INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Yves Rastimir NedeljkovićHistorical Foundations of the Social Work - Pg. 18
The author stresses the need of a historical approach to the study of social work. It would enable us to gain the knowledge of its cultural, moral and logical foundations, which have appeared as spontaneous or organized and institutionalized, i.e. professional, humanistic activities. Without it we will be unable to realize the real context of the social work as well as we will be unable to influence its development. Without this investigation, a scientific founding of humanitarian activities and social work is impossible. Such an analysis has to take into the account various aspects, forms and contents of tiie rich history of the human sociality and the living practice. The history of social work, which is based on the humanistic foundations and the action essence of human sociality, can contribute to the theoretical generalization as well as to the improvement of the social work practice and so to taking away the numerous disadvantages which still block it. The author suggests a periodization of the whole history of the social work and the social activities, which can be a basis for the historical research.
Doreen GibsonSocial Work - The Imposible Task? - Pg. 26
The author in her programatic speech refers to the present world crisis. This as well as changes in the welfare state should be a challenge for the social workers. The author's opinion is that the traditional (casework) approach as well as radical (Marxist) are out of date for their language and the received ideas remain rooted in the privious century. She is pointing to the feminist approach as a landmark for paradigmatic changes. Task of the social worker is given the state redistribution of the sources, to help the oppressed and marginal groups to define their problems and create the infrastructure for the self help activities.
Manuel Luis LopezThe Social Work and the Management of the Innovative Practices - Pg. 48
Because of the appearance of all the different new organizations in the field of social work it is important that the social workers have knowledge of the social management. The author describes what are the new tasks allotted to the social workers and what would be an adequate training for them. New conditions demand social workers to be innovative. The characteristics of innovative persons are stated and some examples are shown in order to encourage the creativity of social workers.
Pavla Rapoša-TanjšekCommunity Approach as Basic Principle of Social Work - Pg. 63
Community work is based on a holistic approach to social work, thus dealing with each problem from the perspective of individual, the community and society. It contributes towards the achievment of the primary objective of social work. (i.e. the enhancing of individuals ability to manage their own problems) by preserving and developing social help and support networks, which have been considerably reduced through the one-sided development of social services. Social welfare systems have led to an increased impotence and passivisation of the individuals, allowing them, as they do, to let institutions take over responsibility for their fate, in an environment that provides little encouragement of self-help. Any type of community action, notwithstanding its objectives and the basic strategy of effecting change, is founded on the individual's closeness to his environment and the mobilization of self-help and support networks within the community. That is consequently true also of social action - i.e. securing benefits for the underprivileged members of a community - as well as when social policy and social development of a community are being planned.
Joachim WielerNo Future? - No Past! (Re)Discovering the Roots in Social Work - Pg. 69
The author's assumption is that for understandable reasons we do not have much use of history in social work and less when we talk about international and intercultural dimensions. In his own search for historical roots in social work he had discovered that in their daily struggles social workers could not even think of recording everything that might be helpful for long-term consideration. Too many fires that need to be extinguished. How many colleagues are aware of the established international links in social work? They can be traced back more than 100 years and are continued in Europe and world-wide. International bodies such as ICSW, lASW and IFSW have been established since 1928. Peace issues have been a central theme, and an international school of social work has been projected as early as 1928. These examples of early visions and developments need to be reconsidered, differentiated and connected with social work curricula. The fact that we are not standing at the beginning of a process, may help us to realize that learing from the past is possible. If we do not know our origins, how can we ever know our goals? Sixty years ago social work seemed to be ahead of the slow international politics, now we seem to be lagging behind when we consider the European developments that we will be faced with in the future.
Peter LüssiSystemic Teaching of Social Work - Pg. 81
The author presents his book with a meanful title: Systemic Social Work, Practical Handbook on Social Counseling. It is about the system theory of social work for, as the author states, practical theory of the profession which explains the tasks, means and methods of social work. Author is bringing into our field new concepts anchored in the system theory and therefore meaningfully widening the field for new searching in the social work.
Milosav MilosavljevićSocial Work Between Pragmatism and Theoretical Eclecticism - Pg. 95
The author presents his historical and critical analysis of the theoretical and methodological foundations of social work in contemporary Yugoslav society. This complex analysis is directed to two theoretical and methodological standpoints; the positivist and functionalist domination over marxism, and to the eclecticism, presenting itself as unproductive dialectical synthesis and as the use of cumulative knowledge from different humanistic sciencies and medicine in the theory and methodology of social work.
Joan Fortuny, Teresa RossellTheoretical Concepts of the Social Work and their Curriculum Implications - Pg. 100
The authors stress the difference between the different levels e.g. between the social phenomena that the social work treats and the construction of the theories which explain them; between the professional intervention and applying the methods and explanatory models from other sciences, that are used by social work; and the feedback that constructs new knowledge, which in turn is used to follow and evaluate its effects etc. For the social work it is important the way it is connected to the other disciplines (have they been transferred to the social work directly or have they been adjusted). In the authors' view the social work is not a theory per se but a professional praxis, which uses different theories and concepts about the man and the society while using its own knowledge about the specific phenomena in the social field.
Bodil Eriksson, Ann HelledayDialog - a Tool in Social Work? - Pg. 105
The authors inspired by their teaching experience set on to explore the different philosophers' views on dialogue. For Socrates the dialogue is the tool for moral questioning of the power, for mutual search of truth and self improvement. For Buber and Lévinas dialogue is the way of genuine meeting between I and Thou, the meeting with the otherness. And lastly for Habermas and Freire the dialogue is tool of critical approach to society either as a tool of knowing or as tool changing (Freire). The question is how much of a dialogue is possible within the framework of social work, it being on one hand means of control and repression and on the other means of providing help for those who need it. While seeing the social work outside the official services more able to create the space for dialogue, since the official social work tends to objectify its clients. The authors apperceive also possibilities in which some organizational changes would yield the same with the official services too.
Vida MiloševičScientific Conceptualization of Social Work as a Prerequisite for its Professionalization - Pg. 113
The theoretical foundation is implicitely present in all serious discussions on social work, while it appears explicity either as one of the constitutive elements of the profession, or as a requirement for efficient practical work. The conditions necessary for the professonalisation and the basic elements of social work typically contain such components which belong to the "theory", thus permitting an analysis and assessment of a certain condition. The greater part of both elements should be classified in the field of "practice", where they serve as a basis for direct action. However, practice is not independent in its relation to the theory. On the contrary, the relationship between the two is dialectical. A dialectical relationship also exists between the different components of basic elements and the criteria used in assessment of the degree of professionalization of social work.
Bernard StritihCrisis May Also Be a Challenge for Alternations in Social Work - Pg. 118
In the past the politics has been whispering to the ear of the profession of the social work how to see and describe the reality. In this way a dangerous illusion was created and the problems remained unnoticed. Social work must "gain the world", and that means, that it has develop to the point where it could offer the society information of those processes, which can threat a normal social reproduction of the family, individuals, solidarity networks and communities. It is important to have clear consciousness that it is impossible to work in a new way while we operate with old symbols, values, images and professional concepts, which are contaminated with the ideals of conflict free socialist society. We can anticipate that the social work will have to confront the consequences of the crisis where they will be the hardest. The conceptcs of the system theory can enable the social work to give the new definitions of processes of the personal help to the individuals and groups, this always meaning helping the individual to orient in the given social space and to develope new images, forms of behaviour and interaction patterns. The contract with the individual should be the starting point more often than it has been till now in all forms of helping. Results of the help show in the micropolitics of the desire in different attitude to the future. In the conditions of a crisis we are bount to attain more goals, retain the faith in the institutions of the system, mobilise the potentials for change of these institutions and at the same time make possible to discover the new forms of (self) actualization of every man as "the letting be".
Milan MartinovićSpecifities of Social Work Science Methodology - Pg. 126
As theoreticians of social work maintain, its development can be monitored through four phases of conceptualization. The past phase which can be followed during the last two decades could be referred to as scientific sources of social work, the basic scientific notions (categories) and methodological specifities of this integrative and applied scientific field. In this paper an attempt is made to discuss and explain relations between theory, practice and methodology of research in the sphere of social work as the basic preconditions for the development of this science and the professional identity of this vocation.
Aleksandar HalmiEpistemological Foundations of the Qualitative Approach in Social Work - Pg. 135
The paper rests on the postulate, that science of social work implies a fundamentally different type of methodology as other social sciences do, that is, it implies the qualitative approach and action research (as elaborated by Lewin, Moser, Haag, Adam, and others). The science of social work shouldn't be value neutral and shouldn't rest on principles of positivist paradigm if it wants to be appropriate for its research object i.e. for self reflexive human beings and their social practice. The basic principles of action research are discussed: the principles of practical relevance, of discovering the real problem, of participation of researched people in the research process, of holistic approach and applicability of research.
Blaž MesecOn the Specificity of Methodology in Social Work - Pg. 143
The author pleads for the view, that social work, being a special profession, is at the same time also a scientific discipline, which integrates the knowledge of other disciplines among themselves and with the data about the practical social work and other ways of help to people in distress. The subject of the discipline is societal praxis of help on societal, interpersonal and individual levels. As a science of practical work the science of social work is a member of the family of praxeological sciences (action sciences) together with educational, organizational, administrative and other sciences of the sort. It is a fundamental and an applied science at the same time as it studies a fundamental social practice and serves practical decision making. A name for the science is proposed, that is boethics (from gr. boethea - help). On the level of general methodological approaches, boethics uses similar approaches as other social sciences. But on the level of specific strategies, action research as research monitoring and reflection of professional (and nonprofessional) practice is proposed as the central methodological strategy of boethics.
Hans OostrikSocial Work: Communicative Treatment as a Research Method or as a Research Object - Pg. 150
The social work is a practical science which is not only about solving the problems of its clients but also about the professional practice of the social worker. The prime example of this is the way and the method of conducting the conversation. Therefore social work is being termed as a communicative treatment, which is aiming at an analysis of the problem situation and a search for a useful solution. The basic elements of this dialogic communication are the narration and the investigation. In this practical science there are two elements: the investigation into the situation and the application of a rethoric method called narrative rhetoric, whose essential problem is how to listen, so that a partner in the dialogue speaks up and narrates. The narration compared to discussion is closer to reality and has power of the argument. Social worker in practice is an investigator, who gains new insights in a dialogical communication with clients.
Andreja Kavar VidmarLegal Instruction in the Training of Social Workers - Pg. 157
The paper deals with four items. Firstly, it argues that social work, due to its interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature, comprises law as one of its discipline. Social work is shown primarily as intervention aiming at change. A considerable number of social work interventions is only feasible through the application of law. Further, the author delineates the character of law and indicates at which points law and social work intersect. Such points can be found in the areas of contents, form and theory. In practice, this is demonstrated as legal counseling, the auxiliary means of intervention, the intervention limit, and the protection of confidental information.
Gabi Čačinovič VogrinčičParadigmatic Foundations of Socio-therapeutíc Work with Families - Pg. 163
The paper is a contribution to the psychological concept of psychodynamics of the family group theory (H. Oppl, 1986), which can be used to determine methods of social work with families. Social worker needs such a knowledge about the families involved in order to be able to recognize and nominate processes going on in them, so that the concepts used would provide a point of departure for professional intervention and a base for and the content of dialogue with the family itself.
Marija OvsenikSocial Work and the New Culture of Social Relationships - Pg. 169
The present social work could be treated as a form of social care for the powerless people, which has emerged as a social service and profession inside of the industrial type of social division and organization of production and life. However, deep and wide changes are in the way today. Because of the elements of the new, informational type of production (informatization, automation, robotization etc.) the intelectual high inovative work is favourised and the manual work classified mainly in to tiie technological surpluses. The new type of powerty is descending from both groups of the working force. Now, it is assumed that also the very conception of the social work has to be carefully revised and adapted as well to the new conditions of social productions as to the human life. There is a question, how to shape the conception of the social work to be adequate to the needs of the new culture of social relationships.
Ruben SchindlerSocial Work Theory and the Social Work Curriculum: Implications for Differing Levels of Social Work Education - Pg. 173
Social work theory must address itself to differing levels of social work education. A curricula theory base, its knowledge, skills and values are a function of levels they attempt to address. The focus of this enquiry is to explore social work theory and its relevance to four specific student populations engaged in the study of social work: students in an advanced clinic curriculum in social work; second career and retrainig programs on the undergraduate level and certificate course of study for new Ethiopian immigrants studying social work. The rational, and organizing principles in the design of these educational programs are explored. The relevance of the theoretical base is noted and the model for a potential curricula continuum is suggested having implications for theory development on both undergraduate and graduate programs in sociai work, education. The student population studied is numbered at 300.
Marina AjdukovićSpecific Problems of Education and Training for Social Group Work - Pg. 185
The results of an evaluation of a trainig for group work of two groups of students are reported; one of the groups was led by a social work teacher, and the other by an experienced practitioner. The training was structured with the help of a number of structured exercises distributed across three phases of training. In evaluation a questionnaire with 10 Likert type scales of 7 points was applied after every meeting. The results in the two groups are very similar, on the average more than 3,5 points, and showing an inverse U-curve with it's peak in the middle phase of the training. As viewed by participants the teacher-trainer focused more on the process-dynamical aspects of the group development, and practitioner-trainer more on the content aspects. The results as a whole show a favorable attitude of participants toward the training and instigate further use of the approach.
Dada MaglajlićSelf-care and Co-care Challenge - The Role of Social Workers and the Need for Education - Pg. 190
Extremely large number of separate self-help (self-care) programs embody an extraordinary variety of types, purposes, structures, and ideological features, tap a variety of motives, and appeal to a vast range of members. To bring scientific order into this domain, through definitions and taxonomies, is a difficult task. In order to investigate this phenomenon the author has included the project "Self-care and co-care for the families with severely disabled member". Goal of the project was to introduce, follow-up and comparatively evaluate processes and short term results of the specifically chosen alternative forms (models) of the care for the families with severely handicapped member. Beside helping the groups and coordinating various activities within the proposed rnodel, social worker may be member of self/co-care group, or professional associate of one or more groups/programs of that kind. No matter the status and the role, social worker must have adequate information about various existing programs, as well as knowledge and skills concerning various self/co-care models and methods.