Srečo DragošDecommodification of work - Pg. 241 - 258Keywords: welfare state, work, precariat, commodification, bullshit jobs, universal basic income
The welfare state, the greatest social science innovation of the 20th century, has been the target of much criticism over the last 50 years. Some of them are justified, others not at all. The legitimate criticisms have been mainly concerned with the performance of the welfare state, i.e. the lack of realisation of some of the objectives for which it was conceived in the first place, such as eradication of poverty, precariat, regulation of invisible labour, scope and quality of public services. Unjustified criticisms focus on the effectiveness of the welfare state, questioning its legitimacy and even accusing it of having morally negative effects on citizens, such as on the stateless recipients of welfare. Since the distance between one type of criticism and the other is by no means diminishing, it seems that the range of rational arguments and empirical data is rather limited, and that is why more and more emphasis is being placed on possible alternatives to the welfare state. This paper presents ten alternative concepts, but before that, it deals with one of the basic problems that is least discussed, although it should serve as one of the criteria for assessing the alternatives discussed, namely the (un)meaningfulness of work.
Gordana HorvatThe importance of formal and informal support networks for foster parents in establishing the normalisation of children's life: the case of Croatia - Pg. 259 - 274Keywords: foster care, childcare, families, deinstitutionalisation, social work, social work centres
Foster care has become the focus of social work in Croatia in recent years, due to the lack of placement capacity in institutions and process of deinstitutionalisation which aims to achieve normalisation of human life in the community. In foster care, the normalisation of a child's life is a challenge for all those involved in the process, as there is no inclusive model of foster care in Croatia and the role of social work is divided between all actors in the foster care process. Therefore, the thesis is put forward that for the establishment of the normalisation of the life of a foster child, it is important to provide formal and informal networks in the community, which are built and connected by social work in joint collaboration. The purpose of this paper is to identify the current support network for foster care, determine the needs of foster parents for normalizing the life of a child in foster care, and examine how social work as a profession contributes to this process. Through a qualitative analysis of eight semi-structured interviews with foster families conducted between November 2021 and January 2022, the findings indicate that foster parents need more accessible ongoing institutional support from social workers, but also non-formal forms of support, particularly associations of foster parents in the civil sector and better collaboration with children's primary families.
Petar ŠajfarExperience of deinstitutionalisation from service users' perspective in Croatia - Pg. 275 - 295Keywords: intellectual disability, relocation, community-based support, group homes, long-term care
As in other post-socialist countries, the process of deinstitutionalisation in Croatia began much later than in Western countries. A turning point is the year 2014, when the mass relocations of people with intellectual disabilities from long-term institutions to community-based settings began. The focus of this research is on the experiences of deinstitutionalisation from the perspective of service users. The research methodology is based on a qualitative approach because it enables a deeper understanding of the problem and allows the researcher to focus on real life experience of respondents. The sample included 27 participants (14 males, 13 females) who during the research lived in 11 different group homes in different parts of the Republic of Croatia. Based on thematic analyse, the results show that the majority of respondents had to move from a long-term institution to a group home due to necessity when long-term institutions were closed. The criteria by which someone was selected or excluded for admission to the deinstitutionalisation process was his or her functionality (e.g. good behaviour, physical mobility). Finally, the research shows that most participants were not systematically and purposefully prepared for the transition from a long-term institution to a group home. Findings of the study are partly in line with the international literature, highlighting the marginal role and difficulties of service users in the deinstitutionalisation process.
Blaž MesecLinguistic model of ChatGPT artificial intelligence as a tool in qualitative analysis - Pg. 297 - 316Keywords: human intelligence, heuristics, grounded theory, methodology, mentorship, study practicum
The text describes an experiment that used the language model of artificial intelligence called ChatGPT for the qualitative analysis of a response from a social work student to an interview question about her study practice. ChatGPT was asked questions about identifying basic themes, concepts, typologies, and evaluations. The robot provided surprisingly appropriate answers, but it rejected self-critically the request for professional conceptualization. The conclusion of the informal experiment is that ChatGPT is a useful tool in qualitative analysis, provided that the researcher can ask appropriate questions (prompts). However, the output of the robot must be evaluated and supplemented by a human researcher before final report and publication. The issue of authorship and responsibility is raised.
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Darja ZaviršekThe children's collective as a method of work, gender relations, and the traces of Makarenko’s work in written sources and oral memory in social work in Slovenia - Pg. 89 - 110Keywords: pedagogy, colonies, abandoned children, Homo sovieticus, gender equality, memory work.
The thematic analysis of the famous work of the Soviet pedagogue Anton S. Makarenko The Road to Life focuses on two themes: a.) the introduction of the main working methods of social education of abandoned children from the children's colony in the Soviet Union in the twenties and thirties of the twentieth century; b.) the analysis of gender relations in Makarenko’s work. The method of collective organization of children of different ages, based on the socialist values of collective education, work, and gender equality, was central to Makarenko’s work. Makarenko's method opposed the mainstream educational methods of punishing, medicalizing, and pathologizing children, and therefore faced criticism. The Road to Life was rewritten several times by Soviet censors to conform to Soviet ideology. His work must be read as an ethnography of the colony and an allegory of the new “social education” of abandoned children. In the fifties of the 20th century, the book was translated into Slovene and other Yugoslav languages. The article presents the oral history vignettes of some professors of social work in Slovenia. Their recollections prove that they knew Makarenko's work and considered his method of working with children and the fact that he was critical of labelling and pathologizing children, important. The author concludes that there are no traces of Makarenko's work in social work practice, as evidenced by graduate theses from 1957–1991 and oral histories of social work educators in Slovenia. There are some suggestions as to why this was the case.
Ana Cergol Paradiž, Irena SelišnikAgents of the women's movement in the social field: continuities and fractures - Pg. 111 - 128Keywords: social work, social policy, history, social protection, activism, feminism.
The demographic catastrophes of the two World Wars, together with the desire for post-war “cultural demobilization” and a return to “normal conditions”, stimulated a series of different initiatives that emphasized the importance of charity and social work in the public discourse, especially in the field of protecting mothers and children and specifically widows and orphans. Before World War II, many of these initiatives were advocated and implemented by Slovenian women's associations and some of their prominent representatives, e.g. Alojzija Štebi, who also worked in state structures for social welfare. Some of the changes that these individuals advocated even before the war were implemented immediately after 1945, when the Women's Anti-Fascist Front was also significantly involved in this type of work, and a significant number of its members were also employed in prominent positions within the Ministry of social policy. Although at the ideological level, the post-war agents certainly at least to some extent took into account the guidelines outlined by feminists before the war, as many of them were already active in the women's movement before the war, in their texts they themselves mainly emphasized the fracture in the field of social politics with conditions in the period before the revolution.
Maja VeharSexuality and related issues in the field of social work in the first decades of socialism in Slovenia - Pg. 129 - 143Keywords: sex education, reproductive health, family planning, social workers, abortion, contraception.
After the Second World War there were many changes in the field of gender relations and sexuality in Slovenia. Among the main issues were the rise of medical protection for sexual and reproductive health, the issue of abortion and contraception, and sex education. In addition to the outline of the situation in the field of sex education and family planning in the 1950s and 1960s, the author raises the question of the role of social workers in the planning of sex education and the implementation of sex education, as well as the question of how social workers were trained to work in the field of sex education. It answers the research questions with the help of a review of existing literature and a critical analysis of archival sources.
Sara PistotnikSocial workers in commissions for granting abortion in the 1960s in Slovenia - Pg. 145 - 164Keywords: social work, reproductive rights, birth planning, contraception, women’s rights.
The 1960s were formative years for social work in Slovenia. Newly trained social workers had been slowly integrated into various social institutions, developing social work practices in line with the social views of the era. The development of social work methods by social workers that practiced in abortion commissions is discussed. First, the social context and regulations guiding the integration of social work in the decision-making about social indication as a legitimate reason for granting abortion is described. Then the guidelines for professional work as stated by the social workers are presented together with how the process of the decision-making before commission was envisioned. Finally, some discrepancies between theory and practice are outlined as they emerge from the various historical sources used in the analysis. These relate to the qualifications of social workers as well as the collaboration with other professionals and institutions, revealing a systemic nature of the problems in the process of implementation of social indication.
Tanja BudaSocial work treatment of single mothers during socialism in Slovenia (1963–1986): Analysis of Bachelor theses at the Higher School of Social Work - Pg. 165 - 178Keywords: history of social work, women, social workers, single mothers.
A historical review of social work practice with single mothers, based on Bachelor theses from the Higher School of Social Work in Ljubljana, shows that social workers' discourse on this social issue changed significantly over the decades. In the 1960s, social workers sought to address the needs of single mothers and to support them particularly when poverty and housing insecurity were prevalent in the family. The findings of the research presented in the paper support the thesis that, despite the progressive views of the socialist political doctrine of the time, social workers in practice in the mid-1970s held an essentially traditionalist view of the family that eventually became entrenched in the 1980s. The belief that a child needs a father and a mother for »normal development« was so categorical with regard to single mothers that it can be assumed that social work in this sense moved away from the ideology of socialism.
Gašper KrstulovićThe development of institutions in the field of education for children with special needs in Slovenia from their establishment to the present day - Pg. 179 - 190Keywords: schooling, adapted programme, disabilities, educational institutions, specialized institutions.
The history and current situation in the field of education of children with special needs in Slovenia are described. In the last hundred years, many specialized educational institutions were established in Slovenia, which operate alongside the regular education system. These institutions were established with the aim of educating a specific population of students who, for various reasons, were excluded from the regular education system. Most of these institutions still operate today. However, since their establishment, the institutions have undergone many changes in personnel and above all in who they include, which reflects the changed situation in the field of general education in Slovenia and the changes in the social attitude towards sensory, physical and intellectual disabilities. Due to the changed social attitude towards children with disabilities and their education, the way of working in specialized educational institutions has also changed, the included population of students has also often changed, despite the fact that the declarative purpose of these institutions have remained unchanged since their establishment.
Jelka ZornAre borders of social rights also borders of social work? Reflection on social work profession through remembering of the erasure from the Permanent Residents' Register of the Republic of Slovenia - Pg. 191 - 208Keywords: social work centres, human rights, racism, illegalisation, structural violence, borders.
The borders of the political community (i.e. the state) are the borders of social rights. The erasure from the Permanent Residents' Register, which began in 1992, is an example of systematic exclusion from the community, thereby violating dignity and denying rights. Although the limitating of social rights and the illegalisation of persons are not central to social work, they are crucial to the ethics and mandate of the profession. The research question of the article is whether the borders of social rights are also the borders of social work. Theoretical concepts of racism and structural violence are applied. Social work studies and other studies that problematise limitation of the welfare state in different ways are presented. The ethnographic part of the article consists of statements by social workers about how they remember the erasure from the Permanent Residents’ Register when it was not yet recognized as a violation of human rights. The experiences of residents who were erased are drawn from other research.
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC BLOCK
Tamara Rape ŽibernaOn multidisciplinarity of team work at social work centres - Pg. 5 - 28Keywords: interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, mixed methods
The research question, is team work at centres for social work multidisciplinary, is answered on the basis of the studied domestic and foreign literature, as well as qualitative and quantitative data obtained through interviews with social workers from social work centres (n = 21) and a survey among employees of social work centres in Slovenia (n = 197). The results show an increasing use of the term 'multidisciplinary team work', which is also used and misused in various laws and regulations, although this term is very rarely defined. The paper also contains a proposal for the clearer definition of team work in social work and, based on a comparison with foreign countries, the author suggests more appropriate terms in the Slovene language for describing certain types of team work.
Sara VerderberMental health of highly educated migrant women - Pg. 29 - 42Keywords: migration, stress, integration, social isolation, depression
Research on migration through the prism of gender and higher education, and in relation to mental health, is rare. Migration trajectories are fraught with many stressors and barriers of the new environment, which in turn directly or indirectly affects the quality of mental health and thus the successful integration of migrant women into the new community. In the article, the micro-level migration process of migrant women with higher education is described, and how it affects their mental health. The primary method was narrative interviews with the supporting methods of an ethnographic diary and a demographic questionnaire. The sampling was carried out using the snowball sampling method. The study included 36 subjects from the Netherlands, Germany and Slovenia. In the context of social work and migration, this is an important contribution to a better understanding of the daily lives of migrant women and thus the state of their mental health. This in turn leads to social justice in the form of cultural, social and socio-political sensitivity and support to improve the mental health of migrants.
Primož RakovecCounsellor's internal dialogue as help or obstacle in conducting counselling conversation? - Pg. 43 - 56Keywords: counselling, self-instructions, emotions, behaviour, efficiency
The outcome of the counselling process is also influenced by so-called common factors. We classify them into the client, environment, relationship, method, and counsellor factors. The counsellor's inner experience is also included among the counsellor's factors. Internal dialogue plays an important role in the processes of inner experience. Dialogue can be positive and as such help the counsellor in leading the counselling conversation, or negative, which means that the counsellor is hindered in communicating with the user. Internal dialogue serves as an interpreter and evaluator of external and internal events, followed by changes in emotions and behaviour. The research showed that counsellors are aware of the importance of the impact of internal dialogue. Self-instructions play a very important role during the counselling conversation, as the counsellor does not face too many unhealthy negative emotions, which allows him/her to perform functional behaviors within the counselling relationship that helps the user to achieve the counselling goal.