Darja Zaviršek, Sonja BezjakEthics as a tool against deconstruction of social work - Pg. 99 - 100
Julia WatkinsWelcome address to the opening of the 7th social work congress in Slovenia - Pg. 101 - 103
Ana M. SobočanEthical dilemmas and challenges to humanism in contemporary social work - Pg. 105 - 120Keywords: ethics, neoliberalism, risk, corporativism, welfare state, critical thinking.
Social work is permeated with ethical dilemmas. These also arise from the conflict between humanistic principles and the ethical imperatives of social work with current orientations in social policy and macroeconomic processes. From this point of view, various elements and factors of the neoliberal structure are also relevant for understanding modern social work practices characterized by deregulation, deprofessionalization, privatization, introduction of market principles into services, etc. In this way, social work loses its capacity to analyze and change the systemic, collective and individual conditions that organize and determine our lives. The notion of risk replaces the notion of needs, individual blame replaces the imperative of solidarity, and so on. As the results of research with social workers in Slovenia and foreign literature show, resistance to the demoralizing situation in the profession does exist. Social work needs to resume its advocacy, critical, radical stance, and with the help of critical reflection and other methods defend its mandate for human rights and social justice.
Darja Zaviršek, Sonja BezjakGreen social work and environmental justice in the case of water and hydropower - Pg. 121 - 133Keywords: green social work, hydroelectric power, environmental disasters, Southeast Europe, environmental justice, Kruščica.
Green social work emphasizes that humans and the natural environment (taking into account flora and fauna) should not be separated and that a holistic understanding of human and natural structures is necessary. The goal of green social work is to develop social work practices that promote human-nature interdependence, redistributive justice, and is critical to new social inequalities. Environmental disasters impact people unequally and affect those who are most economically vulnerable more severely; this is also reflected in people's health and mental health outcomes. The article presents an analytical example of environmental justice and environmental grief concerning the water resources and the use of hydropower plants. Despite the latter being understood as “green energy”, the article emphasizes the need to consider studies that see hydropower plants as a cause of environmental degradation. As green social work mobilizes communities and individuals to resist new inequalities, the article focuses on Southeast Europe, where there is much local resistance to the construction of new hydropower plants. The case from Bosnia and Herzegovina is described in detail, where the “brave women of Kruščica” successfully stopped the interests of local and international investors and corporations from building hydropower plants in the local area and strengthened community solidarity. This is a powerful story for understanding green social work.
Srečo DragošIdeology and structural violence - Pg. 135 - 152Keywords: social policy, national character, fascism, National Socialism, civil society.
Unlike ordinary, known, sudden and individual violence, structural violence is more difficult to notice because it is often – by both actors and victims – reduced to unsystematic and sporadic events. The mechanisms of reduction (of causes, consequences) in structural violence are similar to those in ideological thinking, which is discussed in the first part of this article. The other two parts of the paper are empirical. They are intended for the analysis of ideological reductions in the field of social policy in Slovenia, producing the typical effects of structural violence. The target is not just marginalized groups (although they are the most affected), but also the culture of the whole society in terms of the characteristics summarized in the (romantic) expression »Slovenian national character«. The European comparison shows that the Slovene national character is the most problematic in terms of values regarding the attitude towards oneself and in relation to the authorities. When this trait (of culture) coincides with intolerance of others, with authoritarian government, with prevailing radical views on changing society, and with negative trends in social policy, we get an explosive mix.
Shulamit RamonAttending to political conflict in social work today and in the near future: Focus on European social work - Pg. 153 - 166Keywords: migration, illiberal state, authoritarianism, welfare systems, refugees, asylum seekers.
This paper is aimed at looking at how social workers in Europe tackle the inevitable political issues embedded in their work as intermediaries between political authorities (governments and local authorities) and social work clients affected by political conflict. The notion that social work can be a-political is rejected from the outset. The outcomes of armed political conflict for the populations involved, as well as for social workers who are citizens in these countries, and who remain in their country of origin, are briefly looked at. The migration wave of 2015–2017 and its aftermath is used as the key example with which to explore further the issue of clash between social work values and those of the majority of the European member states governments. Key changes taking place since 1980s in political ideologies of these states, including the issues of nationalism alongside neoliberalism and imposed changes in the welfare state which reveal going back to pre 2nd World War perception of poor, disabled, and destitute people are examined. The impact of these changes on attitudes towards refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are investigated. Some key examples of social workers attempting to change the worsening situation for their clients are given. The paper ends in considering the options for social workers wishing to follow the values of social work in their collective and individual practice.
Jelka ZornViolent borders, securitization, and criminalization of solidarity - Pg. 167 - 180Keywords: migration, refugees, autonomy, pushback, social work, activism.
Autonomy of social work is undermined by securitization, which is a form of structural violence against migrants and refugees. Police pushbacks at the European borders are violation of international standards and the right to have rights. In such racist social environment, groups and individuals, who show solidarity with migrants, are also criminalised and threatened. Authorities consider solidarity a crime. The author combines research methods of observance participation and auto-ethnography. These are applied to search the position of social work in order not to reproduce inequalities and violence, but on the contrary, to conceptualize and work in line with professional values.
Hubert HöllmüllerAn Austrian social work project in Western Sahara - Pg. 181 - 186
Sara Pistotnik, Tanja BudaDarja Zaviršek, Natalija Djoković, Laura Radešič, Katerina Meden, Katja Đogić, Maruša Kožman (2019): Romske družine: priročnik za razumevanje etične prakse v socialnem delu in drugih pomagajočih poklicih v podporo slovenskim Rominjam in Romom - Pg. 191 - 195
Lucija KlunTo exclude by including: transformed rasisms of modern educational and social care practices for »inclusion« of the Roma - Pg. 3 - 17Keywords: structural violence, asimilation, inclusion, discrimination, inequality, antirasism.
The Roma in Europe have been targets of violence, punishment, exclusion and patologisation for centuries, but modern, enlightened urge to re-educate was supposed to »help« them to get rid of assigned inferiority, abandon their problematic behaviours and get assimilated. The author proves that modern programmes for incusion are, despite their humanistic flair and obligation to minority rights protection, in accordance with previous structural violence. In most cases, benevolent »inclusion« means social, cognitive, and language assimilation, but for purpuses of multiculturalism the Roma are allowed to retain some exotised cultural characteristics. Such an interpretation paints the Roma as a people whose only problem is not being progressive enough – they are subjected to all the persecution and attempts at »inclusion« only because their point of development is incompatible with the European civilisation. Unreflected »inclusion« of the Roma, mostly by means of educational and social care apparatus, produces new stages of exclusion, discrimination and rasist treatment, keeping the border between Us and Them intact. If re-education and inclusion attempts fail, now the Roma are to blame. Despite the fact that inclusion of the Roma has officially become an imperative, the author points to disputable supranational and national strategies and guidelines on inclusion, and portray them as just a new disguise of an old exclusion.
Živa Humer“It's best to have me under a father”: experiences of gay fathers with implementing their parental rights and child care - Pg. 19 - 35Keywords: fatherhood, caring masculinities, gays, families, discrimination.
In the context of involved fatherhood, we focus in this article on parental stories and experiences of gay fathers in caring for children. Based on an analysis of four interviews with gay fathers, their experiences of fatherhood and fathering, child care, and parenting rights are presented, which show the inequalities and discrimination they’re faced with. Gay fathers' narratives of care practices point to parenting and childcare practices as a key identity point in their lives. Through primary parenting, involvement in the child's life and childcare practices, gay fathers are expanding involved fatherhood and co-create a model of caring masculinities based on intimacy, care practices, relationships and reciprocity.
Eva JambrekChildren's participation in divorce mediation under the Family Code: from concept to implementation - Pg. 37 - 54Keywords: child, involvement, divorce, dispute resolution, family mediation, child\'s voice.
The article analyses the role of a child in divorce mediation through disciplinary integration of the theoretical concepts of mediation, social work and family law. Despite its informal nature, the mediation process shall ensure a comparable protection level of children's right to participation as children can expect from formal family law proceedings. In Slovenia, an important step towards consolidating the position of children in mediation was achieved in 2017 with the adoption of the Family Code, which enables a mediatior to include a child in mediation. The participation of children in mediation pursues several goals: it ensures a child's right to express views freely, enables consultation with a child about their experiences of family separation and supports the empowerment of a child by a trusted person. The article presents a comprehensive concept of child inclusive mediation and its implementation, taking into account the Slovenian normative regulation of mediation and children's participatory rights.
Gaja Černe, Liljana RihterSupport and help for people with anorexia: positive and negative aspects of pro-ana websites - Pg. 55 - 67Keywords: eating disorders, internet, website support groups, social work.
Individuals suffering from eating disorders often turn to virtual communities for help and support, as these are often more accessible than social workers. In social work the so-called pro-ana websites are poorly known. In the paper, findings on the beneficial and harmful effects of pro-ana websites are presented, together with their implications for social work. A qualitative online survey on a non-random convenience sample of 20 pro-ana website users is described. The main function of pro-ana websites is to provide users with the opportunity to anonymously obtain information, receive guidance and emotional support. However, the sense of community and inclusion can also have negative effects, as some pro-ana websites encourage eating disorders. It is, therefore, important that we, as social workers, understand what attracts users to these websites and identify which user's needs are met quicker and easilier through them. This way we can offer appropriate help and support when we meet the users.
Kristina UrhComparison between the processes of national and international adoptions in Slovenia and Croatia - Pg. 69 - 79Keywords: centres for social work, children\'s rights, reproductive rights, abortion, anti-racism, adopters.
A research on social workers with experience in intra- and intercountry adoption procedures in the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia is presented. The purpose of the research was to show the differences and similarities between the two procedures in both countries, to relate to women's reproductive rights, to show the latest statistics, to review the perspective of children and potential adopters on the procedure and, above all, to come up with proposals on how to work more effectively in the field of adoptions.