Note: English translations of scholarly studies available since 2/2013.
Return to the Client: On the Contemporary Search for the Meaning of Social Work
Opatrný Michal , Flídrová Monika, Sýkorová Anna
The study discusses the search for meaning and position of social work in postmodern social context. At present there is talk in social work of crisis and failure of social work, which consists in the blurring of its identity, the fact that social work is carried out by unqualified workers, and loss of social prestige. In the contemporary professional discourse of social work in the Czech Republic the study first identifies three areas from which the loss of meaning and threat to the identity of social work stem (definition of social work, system of social services, real conditions of carrying out social work). Based on reflecting these areas the study states that the discourse concerning the identity and meaning of social work loses sight of the client of social work. That is why it briefly summarizes the conception of social work in Silvia Staub-Bernasconi, who in defining social work emphasizes the question “Who is vulnerable”. On this basis the study then concludes that further defence of the professional interests of social work in public discourse and in the context of social services providers is needed, which as its goal will pursue not a general question of the identity of social work but the good of its client.
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