Petra VidemšekDevelopment of supervision in social care and introducing education for supervisors - Pg. 235 - 253Keywords: support, social work, history, curriculum, case study, psychoanalysis.
Based on in-depth interviews with supervisors in the field of social care, the author shows how supervision was implemented in social care system. She presents how supervision in social work was developed historically and argues that initially other theories (learning theories, psychoanalysis, medicine, psychiatry and psychology) had a great influence on the development of the supervision in the field of social work, but that the major changes in the process of supervision were put through by the social work profession. Development of supervision in social work went from traditional, problem-focused supervision (where one needed to analyse what is wrong and then tried to fix the problems) to the paradigm of searching for solutions, and then from solution-focused supervision (with the aim of finding something new and co-create) to positive supervison where the main question is what works best, in order to keep developing this area. The emphasis is put on the strengths and competences of supervisees rather than on their weaknesses and deficits.
Bojana Mesec, Anže, JurčekHistory and development of competences in social work education in Slovenia - Pg. 255 - 273Keywords: curriculums, Faculty of Social Work, practice, Bologna reform, studies.
Changes in education for social work in Slovenia are presented, with special emphasis put on modernisations of curriculum, required by the Bologna reform. In this period, the Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana, defined 15 general competences for the first time which have remained the same until today. Results of an empirical quantitative reserach carried out among last year students of the 1st level programme are then presented. Students were asked to evaluate the importance of each competence needed for social work practice and professional conduct in practical environments, and then they self-assesed acquired competences. The level of their satisfaction with theoretical and practical knowledge gained during their studies is also presented, as well as a comparison between different elective modules. The last part of the paper includes recommendations for further research.
Gašper LesarIntentional and reflective use of silence in social work - Pg. 275 - 291Keywords: psychotherapy, support, group, psychodynamics, relationship, help.
In theoretical part, different definitions of intentional and reflective use of silence in processes of support and help are presented, all corroborated with findings of different psychotherapy schools, as there is no relevant social work literature about the topic. Research was focused on experiences of female participants of a support group about a social worker’s intentional and reflective use of silence, on their opinion about reasons for using silence, contributions of silence and feelings that emerged in silence. The main finding of this qualitative research: silence enables reflection and more in-depth dealing with thoughts and feelings. Silence allowed the participants to “just exist” and to search for new connections in their lives. In silence, self-censorship was also noticeable. At the same time, relationship and trust were increased due to silence. The group had negative feelings related to opinion, that silence is a waste of time. But these feelings gradually subsided with collaboration and conversation about silence. Negative feelings were then replaced with positive ones, allowing “aha” moments to emerge.
Teja Bakše, Michelle RismanExperiencing stress and support while studying at the Faculty of Social Work - Pg. 293 - 306Keywords: professional development, competences, mental health, study process.
The study addresses interweaving personal circumstances of students of social work and the faculty processes on systemic, organisational and relational levels which influence the course of students' studies at the Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana. The purpose of the research is to determine how different personal life circumstances of students influence the course of studies, and how the Faculty supports or fails them at all three levels. The authors draw attention to mutual responsibility for the successful course of the study process; they strive to overcome absolute individual responsibility in a system of general requirements, which responds to diversity with ignorance, stigma and sometimes even violence. The research addresses the role of the faculty to equip students on a personal and professional level for responsible and demanding practice of social work.
Vito FlakerCorona virus institutionalis – crown institutional virus - Pg. 307 - 324Keywords: coronavirus, old age homes, total institutions, deinstitutionalisation, long-term care.
The Covid-19 epidemic has mostly affected old people, not those who live at home, but those in old age homes. As many as four-fifths of those deceased in the epidemic were residents of these institutions. The analysis shows that the essential moment of infection is institutionality, not age, that it is almost an institutional epidemic. The total make-up of these institutions presents a significantly higher risk of transmission of infection – due to increased human concentration and increased frequency of contacts, but also because of the institutional structure and ethos that objectifies residents and deprives them of the power of action. The deceased residents can be seen as (passive) victims not only of the virus but also of the institutional nature of the organisation of care (prevailing in Slovenia). The debate has neglected this so far, the “safety” measures did not allow transfer to community care, which would give residents the same level of safety as the rest of the population, since such services allow for a greater degree of self-isolation and control of contacts. The deceased residents are victims of a delay in deinstitutionalisation and in introduction of a potent, community based long-term care. These are the pressing tasks for the future, if we are to ensure that old people at least have the safety, but also a decent life worth living.
Milko PoštrakSrečo Dragoš (ed.) (2019): Enostavna ideja: univerzalni temeljni dohodek (A simple idea: Universal Basic Income) - Pg. 325 - 328
Tamara Rape ŽibernaRoni Reiter-Palmon (ed.) (2018): Team creativity and innovation - Pg. 329 - 332
INTRODUCTION TO THEMATIC ISSUE
Nina Mešl, Tadeja KodeleFamilies and social work alongside many challenges - Pg. 109 - 112
Nina Mešl, Valerija Ilešič TošCollaborative social work with families at centres for social work: utopia or a necessary starting point of contemporary practice? - Pg. 113 - 132Keywords: families facing multiple challenges, poverty, working relationship, of co-creation, institutional context, innovation
Social circumstances of poverty and social exclusion sustain an accumulation of problems and determine the life-world of families facing multiple challenges. Transgenerational transmission of a dominant family narrative of failure is also often associated with this. At the Faculty of Social Work, the doctrine of social work with families and specific knowledge for working with families facing multiple challenges have been developed. The model of collaborative processes of social work with families in a community has been proven to be successful in creating new opportunities for family members in two international action projects carried out at the Faculty of Social Work. This is also confirmed by the case study presented in the article. For the model to be put into the day-to-day practice of Centres for Social Work, we need: an understanding of the life-world of families, the knowledge of contemporary concepts of social work, a decision to apply this knowledge consistently in practice, as well as an appropriate institutional context in order for social workers who work with families to feel supported.
Tadeja KodeleChallenges of social workers working with families with multiple challenges: support for reflexive use and development of knowledge in a mentor group in LIFE project - Pg. 133 - 146Keywords: co-creation, uncertainty, mentoring support, social work with families
Social work with families facing multiple challenges is a complex area of social work. Social workers need knowledge for competent collaboration with families and their members and intensive support to withstand uncertainty of co-creation. Key challenges that social workers encounter when working with families facing multiple challenges are presented, as well as the basic starting points and way of working within an Erasmus+ LIFE project. The support provided to social workers, which was conceived within the project, enabled them to receive support and guidance for further work with the intensive support of the mentors. This enabled them to consolidate the use of modern concepts of social work with families. They have recognized that support is necessary as it is one of the most effective ways of continuing education, enabling social workers to build their own evolving theory of practice in actual practical circumstances.
Aleš Žnidar, Tamara Rape Žiberna, Liljana RihterReorganisation of centres for social work as a challenge to apply contemporary social work concepts - Pg. 147 - 162Keywords: participation, social security, profession, human resources, ministry, qualitative research
The reorganization of centres for social work that was implemented in 2018 by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities has been the subject of much criticism since its planning. It was supposed to provide opportunities for contemporary professional social work, but, according to the results of a qualitative survey based on partially structured interviews and on a non-probability convenience sample of eight directors and eight social workers of centres for social work, even half a year after the start of the reorganization its aim is still not fulfilled. The participants of the survey see some advantages, for example in the (not yet implemented) transfer of the exercise of rights from public funds to a special unit, in more cooperation between professionals and employees of different centres for social work units, and in the harmonization of employment contracts. There are, however, many more identified challenges: on the ministry level, in management of centres for social work, in staffing, and in professional social work. They indicate that the current state of affairs is more of a hindrance than an incentive to use modern social work concepts. Some amendments for improvements are listed and described that would be more in accordance with modern concepts of social work.
Gabi Čačinovič VogrinčičSocial work in primary school: co-creation of support and help to families with multiple challanges and prevention of social exclusion - Pg. 163 - 175Keywords: school failure, learning difficulties, poverty, childhood, counseling, learning
Social work in primary school contributes help and support to families facing multiple challenges. These families don’t know how to help or cannot help their children to be successful, and cannot stop school failure and poverty from pushing their children into social exclusion. The author finds that existing forms of help and support to pupils in schools are not effective enough. Effective help must be based on the paradigm shift that social work brings to pupils’ processes of help. The working relationship of co-creation, work from the strength perspective, and ethics of participation, respect of childhood and the unique working project of help, all bring new paradigm to the process of help: learning is co-created, all pupils are advancing in their unique path of learning. Pupils and their families need help within school, and the school has to take on the tasks of learning and helping. The key contribution of social work in school is to bring together all who can contribute effective help and support in such a way that the pupil’s voice is heard. Social work with families is an overlooked opportunity for activating effective resources that would enable help to pupils and their families.
Petra VidemšekEmbedding the reflection of professional experience with positive outcomes in the process of supervision - Pg. 177 - 195Keywords: social work, reflective practice, co-creation, professional development, solution focus
Social work as an active science that is constantly changing and responding to changing needs of people requires from social workers to constantly learn and strive for personal and professional development. Supervision is the place for learning, learning from experience. Supervision is required if we want to achieve best practice in social work, however not all supervision is effective and leads to the best outcomes. Reflection is a key competence that social workers need to be able to know what they do and how they do it. Reflection itself does not bring about changes and does not make us good practitioners. To achieve that, we need reflective practice. The author considers the effective elements of supervision, that connect with the concepts and theories of postmodern social work theories. She introduces the model of supervision that is based on the idea that we better learn form good experience rather than from mistakes.
Tjaša Komac, Sanja Sitar Surić, Meta SmoleUsing the concept of co-creation at centres for social work: gained experiences from taking part in a LIFE project - Pg. 197 - 209Keywords: strength perspective, multi-challenged families, users, working relationship, ethics, participation
Creating a working relationship with service users is an extremely important task in social work. The working relationship defines service users and social workers as collaborators in a joint project and gives us the task of co-creating our shares in finding the solution. The working relationship enables the co-creation of solutions for complex problems to be referred to as an original help project. The authors, all social workes participating in a LIFE project, have consistently applied the concept of co-creation of working relationship in practice. Since the use of this concept has proved to be extremely effective, they present its contribution in comprehensible and useful way. Its use in practice and its unique importance for the practice of social work are presented. In the paper, they present aspects of help and support for families that have been proved to be useful in the LIFE project, or which are considered to have a key contribution to the effectiveness of helping families with many challenges. Such aspects were the following: establishment of working relationship, instrumental definition of the problem, and, as the most important elements, handling the situation from the strenght perspective, and ethics of participation.
Bo DavidssonDevelopment of social work with multi-challenged families: evaluation of the Family Pilot project in Sweden - Pg. 211 - 227Keywords: complexity, case management, social services, support, holistic perspective
An evaluation of the Family Pilot development project is presented. The project was organised in the form of a social investment fund in Linköping municipality in Sweden with the objective for social services to develop better and earlier support for children, young people and their parents, and to prevent placements. The project started in August 2014 and continued until July 2017 and included 18 families. The evaluation aimed to study the Family Pilot project on three levels, namely, family, process and method, and structural level, based on theory and previous research on social work and multi-challenged families, case management and complexity theory. The main focus of the evaluation was on the effects on the families' living situation and how it can be improved as a result of the development of the Family Pilot working method. The analysis involved qualitative analysis of interviews, field notes and logbooks, as well as quantitative analysis of surveys, records and costs for efforts. The project has largely succeeded in developing a working method for Family Pilots, a role that involves a holistic perspective and the ability to coordinate efforts from other providers in a flexible way. The results show that the families’ contacts with social services change and become more functional and effective, costs for the social services are reduced and placements of children are avoided, parents go from unemployment to daily activities/work training, work and studies, the school situation for children and young people is improved and the families receive better and more adapted health care.
Peter StefanoskiA genuine working project (not service!) of assistance - Pg. 229 - 233
Marina MrakThat is why, when I enter the family home, I take my shoes off. Impressions from the conference "The doctrine and practice of social work with families with many challenges: The experience of the LIFE project" - Pg. 235 - 238
Lea Šugman BohincGabi Čačinovič Vogrinčič, Nina Mešl (2019): Socialno delo z družino: soustvarjanje želenih izidov in družinske razvidnosti (Social work with the family: Co-creating desired outcomes and family visibility) - Pg. 239 - 244
Romana ZidarVesna Leskošek, Tadeja Kodele in Nina Mešl (editors) (2019): Zaščita otrok pred zanemarjanjem in nasiljem v Sloveniji (Protecting children from neglect and violence in Slovenia) - Pg. 245 - 250
Vera GrebencThrough polemical dialogue against the destruction of the welfare state and ignoring professional ethics - Pg. 3 - 4
Tamara Rape Žiberna, Janko Cafuta, Aleš Žnidar, Vito FlakerInitial analysis of the state of affairs after reorganisation: Assambly as a form of activist research for improved functioning of centres for social work - Pg. 5 - 27Keywords: civil monitoring, bureaucratisation, social affairs, social security, social workers
The analysis is based on the Assembly (and following events) on the reorganisation of centres for social work that took place on 28 February 2019 and brought together practitioners, students and teachers of social work as a response to their distress caused by the reorganisation. The assembly has, in a comprehensive manner, debated the problem, seemingly of organisational nature, but it can have a fatal effect on the whole profession of social work and the social care sector, as well as an implication on the social work and management as sciences. Preliminary analysis of the effects of the reorganisation indicates to centralisation and bureaucratisation of the services, ineffectual rationalisation of the function of centres for social work, impairment of the professional autonomy, insufficient workforce and burnout. The assembly proposed civil monitoring mechanisms, demanded the decentralisation and relief from the overburdening administrative tasks and produced some practical and action effects in order to bring attention to the unsuitability of the present measures and to appeal for a constructive dialogue for improvement of the conditions and possibilities for better quality work in centres for social work.
Srečo DragošErosion of religiosity in Slovenian public opinion and among students of the Faculty of Social Work - Pg. 29 - 49Keywords: faith, religion, ethics, secularization, church, atheism
The Slovenian public opinion is very critical of the Roman Catholic Church in Slovenia, ever since the birth of the country a quarter of a century ago. There are several reasons for this situation, but the historical one is by no means decisive. In Slovenia, the Roman Catholic Church is the one who should evangelize, and not society, nor believers, the number of which has recently slightly increased. There is nothing to show that Slovene clerics understand what is happening. The Slovene society – including the Catholic majority of its citizens – is strongly prosocialist and anti-capitalist oriented, and strongly favors greater egalitarianism; according to these characteristics, Slovenia is above the European average and the first among the former socialist countries. It should be emphasized that the category of religious people expresses even greater adherence to socialist values and greater resilience to neoliberalism than is characteristic of the category of unbelievers (including declared atheists). These trends in public opinion are even more pronounced in the student population of the Faculty of Social Work in Ljubljana. It is even more secularized than the Slovene public (according to the criteria for the departure from institutionalized religious practice and dogmatics), but at the same time it shows greater loyalty in relation to the posthumous life and miracles. This is not a contradiction, but one of the characteristics of secularization processes.
Jasmina JerantPocket money as a tool against poverty and social exclusion of youngsters: charity project Godparenting - Pg. 51 - 64Keywords: social justice, social inclusion, equal opportunities, social equality, adolescence, cash trans-fers
The 15–17 years old youngsters are at the greatest risk of poverty and social exclusion among all European children. Lacking economic resources deepens their social exclusion which negatively impacts their social capital and traps them in poverty. Public policy of a financial aid (in form of pocket money) to teenagers living in poverty is therefore a tool of social justice. Ten in-depth interviews with Slovenian teenagers who received such a cash benefit through a charity project called Godparenting reveal that such a monetary transfer in the name of social justice aids in battling social exclusion even in case of small things like coffee with peers, as it positively impacts subjective well-being, self-esteem and strengthens social capital. Thus it alleviates poverty on a long term. Considering that the cash transfer teenagers receive is only 30 euros a month, it would be important to think of a higher finan-cial help which would even enlarge the opportunities of children living in poverty. No-teworthy is also the finding that the recepients are, despite being happy to receive it, asha-med of the cash transfer in question, making this research an argument for the Universal Basic Income.
Tadeja KnezImpact of modernity thinking on development of postmodern social work - Pg. 65 - 81Keywords: modernity, philosophy, constructivism, pluralisation, exclusion, individualism
The author presents the impact of postmodern philosophy on social work and the importance of understanding this philosophy when solving problems caused by the changes in everyday life, individualisation of life processes, disintegration of the primary (family) life, and the lack of material as well as personal sources of support and help, which were the domain of family and local community in premodern society. The importance of postmodern philosophy, which is understood as the democratisation of personal choices and their life processes, is analysed. Postmodern views correlate with the inclusive societal culture and social cohesion, which are important work areas of social work. The paradigm shift to postmodern social work is expressed in the abandoning or complementation of traditional concepts, which were based on paternalism, while social factors of exclusion were transformed into deficits of individuals and personal weaknesses. This is a study of modern discourse with the emphasis on scientific criticism of universal and absolute – traditional and modern – mentality. The article takes a critical approach towards the reproach of postmodern science that the radicalisation of reality, truth, and morale pluralisation leads to an uncontrollable social chaos.
Janja LambergerEmotional abuse of children during their parents' divorce through the prism of centres for social work - Pg. 83 - 98Keywords: separation, loss, alienation, psychological violence, emotional manipulation, emotional pain
considered to be one of the more stressful life-challenges. Research has shown that unfavourable experiences in childhood, i.e. emotional abuse, violence, sexual abuse, emotional and physical negligence, have an effect on an individual’s health and function in adulthood. In the first part of the article, some key characteristics of the divorce process are presented together with the findings of international research on emotional abuse of children during their parents’ divorce. In the second part, the results of a research which was aimed at researching emotional abuse of children during divorce through the prism of centres for social work are demonstrated. The results of this research showed that centres for social work observe similar strategies of emotional abuse to those listed in international research papers. In Slovenia, Domestic Violence Prevention Act has been in force since 2009 and it defines emotional abuse of children during a divorce as psychological violence.