holistic patient-centered care. Adolescents and young adults (aged 15-25 years) living with chronic illness represent a unique and diverse patient cohort due to the interaction between disease itself and the complex development that characterises these years that occurs across all domains of human functioning. Recognition of the unique needs of young people, and the unique impacts of chronic illness in this population, has resulted in the establishment of adolescent health as a sub-specialty. This impels health services to deliver Quality Youth Care that is oriented to the developmental biopsychosocial needs of young people. Several principles of Quality Youth Care have been identified. These are grounded in a philosophy of practice that understands AYA development and recognises the responsibility of healthcare services and professionals to foster young people’s emerging capacity for autonomy. These principles emphasise the importance of developmentally appropriate engagement, communication, assessment, care delivery, culture and the environment. However, to date, these principles are not widely embedded across health services in Australia and there is work to be done to evolve developmentally appropriate, patient-centred models of care for young people living with chronic illness. This paper discusses the important role of social work as a facilitator of multidisciplinary dialogue and collaboration in the healthcare sphere, particularly in relation to the need for holistic, multidisciplinary, patient-centred models of care and partnership approaches for young people with chronic illness. It explores some of the barriers identified to date, that have hindered social work leadership in this area. It also highlights success in the area of adolescent oncology.
Countries differ in terms of their political, economic, social, and cultural structures. These differences generate the knowledge, value systems, and power networks of the local social work profession, which is demonstrated in complex social work practices. Through research exploring social worker’s empowerment practices with rural women in Australia and China, discourses of social worker’s professionalisation, indigenization, internationalisation, and feminist practices have been identified. In China, interviews with social service practitioners in non-profit organisations, social enterprises, Civil Affairs Bureaus, and social work agencies present a well-recognised social work value of helping oneself and helping others. Practitioners in these organisations, who do not have professional social work education, are regarded as indigenized social workers. They artistically engage in different levels of ‘empowerment’ practices with rural women. Generally, through participating in cultural entertainment and education activities, rural women service users feel satisfied and even feel they are being ‘empowered’. However, we may argue that ‘empowerment’ practices that lacks a transformative and political view will create new inequalities. The workers in organisations that work specifically with women have stronger gender sensitivity than those in other organisations. Tensions, or paradoxes, identified by social workers in the women specific organizations include: strong political rationality versus social workers’ autonomous rights; working for women versus working with women, the needs of expanding services versus a lack of resources, and care versus control. In Australia, rural social workers with professional social work educational qualifications, who are accredited by AASW, note that their pursuit of social work values such as social equality, justice, human rights, and empowerment result in an aim of transforming unequal societal structures, which differs from other service practitioners. These values developed during their personal growth process, and were strengthened during qualified social work education. Some rural social workers who specifically serve rural women noted that their personal experiences and feminist movements from the 1970s to the 1990s determined or influenced their gender perspectives and sensitivities, while others who engage in general social work practices did not demonstrate clear gender awareness. All practitioners say that empowerment relates to informing, educating, having an equal relationship with rural women service users, and policy advocacy. However, empowerment practices with rural women are also constrained by discourses of neoliberalism and managerialism, which often showed as the main paradox—care versus control.
Critical reflection -and related notions such as reflective practice, reflexivity and critical thinking- have gained increasing importance across a diversity of academic disciplines. Within social work, reviews of Fook et al. (2006), D’Cruz et al. (2007) and Mathias (2015) indicate the discipline’s growing interest in the relevance of such concepts, an interest that has been characterized as an attempt to validate notions of practice discretion and practice wisdom in response to the dominance of technical, procedural and competence-based approaches to social work practice and education. However, despite the substantive research on ‘critical reflection’, a unifying conception and a translation into pedagogical principles are lacking. The complex and ambiguous character of reflection raises pedagogical questions on how different theoretical notions of reflection and related terms operate in the field of social work (education). In my doctoral research project, I will study new rhetoric- and more specifically key concepts from Kenneth Burke- as a major perspective for educating reflective scientist practitioners in social work (as well as psychology and teacher education). The aim of the research is to study new rhetoric as a meta-perspective on different theoretical constructions of critical reflection (see, for example, D’Cruz et al., 2007; Fook et al., 2006; Kessl, 2009) and how they operate in the field of social work (= research objective 1). Furthermore, ‘rhetorical reflection’ will be studied as a specific conception of critical reflection, that focuses on language’s meaning-making functions and students’ capacities to think and act ‘symbol-wise’ (Enoch, 2004) (= research objective 2). Such a rhetorical perspective is relevant for social work given the discipline’s inevitable linguistic, heterogeneous and uncertain character. Research objective 1 will be addressed through a theoretical-conceptual study using rhetoric analysis (more specifically pentadic cartography) as a methodological perspective to critically study different conceptions of critical reflection operating within social work. Research objective 2 will be studied through empirical research using a qualitative research design. Social work students in higher education will be asked to critically reflect on social issues and professional roles through the rhetorical analysis of fictional drama. The written reflective reports will be rhetorically analyzed with a focus on students’ ‘symbol-wisdom’ or, in other words, their capacity to capture the rhetorical character and operation of different meaning constructions in fictional narratives, in their own practice and in their discipline more broadly. Findings within the context of social work are still preliminary given that the doctoral research includes clinical psychology and teacher education as research cases as well and the pilot study was set up in the context of clinical psychology. However, the social work case builds on a growing collaborative research line on social work and rhetorical reflection of the departments of social work and education at Ghent University. Previous results concern i.e. the use of socially engaged theatre to reflect on social work’s narrative character (Rutten et al., 2010) and the use of a short film on a ‘social work case’ to train and reflect on registration practices in social work (Roets et al., 2015).
In 2015, Leanne Schubert and Mel Gray wrote a critical commentary in the British Journal of Social Work entitled “The Death of Emancipatory Social Work and Birth of Socially Engaged Art Practice”. In this commentary, the authors argue that artists have moved in to fill the void that increasingly emerges as social workers vacate the public spaces of activism and social change. However, there is little consensus in the existing body of research about the so-called ‘death of emancipatory social work’ and what ‘social engagement’ in the arts precisely entails. The aim of our paper is therefore to revisit the relationship between social work and socially engaged art practices. A rhetorical analysis of the differing constructions about social engagement in the case study The New Forest displays different roles of artists: (1) the artist generates change, (2) the artist imagines, (3) the artist researches, (4) the artist acts as an entrepreneur, and (5) the artist confirms the social order / takes advantage. Our analysis of how artists deal with the complexity of social problems and attempt to take up an explicit social engagement offers insights for a reconsideration of the emancipatory potential and social justice aspirations of social work.
Starting from a frame of reference that poverty in its essence is a problem of unequal power-relationships, emphasis has been put on the participation of people in poverty in social work practice (dialogically exchanging on the life-experiences of people in poverty, using testimonials to influence public debate, engaging in policy-work with people in poverty...). Notwithstanding the importance of drawing on their participation, critical considerations might also be posed to whether people in poverty are in the most ‘equipped’ position to actively engage in a structural fight against poverty. Some authors explain that people in poverty might not aim for social justice aspirations, since they have been socialized to problem-definitions that extract poverty from its structural conditions, or drawing on the work of Paolo Freire, they have internalized the image the oppressors and as such the oppressed do not experience the need for social struggle. Therefore, Freire advocates a dialogical pedagogy that breaks through a culture of silence by the stimulation of critical consciousness. In the presentation we discuss how Associations where the Poor Raise their Voice (Belgium, n=59) try to engage in this ‘conscientization’ while also discussing the complexity and power-issues in doing so. These organisations state that their raison d’être is collaborating with people in poverty to shape practice and to influence policy. Our study consisted of participatory observations in five associations during one year, combined with in depth interviews with practioners, participants and volunteers of those organisations. Our findings show evidence that there is a tension between the structural aims of practitioners and their belief in participatory parity, leading to the pressure of engaging in rather affirmative strategies since that is what participants need or want. Therefore, practitioners emphasize the necessity for the conscientization of participants in order to break through their culture of silence, by for instance giving context, collectivizing problems… Opposed to Freire’s idea that this requires a liberated educator who doesn’t impose his own views, our findings suggest that practitioners often steer directly in practice. This power of practitioners over participants can in some cases be considered as productive, since in the light of social justice it appears to be important that the practitioner very intentionally takes power in order to stimulate structural change and enhance the wellbeing of people in poverty On the other hand, we do problematize the findings that the ideal of parity of participation in those practices seems to run the danger of creating a ‘masking’ practitioner, who is unwilling and reluctant to bring inherent power-issues to the table and therefore rather conveys an idea that people in poverty have the power of decision. Conclusively we argue that parity of participation should not be considered as the absence of power, but rather as the openness to dialogue about lifeworlds and imbalances of power in practice itself, which holds potential to strengthen fora in social work practice to collectively fight against oppression in the bigger society.
Treść artykułu będzie dotyczyła szkoły jako miejsca społecznego funkcjonowania młodzieży. Szczególną uwagę zwrócę na przestrzeń będącą elementem szkolnej codziennosci i na jej znaczenie w podejmowaniu aktywności przez uczniów.
There is a growing movement of experts by experience in different domains of social work. Experts by experience are people with lived experiences of poverty, addiction, mental health problems or social exclusion. Experts by experience work with their lived experiences which are analyzed, reflected upon and connected with the experiences of others to support other citizens in vulnerable situations. An essential underlying notion is that ‘clients’ are no passive objects of care. They are acknowledged as subjects whose perspectives are crucial in the knowledge construction of diverse and complex social problems. Co-creation as a concept is considered useful in solving complex (social) issues and realizing change. There are two fundamental principles to how practitioners embrace co-creation. The first is that co-creation is driven by a (social) problem or issue that must be ‘solved’. Secondly, these complex problems can’t be solved without a shared problem definition. It means that all parties involved and their perspectives are essential to engage with social issues. However, the concepts of expert by experience and co-creation have normative connotations. They entail different values and sometimes contradictory meanings. There are different approaches to the involvement of experts by experience and experiential knowledge: an instrumental, tokenistic and democratic approach. These approaches reveal that the engagement of experts by experiences not always leads to the co-creation of knowledge and sometimes even reinforces social exclusion. The instrumental and tokenistic approach instrumentalize experts by experience to realize more efficient and effective services, reducing social care and service to a product, legitimizing public policy and reintegrating citizens in a society that remains unchanged. In a democratic approach experts by experience become part of realizing more social justice in relation to the individual empowerment of citizens in vulnerable situations. An approach that doesn’t determine in advance which goals should be achieved, but engages a process of shared meaning making between professionals, experts by experience and citizens (in vulnerable situations). These approaches reveal a central tension in the ways experiential knowledge, professional knowledge and scientific knowledge are valued and how the co-creation of different kinds of knowledge hinders or contributes to the realization of social justice. This is the central challenge of co-creation of knowledge in social work: the realization of a shared dialogue between professionals, experts by experience and other citizens tackling discussions on social problems, - care and services. The goal is not only realizing better care but realizing a shared responsibility by changing power relations and social structures in general. This involves realizing and maintaining a dialogic space for different perspectives on social problems, the ways social work practices intervene in the life of citizens, what this means to citizens and how this relates to wider structures in society. When social work professionals, experts by experiences and citizens are willing and conditions are created to engage in a shared knowledge construction, possibilities arise to untangle, analyze and contest (dominant) logics within social work.
Health shapes individual’s opportunities in life as well as individual’s options in life shape their opportunities to health. Ill health causes less opportunities just as social disadvantages ill health. To refer to Germany, for one precise example, more than 40% of the unemployed suffer from serious health restrictions. In this function health becomes an important predictor for young people’s realization within youth transition and furthermore their whole life. Health emerges in a subjective well-being in young people’s daily life against the background of challenges in youth transition and young people’s options to cope with these challenges. It is constituted in youngster’s perceptions of health in their concrete life circumstances and depends on their divers’ definitions of subjective well-being in every day practice. These definitions differ within the social context and sociocultural circumstances. The implicit influence of the surrounding on subjective health goes far. It mediates health related behaviours, reactions and valuable coping strategies. Young people become a prisoner in their option space of coping within health and in this, health mediates opportunities in young people’s life. It shapes youth transition as well as youth transition shapes young people’s health. Unfortunately, the current programmatic of health promotion habitually bases on a policy of activism and behaviour. This programmatic aims rather to enlarge individual’s realization opportunities, than forcing young people into functioning’s related to the normal life course with a strong focus on successful integration. This logic forms youth transition with a restrictive effect on young people’s well-being. Socially disadvantaged young people become a victim of their own failure not to meet these essential requirements. Their perceptions of a good life and moreover, strategies to enhance their opportunities to fulfil this valuable life take a backseat. With a critical dialogue about agency and health, youth welfare could be predestined to promote youngster’s health focused on it’s function of social integration. This dialogue should refer to young people’s subjective health theories as well as their resources to control their health and analyse critically to what extent these resources provide subjective well-being and moreover, enhance realization opportunities. Focusing on health in the life world of young people, youth welfare could enhance health related agency and in this way realization opportunities and social integration.
Regarding to Eurostat (2016) around 88.300 unaccompanied minors came to Europe in 2015 in order to apply for asylum in one of the EU Member states. Sweden and Germany played a crucial role in the reception of these children and teenagers by around 35 300 unaccompanied minors applying for asylum in Sweden and 14 400 in Germany (Eurostat 2016). Unaccompanied migrant children often face various social problems after having fled to Europe. Possible reactions might be traumatization, loneliness or having to deal with culture shock, language barriers or discrimination. Another aspect which characterizes life of such unaccompanied minors is the circumstance, that family members either remain in the countries of origin or in other countries, if they are still alive. The connection between unaccompanied minors in Europe and their family members abroad often continues across borders in forms of “transnational family life”. Social media and other forms of Information and Communication technologies (ICT’s) hereby play a crucial role in order to maintain ties to family members abroad. Social workers are involved in various different stages with regards to the reception process of unaccompanied migrant children in Sweden and Germany. On the one hand, they are involved in placements and formulating intervention plans. On the other hand, the social workers are also represented in centers for care and housing, where they help children and teenagers in their integration process by trying to assist them with respect to social problems, mentioned above. In general, by establishing an intervention plan, it is one of the crucial aspects to include parents in interventions, in order to improve children's and teenager's wellbeing. However, in the case of unaccompanied minors, it can be noted that social workers face practical challenges in achieving this aim by parents/family members not being physically close to their children. The aim of my planned PHD project is to analyze transnational family structures of unaccompanied minors in Germany and/or Sweden and their families abroad. As one aim, children’s experiences regarding their family situation shall be subject of investigation. How do children deal with the absence of their family members and how does this have an impact on their socio- psychological wellbeing? Furthermore, it shall be analyzed how social workers react to such socio-psychological consequences and support children in establishing and maintaining the contact to family members abroad. In which way do social workers face challenges and limitations in their practical work regarding this question and how do they deal with it? In what way could also social workers benefit from ICT’s in order to include family members abroad in interventions regarding their children in Europe? In order to collect data, a qualitative approach in form of grounded theory is probably the main methodology used in the dissertation. Interviews with unaccompanied migrant children as well as social workers might be the most relevant tool in the research project. References: Eurostat (2016). http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/documents/2995521/7244677/3-02052016-AP-EN.pdf/
Developed as a response to the nineteenth century social question, social cultural work in Flanders has from its very beginning been concerned with the urban context. Processes of industrialization and population growth had radically changed the spatial structures and social relationships. Against the background of the formation of the nation states, a civilization offense was formed in order to influence the mental life of laborers. These socio-cultural interventions were easily incorporated into ideological institutes and gave rise to particular concepts of community, participation and solidarity, shaped by a categorical thinking of 'us' and 'them' groups. Community and solidarity appeared as an ideal, participation became an educational means to overcome 'threatening' social inequalities and to (re)produce community. What once was a strictly compartmentalized, ‘pillarized’ society, has now been transformed into an open network society. This shift has not been without consequences for social-cultural work. Together with the 'pillars', the values and ideologies from which social cultural work has derived its identity have also disappeared. In search for a way of defining its own task, many practices plunged back to a methodical logic. However, in the wake of the General Report on Poverty (1994) some ‘outbreak attempts’ (Deceur, 2017) have emerged to revive social cultural work to its original mandate, i.e. the design of the social sphere. One of those outbreak attempts was community art – or what now is referred to as ‘participatory arts practices’. Anno 2017, community art faces important challenges, not only in relation to the urban context as its intervention area, but also in relation to community and solidarity as its leading concepts. Processes of migration and pluralization have altered the cityscape: superdiversity confronts us with a new reality. At the same time, the current condition of globalization and pluralization do not longer allow concepts of community or solidarity based on a normative consensus. Based on these developments and inspired by the belief that urban living is also possible beyond the nostalgia to a lost ideal, researchers from various disciplines are looking for new ways of living together. In this PhD project, we wish to focus on the question how community art relates to this discussion. So far, this question has received scant attention in the academic literature. The current urban condition demands innovation and creativity. For participatory arts projects the question arises to what kind of society do they want to contribute and why? As an outbreak attempt to revitalize the original social cultural mandate, community art practices are pedagogical practices and, in this sense, historically determined; they hold a position towards the present society as it has gained its historical form; they seek the principles that are to be justified; and they must find the appropriate language. At this point, current pedagogical reference frameworks impinge on their own limits. What are participatory arts practices, given the context in which they evolve, given the place they occupy between people and given the demands made in an urban society – and how can we talk about this?
Since the introduction of the Lisbon strategy (2000–2010) and the EU 2020 strategy (2010–2020), European welfare states have developed a particular concern to generate tangible results from the efforts made to combat child poverty (Council of the European Union, 2006; Schiettecat, Roets & Vandenbroeck, 2014). We will argue that this emphasis in anti-poverty strategies coincides with a stringent social investment rhetoric, which is often reflected in national social inclusion policies in European welfare states and based on ideas of active citizenship and employability (Roets et al., 2012; Orianne, 2012; Gray, 2014). As Gray (2014, p. 1751) asserts, while social inclusion centres on ‘championing the rights of poor, marginalised, oppressed and socially excluded groups in society’, it is equally well juxtaposed against neo-liberal stringency, austerity measures to reduce welfare consts, and welfare-to-work programmes. These policies proclaim a focus on human and social capital development, such as marketable skills, knowledge, employability, and self-responsibility, being justified by the promise that these strategies prevent poverty by reinserting those who have been marginalised from education or the labour market into society, or enable them to reintegrate themselves (Dean, 2003; Villadson, 2007; MacDonald & Marston, 2005; Vrancken, 2012). The dependency of citizens on the social welfare system (e.g. in the case of unemployment) has been considered as a vital social risk, and (future) economic participation is put forward as the key marker to recognise people as citizens (Lister, 2003; Jorgensen, 2004). In that sense, children as citizen-workers- of-the-future along with parents in poverty situations who are perceived as being responsible for the well-being of their children have become the central targets and objects of policy intervention (Lister, 2006). As Schiettecat et al. (2014) argue, the paradigm of social investment has found practical expression in preventative interventions, constructing the problem of poverty in terms of education and activation of both children and their parents. Our contribution is based on the theoretical and conceptual underpinnings of a qualitative research project in Belgium, in which the network dynamics of four local and inter-organizational networks of welfare actors are explored that are formed to combat child poverty (see INCh, 2014). We will argue that those recent social policy reforms and developments reflect the emblematic ‘triumph of a more individualist understanding of social relations that weakens the idea of collective responsibility’ (Marston & McDonald, 2014, p. 1023), and demonstrate an ideological shift to conditionalization (Vrancken, 2002). This conditionality of welfare rights implies that citizens have no rights without responsibilities, and that welfare rights - often rather subtly - shift into social obligations (Dwyer, 2004; Dean, 2015; Lorenz, 2016). In our paper presentation, we will mainly rely on the work of Robert Castel and Serge Paugam to explore theoretical notions of employability towards both parents and children in these local realities, and to theorize processes of social disqualification that make us able to understand poverty as a result of combined inequalities.
As a young researcher interested in the area of digital space in higher education the author decided to analyse and describe students’ and her own experiences related to communicating and studying through discussion groups on Facebook. She proposed students to establish Facebook groups in a frame of conducted courses at the University. There were two groups of students. The results of data analysis collected in the first group were presented in the International Conference in Rezekne, Latvia (Bielinis, 2017). At the moment the author is analysing data collected in the other group. She performs a self-evaluation (Dictionary of Notions of Education Evaluation System) of the undertaken action. She is mostly focused on finding answers for two questions: 1. What does communication assisted by the computer bring into the learning process? 2. What kind of experience related to the creation of a group on Facebook is regarded as valuable? Her research includes data triangulation. She collected data from participatory observation (Kozinets, 2012) of actions and activities undertaken by students in the closed group as well as semi-structured interviews. The interview guide included issues like: students’ attitude towards the idea of participating in the group, usefulness of materials for studying and the experience related to communication through the group. She uses axial coding for data analysis, which allows her to capture the most important categories and subcategories that emerges in the process of study. That type of data mining enables her to find answers for previously asked research questions and to identify relationships between the categories. The course conducted by the author was prepared for students in the first semester of their master degree studies. They were representatives of different pedagogy specialities (among others: adult education with social counselling, care pedagogy with sociotherapy, education and activation of local communities). In the author’s opinion based on the observation and impressions collected in interview guides these FB groups may have a significant influence on a process of communicating and learning at the University. As our graduates also plan their professional careers in a field of social work these research results might be helpful with creating networks for social workers that enables them to communicate, exchange experience and learn from each other. As a theoretical concept the author refers to the theory of transformative learning (Mezirow, 1998) and Connectivism (Siemens, 2005). References: Bielinis, L. (2017). FB, they and me – the attempts of using social media as tools for reflective learning and communicating at the University W: V. Lubkina, A. Zvaigzne (red.), Society. Integration. Education, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference, May 26-27th, Volume I, Rezekne: Rezekne Academy of Technologies. Kozinets, R. V. (2013). Netnografia. Badania etnograficzne online. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN. Mezirow, J. (1998). On critical reflection. Adult Education Quarterly, 48, 185-198. Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, Vol. 2 No. 1, 3-10. Dictionary of Notions of Education Evaluation System, H. Mizerek (red.), [w:] http://www.npseo.pl/action/dictionary/make/view/item/54/
Co-dependence is a huge problem affecting women. It should be noted that not only partners, but also mothers, are struggling with this problem. The aim is to present the problems faced by co-dependent people, especially mothers whose children are addicted to alcohol and drugs. I want to present the characteristics of co-dependent women and to explore if mothers exhibit similar characteristics of co-dependence as partners of addicted men. The question is whether such mothers need special support from social institutions.
This paper discusses how a collective of young filmmakers tackles broader socio-political questions and gives the opportunity to different perspectives on social reality. System_D is situated in the metropolitan and the diverse context of Brussels, and reaches groups of socially vulnerable people with various ethnic-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. System_D supports young filmmakers in making films and organizes a biannual film festival. The project is a part of the Pianofactory, a cultural and community centre in Saint-Gilles. They create an artistic answer to the political problem of misrepresentation of Brussels youth in occasion to the riots in 2010 in Saint-Gilles, a so called “heated neighbourhood” in Brussels. At first, the project tried to give voice to Brussels’ young people by organising workshops etc. After time they realized that these young people already were giving voice but lacked a forum for their perspectives, stories and films. So ‘giving voice’ became ‘giving a stage’ on which positions and inequalities can be discussed. This paper addresses the position of the Sytem_D project and the role of social workers in specific ideological views and socio-political choices on the origin and solutions of social problems. System_D raises possibilities for dialogue on the reconceptualization of the concept of living together in the city, by fuelling collective learning processes and democratic moments, and by making urban spaces more ‘public’ in the end.
Elżbieta Wołodźko Faculty of Social Sciences University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (Poland) Action research in pedagogues’ professional education The article presents the way students – members of Scientific Circle of Educational Media (Faculty of Social Sciences UWM Olsztyn) - constructed their professional knowledge and experience, based on pedagogical activity and inquiry, carried on in the process of action research. Data were gathered on a base of participative observation and students’ reflective essays concerning three - year long activity, taken with children from a small village near Olsztyn. The meanings students gave their process of professional learning and the experiences of social work for the local society were analyzed.
The research project has as core problematic the study of social professions from a gender perspective. It is based on the relevance of the understanding of the social professions, and of the social work as a feminized profession, considering that the gender dimension has been a less explored approach in the study of social professions and social work in Portugal. The research aims to explore the theoretical hypothesis that there are professions, namely in the social field, which have historically been constructed as "women's work", as is the case of the professions grouped in the Anglo-Saxon designation of caring professions (Hugman, 1991; Cancian & Oliker, 2000; Bessin, 2005; Letablier, 2007,).In analytical terms, it is intended to explore several clues that appear to be particularly heuristic. On the one hand, to analyze the evolution of the professional 'social work' in its relationship with the State, and on the other, to explore the clue that socio-occupational identities are embedded attributes associated with the feminine gender, in an approach regarding the relation between sexual differentialism, social professions and models of professionalism, including how gender stereotypes reproduce in the social work, which have implications for status, professional profile, attributes, and power as a profession marked by sexual differentiation, in their genealogy , history and actuality. The general objective of research is to uncover the gender dimensions of the social worker profession, in order to understand how the identities of the social workers are built in the implied intersection of identity dispositions and strategies - identity for themselves, and the statutory dimensions of the relationship with the State - attributed identity, elaborated empirically combining an historical approach based on secondary sources and archives and narrative interviews with women and men social workers nowadays. Despite its focus in the social work itinerary, the project also intents a comparative approach both to other social professions in Portugal.
In this paper, I present the theoretical and methodological assumptions of own research: The professional identity of the occupational therapists. Theoretical inspirations related to the professional identity of the subject – occupational therapist – working in the field of social practice, were found in the concepts of the professionalization with regard to the profession focused on help. The particular views of social work, brought by Krystyna Marzec-Holka, Marta Łuczyńska and Ewa Kantowicz were specifically inspiring in this matter. The methodological assumptions were based on quantitative approach. Presented report represents the attitude combined with other social professions (social worker, social pedagogue, family assistant) which are close to the occupational therapy because of their functions, tasks and the system of values which highlights common mission, a kind of assembly of those who help other people and with other people. This way I show that the occupational therapist activity, together with other professions (involved in helping) is focused on the assistance with the development.
The dynamics of political and socio-economic changes in the Eastern Europe at the turn of the century caused a lot of social problems that require solutions. The social work has become the academic field which holds responsibility for education of experts prepared to provide professional support for people in need. The presentation would be focused on the motives of young people from Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine for choosing the profession of social worker that requires very high levels of commitment and even sacrifice.
Social work as helping profession as helping profession made tremendous changes during last 30 years in Lithuania, which is strongly associated with the intent to implement human rights. Together child welfare system in Lithuania develops according to European experience. Continuation of economical transformations brought new challenges to communities, unsolved family issues developed into complex family situations. Regardless good intentions, the social work practice realities, tradition has mould professional activity according to existing values, stock of knowledge, experienced tradition, which remains unreflect, Children day care centre is specific setting of social services providing help for socially vulnerable families. They are suggested for poor families, as material deprivation disturbs proper child care, for families abusing substances and for single parents. Children are attending on daily basis, services for the parents are supplementary activity for these units. Disproportion in understanding of parental figures roles and obligations is influential structuring social work helping process for the family. The basis of idea this gender differentiation inside of family appears as there are expectation for gender roles in the family. The aim of the presentation is to disclose construction of the social work helping process for families in children day care centers. There was conducted hermeneutical research, inviting to the research 5 social workers from nongovernmental organisations, providing social work services for social risk families. Research revealed the way past experiences moulds present aspirations of social workers. Social workers are prioritizing services for children. Social work with parents becomes their secondary responsibility, what makes helping process with family fragmented and aimless. The emphasis on the social worker’s role on child protector divides family members to the weak ones and to the bad ones, and creates tension between “weak” - “vigorous” mother and “abusive” - “sponger” father. Interesting that the fusion of old and new habits are expressed differently by research participants. Those social workers, who try to intervene into family on the basis of habitus based on the Soviet constructions presents quite intervention and reasoning of it particularly and with certain confidence about their decisions. Those social workers who tries to intervene on the basis of professional work values and procedures, their cases are not so detailed they feel powerless and confused in relations with clients, and especially with adults. For those social workers who try to work valuing family as unit especially confusing is collaboration with state, municipality agencies. These research participants shared their understanding about ability to create informal atmosphere for the family diversity, which enabled both sides for empowerment and dialogue.
Social Pedagogy is an emerging field over many parts of the world but also a strange phenomenon – deeply interwoven with Social Work and yet different from it. The proposed paper tries to get hold of this enigmatic phenomenon. It does so by starting from different contemporary transnational translations of Social Pedagogy and analysing the way in which they identify Social Pedagogy in relation to its historical “origins”. The analysis is inspired by the sociology of translation (Callon 1986) as well as by current theoretical efforts to make use of transnational studies for Social Work research (Köngeter 2010). It begins with the observation that all attempts to legitimate Social Pedagogy heavily draw on the historical theoretical heritage of certain classics. They usually refer to writings from a different national and language background and thus are translated both literally and figuratively to a new national context. The paper analyses different of these chains of translation of Social Pedagogy by reconstructing how for example Natorp’s ideas of Social Pedagogy have been travelling from 19th century Germany to 20th century Norway and from there to 21st century England. Or how Paulo Freire’s Latin American “Pedagogy of the oppressed” was translated and reframed in order be useful for Social Pedagogy in Belgium. The paper follows these translation processes backwards by starting from textbooks and other introductory works which have currently been published within different national contexts. The analysis aims at reconstructing these publications as elements of discursive practices in which Social Pedagogy is brought into being in transnational networks of references which are again, heavily shaped through different national contexts. The objective is to show the discursive power of classics and how they may be used in order to legitimate Social Pedagogy in contemporary societies. On the other hand it shows how these classics themselves are far from historically stable but transformed in order to make them fit to today’s (trans-)national contexts. Callon, Michel (1986): Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. In: Law, John (Hg.): Power, action and belief: a new sociology of knowledge? London: Routledge, S. 196-223. Köngeter, Stefan (2010): Transnationalism. In: Social Work and Society. International Online Journal, 8. Jg., H. 1, S. 177-181.
Prof. PhD Irena Leliūgienė Mykolas Romeris University, Lithuania Assoc.Prof. Angelė Kaušylienė Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences Mgr., expert of social work Angelė Bajorienė Practical level Abstract Global istorical events and sociopolitical transformations of the last time have affected social work. Social work affects the society; however, it is undeniable that the environment is also an important factor influencing social work. Social work the purpose is to solve the increasingly difficult and extremely relevant public social problems, to build human society, to care about the person, his spiritual health, self-expression, to make it take up new educational technologies, understand the changing values. Representatives of this profession are a determinant factor. Therefore this activity is significant for the society and the state. The twenty-first century there is no unified cultural space, a striking lack of common moral universe. The change in present European social dimensions induces us to discous about social work as a space for dialogue, cooperation and diversity . This dialogue and cooperation depends on a number of macro, mezzo and micro factors. Among them, it is very important realisation of ethics. The report presents the results of the research in the realisation of ethics in social work activities. Social work is a complex and multifaceted profession in which practice is based on strong values. Social work values and ethical principles have been a particularly acute and debatable topic since ancient times. Scientific research was carried out in a multiethnic multicultural environment where there are a variety of religions, different social status. It has always been noticed that social work practical activities raise ethical issues and dilemmas. Ethical problems and their solutions are basic problems in the development of social work as a profession. The main goal of this report was set: to reveal how ethics are implemented by social workers in practice. The following objectives were set: 1) to explore the concept of ethics and values in social work context; 2) to analyse how the social worker's ethical standards are being implemented in various fields of activity; 3) to examine how ethics is realised in practice by the social workers of N District Municipality. In order to achieve the goal and tasks, the concept of ethics and values in social work was discussed as well as the analysis of social work ethics was implemented in various branches and spheres of activity. To reveal the topic, the research (survey) was carried out, which was attended by the N District Municipality social workers. Closed-ended questions were analysed by quantitative research methods and open-ended questions were processed by qualitative research methods. The results revealed that social workers of N District Municipality knew the ethical standards of their profession and implemented them in all the mentioned aspects of ethical codes. Social workers identified five main reasons which cause violations of ethical standards in their practice: apathy of colleagues, heavy workload, lack of offices, problematic clients and nervous tension at work. Keywords: ethical standards, ethical problem, social work, social work ethics, social worker.
The intention of the report is to introduce a standardized quantitative questionnaire for measuring retirement home clients' level of satisfaction of residential services and the quality of life. The questionnaire is based on the concept of: "public service satisfaction"; “quality of life”, as well as the knowledge of social sciences about the risks of medication and the defeating of clients, the potential implications of which are inherent in each institution of care. The questionnaire is compiled of 105 primary items. While matching logical and factorial validation, primary variables were reduce to the 7 psychometric scales. The topics of the scales include all existential areas of the residential home: material living conditions, communication, the quality of social relationships, the involvement in various activities, events and creating the premises for meaningful existence. The statistical normalization basis of the questionnaire is the generalized opinion of 284 inhabitants, who represent the communities of ten various retirement homes (private vs municipal, large vs small, etc.). Respondents are also diverse – the seniors and the middle-aged people who have difficulties in living independently. The limitation of the questionnaire is that it is a typical questionnaire for self assessment of personal situation and living conditions. The filling of the questionnaire makes sense only for those respondents who are fully active and capable of responding. The combination of the survey and the interview has shown that at least part of the population during the "alive conversation" tend to open their hearts to the interviewer and present a more detailed, more critical assessment of the services provided in the retirement home. The criterion validity in the future should still be verified while using different methods and external criteria: external audit, experts, ethnographic method, etc. The indicators related to material living conditions: food, room, household comfort, closest surroundings are appreciated more favorably. Relatively lower indicators are related to the overall organizational culture and the quality of social relations which may be expressed by models: (A) "resident population"; (B) "population-specialists"; (C) "residents - administration". In all cases, the indicators such as the involvement of people in meaningful activities, their inclusion in the life of the retiring home community and events, the creating of premises for meaningful existence, are considered to be the worst. According hypothetical basis, the discovered empirical findings can be interpreted in several directions. 1. The institutional care system of elderly people in Lithuania already manages to provide more or less adequate level and quality of elementary material conditions. 2. Organizational culture, the quality of social relations, the involvement of retirement home clients in deeply meaningful activities remains a relatively neglected area. The lacking behind can be overcome with the help of organizational learning and change projects. It is probable that the relative backwardness of the organization's ability to ensure a deeply meaningful existence of seniors is an objective intercultural phenomenon determined by the existential drama of "life sunset".
Today, in the age of aging society, aid institutions, prosocial and governmental organizations face the challenge of meeting the needs of the elderly. The basic needs, for example the need for shelter, food and medical care, are easier to take care of and check. Being responsible for mental needs is more difficult, but equally important. Watching over them in Poland is primarily concerned with prosocial organizations. The ideal form is volunteering and engagement in social life. Based on a survey of activities undertaken by prosocial organizations in Olsztyn, I have prepared an analysis of the good practices and effects that seniors bring to life and provide their mental needs.
At the moment, in Flanders (the Norther part of Belgium), there is an ongoing debate on the development of an association for social work professionals. Social workers are searching for a stronger position in the face of evolutions towards managerialism, individualism and conditionality of welfare rights. The development of a professional association is seen as one element in the support of such a position. In this contribution, I want to discuss this evolution. From a historical perspective, social work has since the beginning of the twentieth century been searching for a recognition of the profession, balancing between a focus on status and power or a focus on a more open identity. This debate is continuing until today and the question we want to address is what the meaning is of a professional association in the face of this search for recognition. Albeit, experiences in other countries shows that a professional association can strengthen the status of the profession, yet at the same time it can also kill the social character of the profession, as it promotes social work as a profession ‘in charge’, capable of solving complex social problems. Hence, the identity of social work becomes one of ‘what works’, rather than one of vulnerability. And as such, it can mean the death of the social. In this contribution, we want to discuss in what way a professional association which supports the birth rather than the death of the social could be conceptualised.