INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
We would like to celebrate two important anniversaries with the double thematic number: the 60th anniversary of the first school for social work ie the beginning of formal education for social work in Slovenia and 50th anniversary of founding of the Slovenian Sociological Society. The thematic number represents researching of the intersection between sociology and social work, or rather, the area on which they develop and intertwine critical sociological thought and critical social work that identify the structures of oppression and privileges at the social and individual level. By identification and understanding the interlacing of historical, socio-economic, cultural, spatial, political or other factors as the elements of collective and individual reality, published articles are focused on social inequalities, exclusion and injustice, especially in their own the most popular manifestations in Slovenia and beyond, and thus contribute to the efforts for human rights and social justice. The issue contains seven contributions, which could be divided into three sections: theoretical, historical and system-research.
Lea Šugman BohincSocial work in the process of implementing ideals for a just society - Pg. 221Keywords: theory, practice, complexity, multiculturality, global standards, narrative practice
The article resonds to questions such as: how do we cope with the characteristic splits of contemporary social work, such as theory and practice, direct and indirect practice? How is the global standard of multiculturalism realised in higher education, research and practice of social work? How can we create stimulative conditions to develop a culture of co-existence that will embody ideals of multiculturality, global citizenship etc. in a more just society? The article argues for epistemologically reflexive, ethically sensitive and (self)critical attitude as well as narrative skills of collaboration in education, research and constructive dialogical practice of social work with individuals, families and groups as well as communities and systems of administration and social policy.
Irena Selišnik, Ana Cergol ParadižThe work of women from charity to social work: a historical overview of the development of charity and the beginning of social work between 1850 and 1941 in the Slovene-speaking area - Pg. 239Keywords: social policy, history, institutionalisation, associations, care, child protection
The authors present the basic concepts of charity, which were developed in the second half of the 19th century in the Slovene-speaking area, and in which women were active. They address the development of the first female charity associations in Carniola and their forms of operation and concepts that, in some segments, exceeded the "traditional charity". The principles of the operation of women's associations were put into practice in various forms of help and were differently developed in the three political camps in the Slovene-speaking area. However, even before the First World War, ideas about reformist social work were spread from Vienna to the Slovene-speaking area, and they were brought to life on the border of the Slovene territory in Trieste. The expansion of charitable work and the massive involvement of women in charitable associations during the First World War resulted in an early state approach to social work in the interwar period, in particular through the engagement of Alojzija Štebi and Angela Vode. Especially Alojzija Štebi developed social work through her service at the commission for social care of the national government of the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs in Ljubljana. Her work is presented in detail, also through the newly discovered archival materials.
Sonja Bezjak"Social service as a means for gaining souls”: Role of women Catholic religious in institutional care on the territory of present-day Slovenia - Pg. 253Keywords: women’s monasticism, social work, history, religion, organisations
The number of women Catholic religious in Slovenia, like in other European countries, started to grow at the end of the 19th century, and the process continued until the middle of the 20th century. Women were joining religious orders and congregations, which were taking care of various institutions, such as schools, hospitals, orphanages. The article presents the role, which women Catholic religious played in the field of social work – before social work was professionalized and secularized. Social and other work carried out by these women was unique, since they were primarily seen as religious workers and treated as Christ’s Brides (religious elements of occupation). They were members of a hierarchically structured organization (subordinated to church organization) and were special labour force without family or other private obligations (always on disposal). The article aims to fulfil a gap in understanding a history of social work on the territory of the present-day Slovenia, because it is important for current and future development of social work. Especially when social rights are being reduced and the ambitions of religious organizations to widen their services in the fields of secular organizations are increasing.
Klemen PloštajnerIdeology of ownership and (re)production of inequality - Pg. 267Keywords: housing, neoliberalism, housing policy, commodification, market.
Western societies have in the recent years become societies of homeowners. This is the product of state policies of privatization of social housing, promotion of home ownership and neglect of rental market. These kinds of policies are based on the assumption that home ownership is the most desirable, highest and the right form of solving the housing question. The upgrade of policies that promote home ownership are practices of bonding social rights on assets, which literature calls “asset-based keynesianism”. This state necessarily leads to the exclusion and reinforcement of inequalities between citizens on different locations, between different generations and mostly between those who have the access to assets and those who do not have this privilege. With strengthening of financialization, commodification of housing, concentration of demand because of uneven development in capitalism and privatization of common wealth, housing market is becoming one of the key places of not only reproduction, but also production of inequality. The article focuses on the role that home ownership plays in the creation and reinforcement of inequality. It also looks at the way state policies not only promote home ownership, but also use it as a tool for privatization of state social roles.
Gašper KrstulovićImages of helplessness, patronage, ans social oppresion of people with intellectual disabilities in Slovenia - Pg. 279Keywords: handicap, social security, social justice, inequality, violence.
The study addresses a neglected area of research of everyday life experiences and oppression of people with intellectual disabilities in the Slovene society. They are a marginalized social group whose voice goes often unheard. Despite the stereotypical societal notions about people with intellectual disabilities being defined as eternal children, the research reveals a lack of recognition of their cultural, social and political power, and gives an inventory of their fears, anxieties and uncertainties in everyday life. The aim of the study is to gain an insight into their daily life in the transition from their completion of education to their use of social services intended for adults. The paper presents some findings based on observation with participation and on the group interview with people with intellectual disabilities in five organizations that provide social services to them. It shows that patronizing of the persons with disabilities and unequal power relations between service users and staff in organizations that provide adult services to persons with intellectual disabilities, is preserved and reproduced through language, organized activities and institutionalized violence. The goal of the research is to open theoretical space for social work action and change, in order to support people with intellectual disabilities in their transition from education to employment and therefore to increase their range of possible life outcomes.
Chu-Li LiuCulture or oppression?: an anti-oppressive perspective on women with mental health problems who survived their male partners’ violence - Pg. 289Keywords: feminist theory, Taiwanese culture, domestic violence, male perpetrators, sexual abuse.
Feminist theory is an important sociological theory that is very often used in social work research focusing on inequalities, power relations and social work gender analysis. Informed by feminist thoughts, domestic violence prevention system was first initiated in 1980’s and the lens of misuse/abuse power is emphasized; legal aids, provisions of resources such as protection orders, shelters, etc. are central to the work. In contrast to the traditional view that domestic violence is a private matter, the goal is to indicate that domestic violence is a matter that the State needs to intervene in, take the blame off the victims and place the responsibility on the abusers. Research pointed out that survivors who were reported to the system experienced fragmented services or services that did not meet their needs, and thus it resulted in survivors withdrawing from the helping process, so the problems still occur in their lives on a regular basis. This paper uses examples of women in Taiwan with mental health problems who survived their male partners’ violence and were trapped in multiple interlocking vulnerable situations, to demonstrate how various oppressive factors work in survivors’ context that stigmatized and constrained survivors. The analysis of vignettes indicated that women with mental health problems who survived their male partners’ violence, face many obstacles that put them in vulnerable situations, including female gender norms developed from patriarchal values, coping strategies sanctioned by patriarchal and collective social contexts, and social exclusion developed from discrimination towards mental health problems. Therefore ignoring these obstacles, legal aids and providing shelters are limited. By analyzing interlocking vulnerable factors in survivors’ context, it emphasizes the importance of a legal perspective as well as a comprehensive analysis of vulnerable factors in understanding survivors in inferior status. Implications for social work practice are addressed.
Katja Sešek, Maja IvačičHeteronormative discourse at the Faculty of Social Work - Pg. 301Keywords: gender, sexual orientation, patriarchy, family, critical discourse analysis, queer.
The authors describe heteronormativity by applying critical discourse analysis and queer theories. They further explain which discourse practices reproduce heteronormativity, which we see as one of the most frequently used tools for creating the world and its normality boundaries while simultaneously labeling deviance. Normal thus becomes natural in discourse, which is why two genders (female and male), the always-presumed heterosexuality, monogamy and the desire to reproduce are seen as natural, as pre-social. By highlighting power relations, we demonstrate how heteronormativity serves to consolidate patriarchy, nationalism and capitalism; how it serves to construct social reality and legitimize only certain lifestyles. We use critical discourse analysis to research the presence of heteronormative discourses within the education for social work. We aim to demonstrate how social work plays part in exclusion by accepting such norms. We thus offer alternatives to social work practices, which are anti-discriminatory and critical of the existing system.
Jasmina Rosič, Liljana RihterRisks to practitioners in the field of domestic violence - Pg. 167Keywords: involuntary clients, perpetrators, safety, trauma, prevention.
The findings so far have indicated that client violence is common, especially in the family services. Clients in the field of domestic violence commonly do not willingly seek the services, resulting in violent behaviour towards practitioners. Several models for working with involuntary clients, and guidelines for working with clients’ violence were developed. Organisations are obliged to ensure safety for their staff. Trauma-informed care and supervision may be used. It has been shown that practitioners mostly experienced tense situations with elements of psychological abuse. Some practitioners did not report to be influenced by violent behaviour, while others experienced negative consequences on their well-being, work or personal life. Practitioners developed their own approaches to ensure their safety. Some also used elements of models for working with involuntary clients. Organisations ensured safety with supportive, physical ways and by forming violence prevention plans. It has been suggested that practitioners should be educated about how to work with clients’ violence and involuntary clients. Organisations should reflect on their work culture. Not only support and safety of the employees, but also respectful attitude towards clients should be ensured.
Liljana RihterEmployment and working conditions in the field of social protection - Pg. 181Keywords: quality of working life, stress, burnout.
In recent years, some important changes of legislation in the field of social protection have been adopted. The government has passed a law including austerity measures in the area of salaries and promotions in the public sector. Previous studies only show the effects of changes to users. In the article, the results are presented of the qualitative (meta) analysis of the research findings of the final theses of the students from the Faculty of Social Work between 2012 and 2015, which addressed topics such as employment in the field of social protection, working conditions and quality of working life. The results show that employees have more difficulties meeting particular needs of »having« (salary, promotion). In some environments they feel less secure because of threats of users. And it is also difficult to meet the needs of »being« (fewer opportunities for professional development). An area in which changes in the laws and savings haven’t had (yet) a significant impact are the needs of »loving«. Relations between employees remain one aspect which is generally well rated. Based on identified weaknesses, systemic changes are suggested that would allow for better working conditions, as well as organizational changes within the working environment that would enable more support to staff to carry out professional work, which will respond to the needs of users.
Andreja RafaeličRapid assessment and response for deinstitutionalisation - Pg. 191Keywords: action research, activism research, participation, social care.
The aim of the article is to systematically and chronologically analyse research that has been done in social work on deinstitutionalisation and that contributed to the development of the rapid assessment and response method (RAR). The heritage of action research in social work that contributed to the development of the RAR in Slovenia, is summarised. The development of action research and RAR in Slovenia has been divided into four phases: (1) the beginnings of action research with the socio-therapeutic projects, (2) the development of the methodology of action research, (3) implementation of social care system and (4) the development of long-term care and activism research. The RAR, as it was developed in Slovenia, is at the moment a very important tool because it enables research and also deinstitutionalisation planning. Slovenia is set to introduce the systematic implementation of deinstitutionalisation therefore it is especially important to have a good and systematic research plan, but also to be able to do it quickly and with focus on development.
Daniela JanušićConstructive social work at the Leskovec pri Krškem Elementary School - Pg. 205Keywords: peer violence, role play, learning assistance, Roma, good practice.
For smooth functioning of all school activities, a lot of prevention work with children is needed, especially on the field of preventing violence. In this respect, the workshop entitled »No peer violence«, organized by the Institute for psychological counceling projects, plays an important part at the Elementary School Leskovec pri Krškem. When children experience violence, they are therefore quicker to express their uneasiness and are more prone to solve conflicts with peers when they appear. By playing different roles in the workshop, they learn strategies that enable them to take a stand for themselves. As a result of the workshop, relationships among them improve. Teaching assistance to the Roma children is also organised, as it develops their learning skills but also connects the school with the pupils' families and their wider social environment. If we manage to engage all parts in the educational process (pupil, class teacher, teachers, parents, headmaster) and get their contributions, examples of good practice ensue. One such example is descirbed, involving a Rome girl who was prevented to attend school by her father.
Liljana Rihter, Lea Šugman BohincConstructive social work as a driver of a co-creative dialogue: Conclusions and proposals of the 6th Congress of Social Work - Pg. 213
Nejc PulkoOxfamovo poročilo št. 210 (2016) - Gospodarstvo za 1% / Slovenska smer - Pg. 217
Nina Mešl, Tadeja KodeleImplementing contemporary social work doctrine: from treating costumers to collaborating with people - Pg. 109Keywords: collaborative social work, families, co-creation, language, education.
Today's challenge for social work practice and science is to stimulate conditions for development and strengthening of new practices, based on a contemporary social work doctrine. Our experiences of collaboration with social workers in different contexts have confirmed that they recognize the importance of a shift towards collaborative processes of support and help and that they already espoused these theoretical starting points. Now we have a new task: to co-create practice where it will be evident that collaborative paradigm is also a paradigm-in-use. Understanding the starting points of collaborative social work, it is important to overcome division of working on micro, mezzo and macro levels and search for opportunities in collaborative dialogue of all participants in building a social work practice and science. Throughout the presentation of some results of the project Helping families in the community: co-creation of desired changes for reducing social exclusion and strengthening health, the authors discuss the opportunities for common shift in the field of social work from "what is missing and what should be" to "what is and what could be".
Srečo DragošRefugees and the Slovenes - Pg. 123Keywords: socialism, authority syndrome, panic, democracy, national socialism.
In the early 1990s, during the disintegration of our ex common state of Yugoslavia, when the new state of Slovenia was established, we received approximately 70,000 refugees (amounting to 3.5% of the population of Slovenia). Despite this massive intake of refugees, at that time Slovenia didn't disintegrate and no social stratum's living standard deteriorated, although at that time Slovenia was regarded as a rather uncertain project, was faced with a serious economic crisis and unemployment, and the outcome of war on the Balkans looked completely unpredictable. The situation today is the opposite: there are practically no refugees in Slovenia, and our country is the second most restrictive country in Europe (both in absolute and relative numbers), as far as getting protected against them is considered. The backdrop of this anti-refugee panic is related to a very negative structure and trends of public opinion in the key fields of societal and systemic integration. Regarding a pronounced tendency toward increased poverty and decomposition of basic mechanisms of the welfare state, the public opinion of the Slovenes is progressively moving in an authoritarian direction, is getting susceptible to patriotic sentiments and uncritical glorification of “Sloveneness”, but at the same time it is rejecting capitalism and (again) getting enthusiastic about socialism. Therefore all conditions are met for an evolution of events similar to those from the first half of the 20th century – in other words, for national socialism.
Liljana RihterEmployment of disabled people: gaps between legislation and practice - Pg. 137Keywords: work environment, social inclusion, social work, vocational rehabilitation.
The article focuses on results of an analysis examining measures to improve the employment situation of people with disabilities. Analysis of the Slovenian legislation on general (macro) level shows both positive aspects (general principles of non-discrimination, possibility of employment in an ordinary working environment, incentives for employers to employ disabled people) as well as shortcomings in the prevalence of measures that promote employment opportunities for people with disabilities in areas that are spatially segregated from the normal working environment. At the same time the lack of the themes of employment issues in the general law guaranteeing equal opportunities for people with disabilities might not devote enough attention to the prevention of discrimination. Analysis of implementation (mezzo) level shows that people with disabilities work mostly in work environments for which also (some) vocational rehabilitators argue that they do not imply real social inclusion. Some problems in the implementation of vocational rehabilitation services imply the absence of the concepts of social work. At the micro level, it is noted that in cases where people themselves have enough resources or support, integration into the normal working environment is easier. For people who are less successful or unsuccessful in integrating into normal working environment, the system of vocational rehabilitation presents opportunity to find the environments and possibilities for employment.
Ana CurkLanguage and communication in everyday situations: stories of the handicapped - Pg. 151Keywords: prejudices, discrimination, disability, inequality, interaction.
In the paper the main findings of the master's thesis Discourses – language, communication and other forms of interaction: stories of the handicapped are presented. The author is mainly interested in the communication strategies among persons with handicaps and those without them. In the context of the autobiographies of the disabled, she focuses on everyday interaction between people with handicaps and those without specific obstacles, so that she establishes a relation between intimate interpersonal relationships and social context.
Sanja Sitar SurićTadeja Kodele, Nina Mešl (ed.) (2016), Družine s številnimi izzivi: soustvarjanje pomoči v skupnosti - Pg. 163
Mija M. Klemenčič RozmanTadeja Kodele, Nina Mešl (ed.) (2016), Co-creating processes of help: collaboration with families in the community - Pg. 165
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Duška Knežević Hočevar, Jana ŠimencOvercoming monodisciplinarity in addressing domestic violence - Pg. 3
Darja ZaviršekDoctrine and methods of social work in supporting victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church - Pg. 7Keywords: priests, sexual harassment, silence, recovery, advocacy, social care.
Sexual abuses in the Catholic Church are a global problem, but the victims have only started to report it in greater numbers in the last 15 years. In Slovenia, a more intensive disclosure of sexual abuses among priests has been noted after 2000. The article presents the chronology of reported suspicions and legal procedures against suspects, of their charges and punishments. In revising the discussion about sexual abuses in the Catholic Church, the problem of non-reporting and non-action of the Roman Catholic Church comes to the fore as something to do with the Concordat between the Roman Catholic Church and the Republic of Slovenia. One of the main reasons for sexual abuses in the Church seems to be the traditional Catholic culture, based on the Church doctrine, that presents children as adults’ property, and on the historic interest of the Church in controlling women's sexuality. The problems of victims' silence, the disclosure, and the ambivalent position of parents are presented in the article as well as basic theories of social work in dealing with survivors, such as advocacy, recovery, resilience, and sensibilisation for the child's perspective. These theories are the conceptual framework for methods of work with victims and their parents and for the prevention work with children in general and with community. Several reports are presented in the article, including an original report on sexual harassment by a priest. One of the key tasks for social workers in social care system is encouraging victims to speak out and supporting them during the recovery process.
Jana Šimenc"Everybody is overworked, and now we have to do this as well": Perspectives of social and health care workers on (non)participation in multidisciplinary teams in cases of domestic violence - Pg. 27Keywords: social work, healthcare, center for social work, social sector, interdisciplinary approach.
The creation of the multidisciplinary team in cases of domestic violence is an important available mechanism for the assistance to victims. According to law in Slovenia, centers for social work are the coordinators of such teams. Centers for social work are also in charge of making case assessments and selecting/inviting relevant representatives from education, health, police, prosecutor's office or NGOs to cooperate in the multidisciplinary team. In case of invitation, everybody is obliged to respond, attend and cooperate in the team. Active participation of the involved contributes to the faster assistance to the victims and gives better prospects for their long-term security. The everyday practice and research indicates, that health care representatives are the least responsive and motivated for cooperation of all sectors involved. The results of a qualitative research presented in the article, confirm that the health and social services encounter several systemic, organisational and communication barriers in the process of cooperation. Perspectives and expectations of health and social workers indicate a weak knowledge about the different working “culture”, insufficient understanding of the algorithms for the assistance to domestic violence victims, poor comprehension of the legal framework and professional competences. Best practice examples suggest strategies to overcome such barriers and indicate the path to improvements. All identified barriers, gaps in knowledge, and lack of adequate professional skills of the health care professionals when treating victims of domestic violence were also taken into account in the process of the development of the multidisciplinary educational platform within the presented project.
Duška Knežević HočevarDomestic violence in environments where “everybody knows each other”: some reflexion - Pg. 39Keywords: rural environments, rurality, research, Slovenia.
The article discusses some findings of the qualitative research “Recognizing and treating victims of domestic violence in health care settings”, which addresses the understandings of domestic violence in rural environments. Research was conducted in 2015 with both health care practitioners (14) and other professionals (16) in urban and rural settings all over Slovenia, who are dealing with domestic violence in their work. The results imply certain aspects of rurality, which contextualize general discourses and practices of domestic violence in both victims and perpetrators and various practitioners who work with them. Living and working in settings where “everybody knows each other” determine unreliable reporting on domestic violence prevalence, its high tolerance and poor recognition in practitioners of supporting institutions who as a rule know both – the victim and the perpetrator of domestic violence. Few, scattered and unrelated social and health care systems hinder victims to leave their violent relationship. The solution remains a coordinated community response of all actors involved in treating domestic violence.
Sanja Cukut Krilić»When we talk about the Roma, it is a completely different culture«: on domestic violence in Roma families - Pg. 55Keywords: cultural differences, social exclusion, ethnic sensitivity, professionals.
Results of rare research on domestic violence among the Roma demonstrate that both cultural and structural barriers that influence the recognition and treatment of domestic violence in these families exist. Based on expert interviews with social workers, NGO representatives and health workers, the contribution presents their experiences and perceived obstacles in recognising and dealing with violence in families of the Roma. It was found that both supposed cultural specificities of the Roma as well as multiple aspects of their social inclusion are emphasised when talking about this topic. Consequently, it is imperative to develop further the ethnic sensitivity of experts as well as to address structural barriers that affect both recognition and treatment of domestic violence in Roma families.
Mojca Vah JevšnikImpact of immigration status on vulnerability of victims of domestic violence - Pg. 67Keywords: migration, policy, residency permits, undocumented immigration.
The immigration status is linked to the way the immigrant enters the state, either through legal channels or illegally, and to the application for extension of acquired status. The most vulnerable are the undocumented female migrants. The fact that woman is without a legal status is used by the perpetrator as a tool for asserting further power and control over her, prohibiting her contact with the society, making learning the language difficult for her, hiding or destroying her personal documents, threatening to report her to the police, threatening her with deportation and removal of children by the social services. Victims of domestic violence can also have the status of applicants for international protection, the status of a refugee or a subsidiary protection status. These victims are usually very reluctant to seek help because they would like to maintain a positive impression of their family and ethnic community and are afraid that their partners or their families are going to be deported. They want to appear humble, grateful and worthy of their (granted) status. The article is based on the findings of the qualitative research conducted with professionals dealing with migrant victims of domestic violence in Slovenia.
Melita Zver Makovec"She wanted it": perpetrators of domestic violence and their treatment - Pg. 77Keywords: family, programmes, therapy, treatment, professionals.
There are many different existing programmes for perpetrators of domestic violence, but they focus mainly on male perpetrators, besides they differ considerably in methodology and construction. Based on empirical data and expert interviews with social workers, NGO representatives and health workers, the article presents their experiences and perceived obstacles in recognising and dealing with domestic violence, with grand focus on perpetrators of domestic violence. Working with perpetrators is challenging in many different ways, due to dynamics of perpetrator’s behaviour, his personality, his manipulation strategies, and difficulties concerning cooperation between different institutions.
Tjaša HrovatWork with perpetrators of violence - Pg. 87Keywords: risk assessment, intervention, professionals.
Preventing and stopping violence requires an integrated approach of various institutions, with an emphasis on rapid intervention. The article presents the essential features of the work with perpetrators of violence, which is not limited to specialized programmes. It includes all forms of establishing a relationship with perpetrators of violence. Every professional worker must consider at least some of the basic principles of work with perpetrators and communicate uniform and straightforward messages to them. It is also important to make Violence Risk Assessment, which is a base for Personal Responsibility Plan, created by a professional worker and a perpetrator. Working with perpetrators of violence is difficult both professionally and personally. Therefore professional workers must be appropriately trained and are expected to have regular supervision and intervision.