INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Jana MaliThe School for Social Work Theory and Practice - a contribution to a forum of international social work - Pg. 167 - 169
Eileen OakWestern representations of childhood and the quest for a spiritual social work practice - Pg. 171 - 187Keywords: spirituality, child protection, sociology of childhood, secular humanism, Convention on the Rights of the Child, social policy.
The article examines the social constructions of childhood in the West over the past century, to illustrate how they stem from adult-centric perspectives and how they continue to shape policy initiatives about children’s rights and welfare. Such perspectives are underpinned by discourses which pre-date the Enlightenment era and continue to have implications for generating child-centred, welfare policies and practice. It will explore these discourses in the context of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCORC), and various social policies to address child abuse. This is to contend that, without a new sociology of childhood approach underpinning these policies, they will continue to fail to address children’s welfare and protection needs, and be implicated in their continued marginalisation. In making this assertion, it argues for a more holistic model of childhood, characterised by the new sociology of childhood combined with a form of secular humanism. Such a synthesis of ideas can offer a more empowering child protection praxis, one which promotes children’s agency and »childhood« as an autonomous stage in the life-cycle.
Simon Colnar, Vlado Dimovski, Barbara GrahIntegrated social work management model in the Republic of Slovenia - Pg. 189 - 207Keywords: managerial skills, public administration, social security, humanitarian organisations, deinstitutionalisation, social services.
The social work of today is dealing with partially unsuitable knowledge, which has been produced in a different epoch of the welfare state and as a consequence, social work is still dominated by various twentieth century theories that are primarily focused on direct practice expertise. Nowadays social work globally has changed and in order to achieve desirable outcomes, social workers also need to understand and learn about complementary skills that extend their extensive knowledge about direct practice. Already back in 2004, management was recognised as one of the 13 core purposes of the social work profession, however, there are still concerns about social workers’ lack of knowledge and skills in management practice. Authors believe that management can help in the progress of the field. Based on a thorough literature review and analysis of existing secondary data, authors propose a systematic approach towards an improved social work management model that integrates the field of social work with related areas (namely humanitarian organisations, the deinstitutionalisation process, calls for higher process and budget efficiency, appropriate management skills and organisational design). These five pillars of the integrated social work management model, therefore, advance the frontiers of social work science. The authors also discuss the contribution of the model to the social work management theory and its practical usefulness.
Jana MaliA case for a narrative approach to research into social work perspectives on dementia - Pg. 209 - 224Keywords: narrativity, old age, informal care, long-term care, Slovenia.
Social work with people with dementia is an important complement to the knowledge of the treatment of people with dementia developed by other sciences, especially medicine, psychology and sociology. For more effective and adequate help for people with dementia we need more research in social work with people with dementia. In this paper we present concrete use of a narrative approach in Slovenia for a better visibility and understanding of the living world of people with dementia. The narrativity is demonstrated in several meanings: as an example of taking action from the perspective of relatives, enabling people with dementia and their relatives to let go of their marginalised roles, and as a potential method of social work with relatives of people with dementia. The stories are analysed by the use of a qualitative method and the results present the knowledge relatives have about understanding dementia and the changes dementia reflects in interpersonal relations, changes in everyday routine and formation of additional help. Verbalising experiences of people with dementia enables relatives to recognise ways to take action, which empower them in the helping process.
Faye Pouesi, Ksenija NapanWeaving the strands of spirituality in recovery from violence - Pg. 225 - 234Keywords: domestic violence, counselling, community, women, New Zealand, Māori.
The purpose of this paper is to share the “Community of care” approach applied within the Westside Counselling Service; a service that evolved from an affiliation with the researcher and the Massey Community Church in West Auckland in the period from 2000 to 2013. A case study approach was employed to ascertain how effective this model was for working with Māori women whose lives had been impacted by severe domestic violence. For most of these women, violence and abuse spanned throughout their childhood, adolescence, and adult lives, flowing down into the lives of their children. The “Community of care” approach was developed to address health holistically, and equip women, whose lives were immersed in domestic violence, to fully recover physically, mentally and spiritually. It offers a holistic, encompassing approach that provides ongoing support, awareness and the skills needed to integrate back into the wider community. This article focusses on the spiritual aspect of the programme, namely the exploration of the relational side of spirituality, the space in-between where social work, health care, counselling and community development meet.
Timo ToikkoMaija Jäppinen, Anna Metteri, Satu Ranta-Tyrkkö, Pirkko-Liisa Rauhala (eds.) Kansainvälinen sosiaalityö: käsitteitä, käytäntöjä ja kehityskulkuja. Sosiaalityön tutkimuksen vuosikirja 2016 - Pg. 235 - 237
Nina MešlSolution-focused approach as a support to co-create desired outcomes in the working relationship - Pg. 91Keywords: conversation, Faculty of Social Work, strength perspective, psychosocial support, social work, competences
Solution-focused approach in social work, in which social workers take into account and respect the capabilities of their interlocutors to solve problems, and understand their role in creating the context for possible changes, has been developed at the Faculty of Social Work for two decades. Two generations of students of the Psychosocial Support and Help Module have tested the approach in the context of learning process on their practical placements. Skills of the approach were used in the context of the working relationship of co-creation with one or more interlocutors. A qualitative analysis of final assignments in which students presented the use of the approach and analysis of the work process showed that they perceive the approach as very supportive for social work. Most often students decided to use the element of exception-finding questions, scaling question, miracle question and relationship questions. When using the elements, they saw the greatest challenge in the persistent exploration of details and in the reframing of the problem-oriented speech to a speech that is directed toward solutions.
Tjaša FrankoEndometriosis: aspects of gender inequality, and discrimination on legal, and professional levels - Pg. 111Keywords: health care, reproduction, reproductive rights, bio-medical assistance, women’s health, patologisation.
The study addresses endometriosis, a frequently overlooked disease that affects women, and it is based on the development of critical social work which recognizes structures of oppression and privilege on social and individual level in the case of female reproductive health. The purpose of the research is to draw attention to social inequalities in the case of endometriosis, and to enable social work to open theoretical space for social work action and change, in order to increase the participation of the social work profession in health care. The author draws attention to the existing structural ratios of power, expressed on both legal and professional levels, and constructed on gender inequalities, misogyny and stereotypical behaviors.
Milko PoštrakReach of the social constructivist model of social work - Pg. 129Keywords: constructivism, phenomenology, postmodernism, life-world, anthropology.
In the decades of relatively stable economic development in Europe, social work could shift its focus of interest from ways, approaches, and methods of working from existentially endangered population groups to thinking about improving the quality of life and developing and complementing the forms and quality of social work relations between social workers and users. In Slovenia, too, we have relied heavily on the context set up by the social constructivist approach in social work, also called the postmodern approach. The paper presents the sources of this approach, ie its phenomenology and related social studies. In the last decade, due to the financial and, consequently, economic and political crisis, social work again had to face the basic issues that led to its formation over a century ago: the issues of social inequality and the issues of marginalization, discrimination, poverty and, consequently, questions of survival. The question arises whether so called social constructivist approach in social work, and related approaches, called constructive social work, narrative approaches, and so on, represent an appropriate basis for the effective confrontation of social work as a professional practice and science, that is, as an academic discipline, with the challenges of co-creating solutions with users who find themselves in a situation of existential threat.
Jovita Pogorevc MerčnikAssessment of the impact of certain factors and activities of students of Slovenian Carinthia on the onset of domestic violence - Pg. 145Keywords: domestic violence, students, violent acts, point of views.
In the first part, understanding of domestic violence within the framework of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act is presented, and later further expanded to other forms of domestic violence, such as intimate partner murders. Emotional violence is analysed in more details. Consequences of domestic violence are reviewed and legal basis for dealing with domestic violence is presented. Some risk factors that influence the occurrence of domestic violence, are presented, such as marital status, living environment, socio-economic situation and the number of children in the family. In the theoretical part, the correlation of the individual's views and the phenomenon of domestic violence is shown. In the second part, the results of a survey conducted among secondary school students of Slovenian Carinthia about their assessments of the impact of acts and factors on the occurrence of domestic violence are presented. The results show that students are more likely to deem as violent the direct acts (a slap, a threat, forcing into sexual intercourse, bullying, intimidation of a partner) rather than indirect ones (checking pockets, controlling financial resources, opening letters, verbal humiliation). Also, students assess alcohol as the most common factor affecting the onset of domestic violence, followed by illegal drugs, dissatisfaction with partner life, difficult childhood and problems at work.
Borut Petrović Jesenovec“If we want to do something for the Roma in Vorarlberg, we have to work with them in Romania” - interview with Erika Geser-Engleiter - Pg. 157
Tadeja Kodele, Nina MešlLaunching education for working with the family with many challenges within the Life project in Ljubljana - Pg. 165
REPORT FROM THE CONFERENCE
Emanuela FabijanRegional conference on education of improving social security systems in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova - Pg. 169
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Amra Šabić, Vera GrebencIs it still possible to stop disintegration of welfare state? - Pg. 3
Bojan DeklevaDevelopment and implementation of an anti-eviction programme - Pg. 5Keywords: housing, outreach, homelessness, evictions, Public Housing Fund, Kings of the Streets.
Anti-eviction programme as practiced in the Association Kings of the Street is a logical consequence of many years of developing practices, concepts and inter-institutional cooperation between the Association and the Public Housing Fund of the Municipality of Ljubljana. It brings, on the one hand, a greater formalisation of the previous non-specific housing support, and on the other hand, the introduction of less formal social work and socio-educational approaches in practice work with the tenants of residential units and non-profit housing in Ljubljana. A description of features of this model of anti-eviction work based on five real-life examples illustrates its basic characteristics: the emphasis on outreach work, a high degree of uncertainty when working with (often) very vulnerable tenants and families, and a great degree of versatility and flexibility of the implemented housing support. The article analyzes the different roles of the Association Kings of the Street in specific cooperation with the Public Housing Fund.
Petra Videmšek in Jana MaliFrom care planning and care programme to personal care planning and service delivery - Pg. 27Keywords: social work, empowerment, user perspective, writing, deinstitutionalisation, individualisation.
The method of personal planning has been present in Slovenia since the mid-1990s and introduced the paradigmatic changes in social work that are reflected in the implementation of the users’ perspective in the process of help. The paper presents the use of the method since its initial introduction in the field of handicap to the present day, when the method is, for institutional carers of older people, even formally defined in legal regulations. Some of the most evident changes are presented, from the change of naming the method itself, to the influence of conceptual changes on the role of people with personal experience of distress in the implementation of the method and its recording. Based on the analysis of the individual plans, the fundamental advantages of using the method in social work are shown, and the attention is drawn to the traps presented to experts, especially in the institutional environment in which they implement the method. For social work, it is important to constantly analyze the implementation of the method and to evaluate the attainment of compliance of the objectives of the method with the concepts of social work.
Špela Razpotnik, Hana Košan, Irena BilčićSupport for vulnerable families and preventive community work as special aspects of anti-eviction work - Pg. 43Keywords: housing, exclusion, voluntary work, community building, Kings of the Street, advocacy.
In addition to working with individual tenants in crisis situations within anti-eviction programme carried out by the Association Kings of the Street, additional two forms of work are being carried out: support for vulnerable families and preventive community work. These represent a more permanent and more prevention-oriented forms of support which is not carried out only in times of crisis, and not only focused on tenants and families in immediate crisis. In the framework of supporting families, the important role of voluntary workers should be emphasised, as well as the focus on sources of strength of families and the search for the optimum balance between structure and flexibility of support. Preventive community work pursues three main objectives: (1) creating a better climate and relations among the residents of a building or neighbourhood; (2) creating a culture of negotiation and taking care of their apartment and common areas; and (3) creating a relationship of trust between the staff of anti-eviction program and tenants. This should make work with tenants in times of threats of eviction easier and more efficient.
Luna Jurančič ŠribarFrom the edge to broader social changes: Problems and strenghts of community economy - Pg. 59Keywords: social economy, homeless people, Kings of the Street, marginalisation, media.
The article is based on more than ten years of working experiences in the Association for help and self-help of homeless people Kings of the Street. There, different innovative programmes for facing the problem of homelessness have been developed (street paper, resettlement support, anti-eviction programme, day centre, fieldwork ...), and recently the attention has been drawn to developing the field of social economy together with homeless people. With the development of an alternative economic system, the question is how marginalized groups of people can gather their strengths, and use their resources for their autonomous existence and survival. This article is particularly focused on the obstacles which emerged during the time of establishing such a community. Finally, alternative modes of cooperation in the framework of social economy are presented.