Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17495

Search results for: social work

17495 History, Challenges and Solutions for Social Work Education and Recognition in Vietnam

Authors: Thuy Bui Anh, Ngan Nguyen Thi Thanh

Abstract:

Currently, social work in Vietnam is entering the first step in the development process to become a true profession with a strong position in society. However, Spirit of helping and sharing of social work has already existed in the daily life of Vietnamese people for a very long time, becoming a precious heritage passed down from ancestors to the next generations while expanding the territory, building and defending for the country. Following the stream of history, charity work in Vietnam has gradually transformed itself towards a more professional work, especially in the last 2 decades. Accordingly, more than 50 universities and educational institutions in Vietnam have been licensed to train social work, ensuring a stronger foundation on human resources working in this field. Despite the strong growth, social work profession, social work education and the recognition of the role of the social workers still need to be fueled to develop, responded to the increasing demand of Vietnam society.

Keywords: education, history, recognition, social work, Vietnam

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17494 Effect of Social Media on Knowledge Work

Authors: Pekka Makkonen, Georgios Lampropoulos, Kerstin Siakas

Abstract:

This paper examines the impact of social media on knowledge work. It discloses and highlights which specific aspects, areas and tasks of knowledge work can be improved by the use of social media. Moreover, the study includes a survey about higher education students’ viewpoints in regard to the use of social media as a means to enhance knowledge work and knowledge sharing. The analysis has been conducted based both on empirical data and on discussions about the sources dealing with knowledge work and how it can be enhanced by using social media. The results show that social media can improve knowledge work, knowledge building and maintenance tasks in which communication, information sharing and collaboration play a vital role. Additionally, by using social media, personal, collaborative and supplementary work activities can be enhanced. Based on the results of the study, we suggest how knowledge work can be enhanced when using the contemporary information and communications technologies (ICTs) of the 21st century and recommend future directions towards improving knowledge work.

Keywords: knowledge work, social media, social media services, improving work performance

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17493 Science of Social Work: Recognizing Its Existence as a Scientific Discipline by a Method Triangulation

Authors: Sandra Mendes

Abstract:

Social Work has encountered over time with multivariate requests in the field of its action, provisioning frameworks of knowledge and praxis. Over the years, we have observed a transformation of society and, consequently, of the public who deals with the social work practitioners. Both, training and profession have had need to adapt and readapt the ways of doing, bailing up theories to action, while action unfolds emancipation of new theories. The theoretical questioning of this subject lies on classical authors from social sciences, and contemporary authors of Social Work. In fact, both enhance, in the design of social work, an integration and social cohesion function, creating a culture of action and theory, attributing to its method a relevant function, which shall be promoter of social changes in various dimensions of both individual and collective life, as well as scientific knowledge. On the other hand, it is assumed that Social Work, through its professionalism and through the academy, is now closer to distinguish itself from other Social Sciences as an autonomous scientific field, being, however, in the center of power struggles. This paper seeks to fill the gap in social work literature about the study of the scientific field of this area of knowledge.

Keywords: field theory, knowledge, science, social work

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17492 Issues and Challenges in Social Work Field Education: The Field Coordinator's Perspective

Authors: Tracy B.E. Omorogiuwa

Abstract:

Understanding the role of social work in improving societal well-being cannot be separated from the place of field education, which is an integral aspect of social work education. Field learning provides students with knowledge and opportunities to experience solving issues in the field and giving them a clue of the practice situation. Despite being a crucial component in social work curriculum, field education occupies a large space in learning outcome, given the issues and challenges pertaining to its purpose and significance in the society. The drive of this paper is to provide insight on the specific ways in which field education has been conceived, realized and valued in the society. Emphasis is on the significance of field instruction; the link with classroom learning; and the structure of field experience in social work education. Given documented analysis and experience, this study intends to contribute to the development of social work curriculum, by analyzing the pattern, issues and challenges fronting the social work field education in the University of Benin, Nigeria.

Keywords: challenges, curriculum, field education, social work education

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17491 Social Work Profession in a Mirror of the Russian Immigrant Media in Israel

Authors: Natalia Khvorostianov, Nelly Elias

Abstract:

The present study seeks to analyze representation of social work in immigrant media, focusing on the case of online newspapers established by immigrants from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) in Israel. This immigrant population is particularly interesting because social work did not exist as a profession practiced in the USSR and hence most FSU immigrants arrive in Israel without a basic knowledge of the essence of social work, the services it provides and the logic behind its treatment methods. The sample of 37 items was built through a Google search of the Russian online newspapers and portals originated in Israel by using keywords such as “social worker,” “social work services” and the like. All items were analyzed by using qualitative content analysis. Principal analytical categories used for the analysis were: Assessment of social work services (negative, positive, neutral); social workers’ professionalism and effectiveness; goals and motives underlying their activity; cross-cultural contact with immigrants and methods used in working with immigrants. On this basis, four dominant images used to portray Israeli social work services and social workers were identified: Lack of professionalism, cultural gaps between FSU immigrants and Israeli social workers, repressive character of social work services and social workers’ involvement in corruption and crime.

Keywords: FSU immigrants, immigrant media, media images, social workers

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17490 Conceptualizing Notions of Poverty in Graduate Social Work Education: Contextualizing the Formation of the ‘Social Worker’ Subjectivity

Authors: Emily Carrothers

Abstract:

This research takes a critical look at the development of the social worker subjectivity, particularly in Canada. Through an interrogation of required graduate course texts, this paper explicates the discursive formation, orientation, and maintenance of the social worker subject and the conceptualizations of poverty in graduate social work education. This research aims to advance understandings of power and ideology in social work graduate texts and formations of particular dominant constructions of poverty and social worker subjectivity. Guiding questions for this inquiry include: What are social workers being oriented to? What are social workers being oriented away from? How is poverty theorized, discussed and/or attached to social location in social work education? And, how are social workers implicated in contesting or reinforcing poverty? Using critical discourse analysis, 6 texts were analyzed with a particular focus on ways in which notions of poverty are discursively represented and ways in which notions of the formation of the social worker were approached. This revealed that discursively underpinning social work in anti-oppressive practice (AOP) can work to reify hierarchal structures of power that orient social workers away from structural poverty reduction strategies and towards punitive interactions with those that experience poverty and multiple forms of marginalization. This highlights that the social worker subjectivity is formed in opposition to the client, with graduate texts constructing the social worker as an expert in client’s lives and experiences even more so than the client.

Keywords: Canada, education, social work, subjectivity

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17489 Interrogating Western Political Perspectives of Social Justice in Canadian Social Work

Authors: Samantha Clarke

Abstract:

The term social justice is central to social work; however, the meaning behind this term is not as simple as defining the term itself. This is because the meaning of social justice is relative since its origin and development is based on evolving political perspectives. Political perspectives provide numerous lenses to view social justice in social work; however, the realities of changing society have meant that social justice has assumed different values, definitions, and understandings over time and in different geopolitical and cultural contexts. There are many competing and convincing theories of social justice that are relevant to social work practice. Exploring the term is not an idle preoccupation because the meaning of the term is not as crucial as the meaning of the worldview, as it is the worldview that positions social justice as crucial in the emancipation of people marginalized from oppression. The many political assumptions that underlie the term social justice are explored and connected to the contemporary discussions about social justice in social work. These connections are then interrogated in the Canadian Social Works Code of Ethics, and in micro, mezzo, and macro approaches. To be remiss in interrogating the underlying political assumptions of the worldview of social justice is to entrench oppression and to preserve oppressive structures in contemporary Canadian social work. The concept of social justice is unable to withstand closer scrutiny about its emancipatory qualities in Canadian social work when we interrogate the many political assumptions that frame its understanding. In order to authenticate social justice as an emancipatory central organizing principle, Canadian social workers must engage in deeper discussions about the political implications of social justice in their everyday practices based on diverse worldviews and geopolitical contexts. Social workers are well positioned to develop an understanding of social justice that is emancipatory based on their everyday practices because as social and political actors they are positioned to work for and with individuals and toward the greater good of those who are marginalized from oppression.

Keywords: Canadian social work, political analysis, social justice, social work practice

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17488 Proposing Problem-Based Learning as an Effective Pedagogical Technique for Social Work Education

Authors: Christine K. Fulmer

Abstract:

Social work education is competency based in nature. There is an expectation that graduates of social work programs throughout the world are to be prepared to practice at a level of competence, which is beneficial to both the well-being of individuals and community. Experiential learning is one way to prepare students for competent practice. The use of Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a form experiential education that has been successful in a number of disciplines to bridge the gap between the theoretical concepts in the classroom to the real world. PBL aligns with the constructivist theoretical approach to learning, which emphasizes the integration of new knowledge with the beliefs students already hold. In addition, the basic tenants of PBL correspond well with the practice behaviors associated with social work practice including multi-disciplinary collaboration and critical thinking. This paper makes an argument for utilizing PBL in social work education.

Keywords: social work education, problem-based learning, pedagogy, experiential learning, constructivist theoretical approach

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17487 The International Field Placement: Experience in Vietnam Social Work International Placement Programme

Authors: Ngo Thi Thanh Mai, Nguyen Thu Ha, Frances Crawford

Abstract:

The demand for developing international social work field education is on the rise. Global foreign universities have considered international collaboration and cross-cultural perspective as an essential part of their social work training curriculum. International placement program at Faculty of Social Work (FSW), Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE) has met the need of international social work students, as well as the institutions involved in achieving social work professional social work knowledge in the Vietnamese context. This program has also lead to a long-term collaboration between HNUE and several global institutions in developing social work education, research and practice skill. This paper focuses on the benefits and challenges of students who involved in the global placement programme at Faculty of Social Work (FSW), Hanoi National University of Education (HNUE) and content of international field education provided to the international students based on the experience of the authors. Study results indicated that the participants have opportunity them to explore a new culture and social work system abroad especially in the Vietnamese context. However, there are still difficulties that international students have to face during different phases of the exchange process such as language and communication barriers, cultural value differences, insufficient support and supervision during placement. Basing on these results, the authors intend to propose some recommendations to enhance the programme activities such as pre-departure orientation, support and supervision during placement, cultural exchange and follow-up activities.

Keywords: social work education, social work, international placement, field placement, Vietnam

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17486 Social Work Practice to Labour Welfare: A Proposed Model of Field Work Practicum and Role of Social Worker in India

Authors: Naeem Ahmed

Abstract:

Social work is a professional activity based on the approach of “helping people to help themselves” (Stroup). Social work education and practice both are based on humanitarian philosophy in which social workers try to increase the happiness of the society and to reduce the problems of society. Labour welfare is a specialised field of social work which especially focuses on welfare of organised and unorganised labour. In India labour is facing numerous problems in both organised and unorganised sectors because of ignorance, illiteracy, high rate of unemployment etc. In most of the Indian social work institutions we have this specialization with different names like Human Resource Management or Industrial Relation and Personnel Management or Industrial Relations and Labour Welfare or Industrial Social Work etc. Field work practice is integrated part of social work education curriculum in all specialised field. In India we have different field work practice models being followed in different institutions. The main objective of this paper is to prepare a universal field work practicum model in the field of labour welfare. This paper is exploratory in nature, researcher used personal experience and secondary data (model of field work practice in different institutions like Aligarh Muslim University, Pondicherry University, Central University of Karnataka, University of Lucknow, MJP Rohilkhand University Bareilly etc.) Researcher found that there is an immediate need to upgrade the curriculum or field work practice in this particular field, as more than 40 percent of total population engaged in either unorganised or organised sector (NSSO 2011-12) and they are not aware about their rights. In this way a social worker can play an important role in existing labour welfare facilities by making them aware.

Keywords: field work, labour welfare, organised labour, social work practice, unorganised labour

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17485 The Political Biographies of Social Workers: A Qualitative Study of the Political Lives of Social Workers

Authors: Hefin Gwilym

Abstract:

This paper will explore the political biographies of social workers in a neoliberal era. The findings are based on a research project for a successfully completed professional doctorate in social work. The methodology deployed for the research is a combination of constructivist grounded theory and biographical inquiry. The paper will present findings from 14 biographical interviews and will focus on one case study of a participant whose life story is richly informed by political social work. The 14 participants reflect different genders, ethnic identities, cultural and linguistic identities, age and length of social work careers. The participants also reflect different forms of political engagement, such as, as political activists and members of political parties, including parliamentarians. The findings demonstrate how deeply ingrained the social work identity is amongst the participants and how their political identity has remained strongly social democratic in nature despite the many changes in the social work profession since the rise of neoliberalism as a thought collective and policy package. The individual case study will explore the early roots of political identity in the childhood and nurturing years and the interface with subsequent social work and political careers. It will also explore the evolution of the participant’s political identity in the social work career. The case study will also present findings on how the participant has contributed to the political field with policy involvement and initiatives. The presentation will conclude with a discussion on how this particular group of social workers can best contribute to the future direction of the social work profession.

Keywords: political social work, political biographies, neoliberal, grounded theory

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17484 Working with Children and Young People as a much Neglected Area of Education within the Social Studies Curriculum in Poland

Authors: Marta Czechowska-Bieluga

Abstract:

Social work education in Poland focuses mostly on developing competencies that address the needs of individuals and families affected by a variety of life's problems. As a result of the ageing of the Polish population, much attention is equally devoted to adults, including the elderly. However, social work with children and young people is the area of education which should be given more consideration. Social work students are mostly trained to cater to the needs of families and the competencies aimed to respond to the needs of children and young people do not receive enough attention and are only offered as elective classes. This paper strives to review the social work programmes offered by the selected higher education institutions in Poland in terms of social work training aimed at helping children and young people to address their life problems. The analysis conducted in this study indicates that university education for social work focuses on training professionals who will provide assistance only to adults. Due to changes in the social and political situation, including, in particular, changes in social policy implemented for the needy, it is necessary to extend this area of education to include the specificity of the support for children and young people; especially, in the light of the appearance of new support professions within the area of social work. For example, family assistants, whose task is to support parents in performing their roles as guardians and educators, also assist children. Therefore, it becomes necessary to equip social work professionals with competencies which include issues related to the quality of life of underage people living in families. Social work curricula should be extended to include the issues of child and young person development and the patterns governing this phase of life.

Keywords: social work education, social work programmes, social worker, university

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17483 Medical Social Work: Connotation, Prospects, and Challenges in Pakistan

Authors: Syeda Mahnaz Hassan

Abstract:

Social work as a specialized field, grounded in scientific knowledge and skills, is more inclined towards problem-solving process rather than charity focused approach. Medical social work, as a primary method, deals with the bio-psychosocial-spiritual elements of an individual with a problem and assesses the pliability and strength of the patients, social support systems, and their families, to assist the patients to resolve their problems independently. The medical social worker, also known as case-worker or care-worker, has to play a substantial role in the rehabilitation and retrieval of an affected person. This paper examines the roles played and responsibilities discharged by the Medical Social Workers internationally and specifically concerning Pakistan. The capacity constraints and challenges confronted by Medical Social Workers in hospitals have also been highlighted, and some policy implications have been suggested to enhance the capabilities of Medical Social Workers for serving the patients in a befitting manner.

Keywords: medical social work, Pakistan, patients, rehabilitation

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17482 Human Trafficking: Stand for Freedom

Authors: Madhumitha Rajasekaran

Abstract:

Freedom is a short, powerful word we take for granted every day. It is hard to fully appreciate freedom when we have never had it snatched away from us. We get to choose our jobs, where we live, what we eat. If we are unhappy at work, we have the freedom to quit and find work elsewhere.

Keywords: human trafficking, standing for freedom, social work, social research

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17481 Social Work Education in Gujarat: Challenges and Responses

Authors: Rajeshkumar Mahendrabhai Patel, Narendrakumar D. Vasava

Abstract:

It is seen that higher education in India requires a high degree of attention for the quality. The Government of India has been putting its efforts to improvise the quality of higher education through different means such as need based changes in the policy of higher education, accreditation of the institutions of higher education and many others. The Social Work education in India started way back in Tata School of Social Sciences in the year 1936. Gradually the need for social work education was felt, and different institution started imparting social work education in different regions. Due to the poor educational policy of Gujarat state (The Concept of Self-Financed Education) different Universities initiated the MSW program on a self-financed basis. The present scenario of the Social work Education in Gujarat faces ample challenges and problems which need to be addressed consciously. The present paper will try to examine and analyze the challenges and problems such as curriculum, staffing, quality of teaching, the pattern of education etc. The probable responses to this scenario are also discussed in this paper.

Keywords: social work education, challenges, problems, responses, self-financed education in Gujarat

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17480 Transformative Learning and the Development of Cultural Humility in Social Work Students

Authors: Ruilin Zhu, Katarzyna Olcoń, Rose M. Pulliam, Dorie J. Gilbert

Abstract:

Cultural humility is increasingly important in social work literature, given its emphasis on mitigating power imbalances in helping relationships, particularly across cultural differences. Consequently, there is a need to understand whether and how cultural humility can be taught in social work education. Relying on ethnographic observations and reflective journals from a cultural immersion program, this study identified the learning process required to develop cultural humility: confusion and discomfort, re-moulding, and humility in action.

Keywords: social work education, cultural humility, transformative learning theory, study abroad, ethnographic observations

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17479 'Internationalization': Discussing the Ethics of the Global North Developing Social Work Courses for the Global South

Authors: Mary Goitom, Maria Liegghio

Abstract:

In this paper, we critically explore the ethics of Schools of Social Work from the global North developing courses for programs within the Global South. In it, we discuss our experiences of partnering with the University of Guyana to develop and teach graduate courses in a newly formed Masters of Social Work program. Under the umbrella of our university’s goal for 'internationalization', that is, developing and establishing global and local collaborations for teaching, research and scholarship, we bring into question whether a new form of academic imperialism is occurring under the guise of global citizenship and social justice.

Keywords: academic imperialism, global north and south, internationalization, social work education

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17478 Social Work Students’ Reflection of Their Field Internship: A Study of Dhofar Region in Oman

Authors: Reem Abuiyada

Abstract:

This paper is an attempt to review the pursuance of social-work field practice run by the department of social work, Dhofar University, situated in Dhofar region, Sultanate of Oman. It assesses the students’ engagement in social work in local community training that equips them to practice their allocated tasks and management skills that in turn made them more educated in fieldwork concepts, and especially in helping to overcome the challenges experienced by the Omani community to bring them positive changes. Besides, this paper evaluates the efficacy of fieldwork practice from the students' standpoints in higher education. And, it assumes the fact that this practice helped the students in giving equal significance to academic instruction, preparing for them to face the futuristic professions in an effective way.

Keywords: social work field training, students, Dhofar University, Oman, education

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17477 Applying Critical Realism to Qualitative Social Work Research: A Critical Realist Approach for Social Work Thematic Analysis Method

Authors: Lynne Soon-Chean Park

Abstract:

Critical Realism (CR) has emerged as an alternative to both the positivist and constructivist perspectives that have long dominated social work research. By unpacking the epistemic weakness of two dogmatic perspectives, CR provides a useful philosophical approach that incorporates the ontological objectivist and subjectivist stance. The CR perspective suggests an alternative approach for social work researchers who have long been looking to engage in the complex interplay between perceived reality at the empirical level and the objective reality that lies behind the empirical event as a causal mechanism. However, despite the usefulness of CR in informing social work research, little practical guidance is available about how CR can inform methodological considerations in social work research studies. This presentation aims to provide a detailed description of CR-informed thematic analysis by drawing examples from a social work doctoral research of Korean migrants’ experiences and understanding of trust associated with their settlement experience in New Zealand. Because of its theoretical flexibility and accessibility as a qualitative analysis method, thematic analysis can be applied as a method that works both to search for the demi-regularities of the collected data and to identify the causal mechanisms that lay behind the empirical data. In so doing, this presentation seeks to provide a concrete and detailed exemplar for social work researchers wishing to employ CR in their qualitative thematic analysis process.

Keywords: critical Realism, data analysis, epistemology, research methodology, social work research, thematic analysis

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17476 Developmental Social Work: A Derailed Post-Apartheid Development Approach in South Africa

Authors: P. Mbecke

Abstract:

Developmental social welfare implemented through developmental social work is being applauded internationally as an approach that facilitates social development theory and practice. However, twenty-two years into democracy, there are no tangible evidences that the much-desired developmental social welfare approach has assisted the post-apartheid macroeconomic policy frameworks in addressing poverty and inequality, thus, the derailment of the post-apartheid development approach in South Africa. Based on the implementation research theory, and the literature review technique, this paper recognizes social work as a principal role-player in social development. It recommends the redesign and implementation of an effective developmental social welfare approach with specific strategies, programs, activities and sufficient resources aligned to and appropriate in delivering on the promises of the government’s macroeconomic policy frameworks. Such approach should be implemented by skilled and dedicated developmental social workers in order to achieve transformation in South Africa.

Keywords: apartheid, developmental social welfare, developmental social work, inequality, poverty alleviation, social development, South Africa

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17475 Reflecting and Teaching on the Dialectical Nature of Social Work

Authors: Eli Buchbinder

Abstract:

Dialectics theory perceives two or more forces or themes as mutually opposed and negating on the one hand and as interdependent for their definition, existence, and resolution on the other. Such opposites might never be fully reconciled but might, simultaneously, continue to produce a higher level of integration and synthesis as well as tension, contradictions, and paradoxes. The identity of social work is constructed by poles; an understanding that emerges through key concepts that shape the profession. The key concept of person-in-environment creates dialectical tensions between the psychological versus the social pole. Important examples that reflect this focus on the psychological versus the social nature of human beings. This meta-perspective influences and constructs the implementation of values, ways of intervention, and professional relationships, e.g., creating a conflict between personal/social empowerment and social control and correction as the aims of the profession. Social work is dynamic and changing, with a unique way of perceiving and conceptualizing human behavior. Social workers must be able to face and accept the contradicting elements inherent in practicing social work. The basic philosophy for social work education is a dialectic conceptualization. In light of the above, social work students require dialectics as a critical mode of perception, reflection, and intervention. In the presentation, the focus will be on reflection on teaching students to conceptualize dialectics as a frame when training to be social workers. It is believed that the focus should emphasis two points: 1) the need to assist students to identify poles and to analyze the interrelationships created between them while coping emotionally with the tension and difficulties involved in containing these poles; 2) teaching students to integrate poles as a basis for assessment, planning, and intervention.

Keywords: professional ontology, a generic social work education, skills and values of social work, reflecting on social work teaching methods

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17474 An Interaction Model of Communication Skills and Participation in Social Work among Youth

Authors: Mohd Yusri Ibrahim

Abstract:

Youth participation in social work is essential in social and community development. Although many studies have been conducted to identify the determinant of youth involvement, few studies were discussed interaction between communication skills and youth participation in volunteerism. This article will discuss a cross-sectional study that was conducted to identify the relationship between communication skills and youth participation in social work. The results were successfully developed an interaction model of communication skills as predictor to participation criteria among youth. Finally, the article was suggested several ways to encourage youth participation in community by developing their communication skill in various stages.

Keywords: youth, participation, communication skill, social work

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17473 The Effect of Stigma on Attitudes towards Seeking Help from Social Workers

Authors: Hend Al-Ma'seb, Anwar Alkhurinej

Abstract:

In the field of social work, social workers understand that it is very difficult for individuals to ask for help from therapists. Therefore, it is important to study the variables associated with seeking professional help. A total of 478 undergraduate students from Kuwait University participated voluntarily in the study. The findings for this study showed that the participants of the study have a slightly high degree of public stigma, low self–stigma, and positive attitude toward seeking professional help. In addition, the findings of the study reveal that there are significant relationships between gender, taking social work classes, thinking about receiving counseling and having social problems and participants' attitude towards seeking professional help. Furthermore, the findings of the study showed that there were significant relationships between gender, and thinking about receiving counseling, and self-stigma. The findings of the current study have implications for the field of social work in Kuwait that would help to improve the knowledge in this area.

Keywords: attitude towards help, social work, social workers, stigma

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17472 Actor Training in Social Work Education: A Pilot Study of Theatre Workshops to Enhance Clinical Empathy

Authors: Amanda Coleman, Estefanía Gonzalez

Abstract:

Empathy is considered an essential skill for engaging with social work clients. Drawing from developments in medical education, researchers will conduct and evaluate a three-part pilot theatre workshop with master level social work students (n ≈ 30) to evaluate the workshop's ability to enhance empathy among participants. Outcomes will be measured using semi-structured post-intervention interviews with a subset of participants (n ≈ 10) as well post-intervention written reflections and pre-and-post intervention quantitative evaluation of empathy using King and Holosko’s 2011 Empathy Scale for Social Workers. The content of the workshop will differ from traditional role plays, which are common in social work education, in that it will draw from role theory and research on creative empathy to emphasize role reversal with clients. Workshops will be held February and March of 2017 with preliminary findings available by April.

Keywords: education, empathy, social work, theatre

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17471 Enhancing Critical Reflective Practice in Fieldwork Education: An Exploratory Study of the Role of Social Work Agencies in the Welfare Context of Hong Kong

Authors: Yee-May Chan

Abstract:

In recent decades, it is observed that social work agencies have participated actively, and thus, have gradually been more influential in social work education in Hong Kong. The neo-liberal welfare ideologies and changing funding mode have transformed the landscape in social work practice and have also had a major influence on the fieldwork environment in Hong Kong. The aim of this research is to explore the educational role of social work agencies and examine in particular whether they are able to enhance or hinder critical reflective learning in fieldwork. In-depth interviews with 15 frontline social workers and managers in different social work agencies were conducted to collect their views and experience in helping social work students in fieldwork. The overall findings revealed that under the current social welfare context most social workers consider that the most important role of social work agencies in fieldwork is to help students prepare to fit-in the practice requirements and work within agencies’ boundary. The fit-for-purpose and down-to-earth view of fieldwork practice is seen as prevalent among most social workers. This narrow perception of agency’s role seems to be more favourable to competence-based approaches. In contrast, though critical reflection has been seen as important in addressing the changing needs of service users, the role of enhancing critical reflective learning has not been clearly expected or understood by most agency workers. The notion of critical reflection, if considered, has been narrowly perceived in fieldwork learning. The findings suggest that the importance of critical reflection is found to be subordinate to that of practice competence. The lack of critical reflection in the field is somehow embedded in the competence-based social work practice. In general, social work students’ critical reflection has not been adequately supported or enhanced in fieldwork agencies, nor critical reflective practice has been encouraged in fieldwork process. To address this situation, the role of social work agencies in fieldwork should be re-examined. To maximise critical reflective learning in the field, critical reflection as an avowed objective in fieldwork learning should be clearly stated. Concrete suggestions are made to help fieldwork agencies become more prepared to critical reflective learning. It is expected that the research can help social work communities to reflect upon the current realities of fieldwork context and to identify ways to strengthen agencies’ capacities to enhance critical reflective learning and practice of social work students.

Keywords: competence-based social work, critical reflective learning, fieldwork agencies, neo-liberal welfare

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17470 Multidisciplinary Training of Social Work and Applied Drama: From the Perspective of the Third Space

Authors: Yen Yi Huang

Abstract:

This paper aims to explore the application of strategies in applied drama to the social work education arena in order to enhance students' creativity, curiosity, and aesthetic sensitivity. Also, applied drama is used as a means to facilitate students' reflection-in-action and improve their understanding of issues on creative aging, gender equality, human rights, bullying, and prejudice. This paper mainly uses the perspective of Homi K. Bhabha's third space to explore the impact of applied drama and social work training on students. First, it focuses on how students create new understandings and insights in the third space of multidisciplinary training studies. Second, it analyzes how the hybridity and negotiation of ideas between applied drama and social work were created. Finally, it discusses the follow-up effects of the training and the factors that promote or hinder the hybridity and generation of the third space. This paper uses students' reflection papers for analysis. It is not focused on a discussion of the effectiveness of the teaching but attempts to bring new insights into the applications of applied drama to the social work education arena. The hybridity and generation of the third space require handling power strategically and looking after the emotional space of the students. Taking part in the training allows students in the third space of multidisciplinary training to reexamine the traditional framework of social work knowledge to create new ideas and possibilities.

Keywords: multidisciplinary, applied drama, social work education, third space

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17469 Social Work in Rehabilitation: Improving Practice Through Action Research

Authors: Poglajen Andrej, Malečihar Špela

Abstract:

Social work in rehabilitation needs constant development and embetterment of its practitioners. This became even more evident during the covid pandemic at times when outside sources of help, care and support were non-existent, or the access to such sources was severely limited. Social workers are, at our core, researchers of the rehabilitated world – from a personal and intrapersonal to a systematic perspective. This is also why a method of research was used in order to see if clinical social work practice can be further improved. The first stage of research showcased how action research and social work practice share many of the core values, whereas the Implementation of the new behaviour principle was severely lacking and thus became the main focus of the follow-up research. Twenty randomly selected case files of clinical social work practice in rehabilitation were qualitatively analyzed and potential benefits of action research on practice were assessed in the process of intervention while also getting feedback of the usefulness by the patients themselves using pre and post evaluation forms where a mixed-method approach was used. Implementation of new behaviour principle was recognized as a potential, improving factor of clinical social work practice in most analyzed cases, while it wasn’t deemed necessary in all of them. Potential improvements of newly implemented behaviour span across different areas of life and were also noted in the feedback from the rehabilitates. Despite the benefits of practice embetterment, the inclusion and focus on Implementation of new behaviour principle also caused additional workload, lack of time and stressful situations for the practitioners, which showcased the need to address certain systemic obstacles in the context of social work in healthcare in Slovenia.

Keywords: action research, practice, rehabilitation, social work

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17468 Introduction of a Model of Students' Practice in Social Work Education: Case of Republic of Srpska

Authors: Vesna Šućur-Janjetović, Andrea Rakanović Radonjić

Abstract:

Department of Social Work of the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Banja Luka is the only School of Social Work in the Republic of Srpska (entity of Bosnia and Herzegovina). This Department has been implementing students’ practice as mandatory module since it was established in year 2000. As of 2006, the University of Banja Luka initiated the transformation of the education system in accordance with the Bologna Agreement. The Department of Social Work adopted a new Curriculum that anticipated 120 hours of Students’ practice. After ten years, a new process of changing and improving the Curriculum has been initiated, and research was conducted, in order to meet both the needs of practice and academic standards in the field of social work education. From 2006-2016 students were evaluating their practice experience under the mentor’s supervision. These evaluations were subject to the evaluation process of current Curriculum, including students practice module. Additional research was designed in order to assess the opinions of certified mentors on specific aspects of students’ practice, the needs of practice and possibilities for improving the education for social workers. Special research instruments were designed for the purpose of this research. All mentors were graduated social works working in all fields where social work services are provided (social welfare sector, health, education, non-government sector etc.). The third dimension of the research was a qualitative analysis of curriculums of Schools of Social Work in the region of Southeast Europe. This paper represents the results of the research, conclusions and consequences that led towards the improvement of Students’ practice and Curriculum of the Department of Social Work. The new Model anticipates 300 hours of Students’ practice, divided in three years of study, with different and specific learning outcomes.

Keywords: curriculum, Republic of Srpska, social work education, students’ practice

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17467 How Social Support, Interaction with Clients and Work-Family Conflict Contribute to Mental Well-Being for Employees in the Human Service System

Authors: Uwe C. Fischer

Abstract:

Mental health and well-being for employees working in the human service system are getting more and more important given the increasing rate of absenteeism at work. Besides individual capacities, social and community factors seem to be important in the working setting. Starting from a demand resource framework including the classical demand control aspects, social support systems, specific demands and resources of the client work, and work-family conflict were considered in the present study. We state hypothetically, that these factors have a meaningful association with the mental quality of life of employees working in the field of social, educational and health sectors. 1140 employees, working in human service organizations (education, youth care, nursing etc.) were asked for strains and resources at work (selected scales from Salutogenetic Subjective Work Assessment SALSA and own new scales for client work), work-family conflict, and mental quality of life from the German Short Form Health Survey. Considering the complex influences of the variables, we conducted a multiple hierarchical regression analysis. One third of the whole variance of the mental quality of life can be declared by the different variables of the model. When the variables concerning social influences were included in the hierarchical regression, the influence of work related control resource decreased. Excessive workload, work-family conflict, social support by supervisors, co-workers and other persons outside work, as well as strains and resources associated with client work had significant regression coefficients. Conclusions: Social support systems are crucial in the social, educational and health related service sector, regarding the influence on mental well-being. Especially the work-family conflict focuses on the importance of the work-life balance. Also the specific strains and resources of the client work, measured with new constructed scales, showed great impact on mental health. Therefore occupational health promotion should focus more on the social factors within and outside the working place.

Keywords: client interaction, human service system, mental health, social support, work-family conflict

Procedia PDF Downloads 378
17466 Moving beyond the Social Model of Disability by Engaging in Anti-Oppressive Social Work Practice

Authors: Irene Carter, Roy Hanes, Judy MacDonald

Abstract:

Considering that disability is universal and people with disabilities are part of all societies; that there is a connection between the disabled individual and the societal; and that it is society and social arrangements that disable people with impairments, contemporary disability discourse emphasizes the social model of disability to counter medical and rehabilitative models of disability. However, the social model does not go far enough in addressing the issues of oppression and inclusion. The authors indicate that the social model does not specifically or adequately denote the oppression of persons with disabilities, which is a central component of progressive social work practice with people with disabilities. The social model of disability does not go far enough in deconstructing disability and offering social workers, as well as people with disabilities a way of moving forward in terms of practice anchored in individual, familial and societal change. The social model of disability is expanded by incorporating principles of anti-oppression social work practice. Although the contextual analysis of the social model of disability is an important component there remains a need for social workers to provide service to individuals and their families, which will be illustrated through anti-oppressive practice (AOP). By applying an anti-oppressive model of practice to the above definitions, the authors not only deconstruct disability paradigms but illustrate how AOP offers a framework for social workers to engage with people with disabilities at the individual, familial and community levels of practice, promoting an emancipatory focus in working with people with disabilities. An anti- social- oppression social work model of disability connects the day-to-day hardships of people with disabilities to the direct consequence of oppression in the form of ableism. AOP theory finds many of its basic concepts within social-oppression theory and the social model of disability. It is often the case that practitioners, including social workers and psychologists, define people with disabilities’ as having or being a problem with the focus placed upon adjustment and coping. A case example will be used to illustrate how an AOP paradigm offers social work a more comprehensive and critical analysis and practice model for social work practice with and for people with disabilities than the traditional medical model, rehabilitative and social model approaches.

Keywords: anti-oppressive practice, disability, people with disabilities, social model of disability

Procedia PDF Downloads 757