Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

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Session Overview
Students' Forum: Interdisciplinary Creative Methods in Social Work
Tuesday, 15/June/2021:
11:00am - 5:00pm

Location: Parallel Session 1

Kersti Kriisk
Reeli Sirotkina

Session Abstract


11:00-12.00 Workshop 1: Community-based Approaches and Social Work

12:00-13:00 Workshop 2: Benefits of Animals and Nature in Social Work

13:00-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-14:30 Workshop 3: Inertia of Movement in Active Social Work

14:30-15:30 Workshop 4: Creative ICT Solutions and Social Work

15:30-15:45 Break

15:45- 16:45 Panel discussion: The future of interdisciplinary creative methods in social work

16:45-17:00 Closing words

WORKSHOP 1: Community-based Approaches and Social Work

In addition to traditional social work models, considering the current situation in the world, there is a critical need for creative community-based approaches. Community empowerment is a process that highlights the resources and inner strengths of each individual while providing opportunities to support and help each other within the community.

In the community-based approach workshop, we will focus on the different opportunities and good practices in various countries that empower the community and its members. Different examples that promote mutual assistance will be introduced in the workshop, as there is a very clear need today for such methods in order to provide support and assistance to every member of the community.

WORKSHOP 2: Creative ICT Solutions and Social Work

Modern times require new skills and smart approaches. Already in 2020, industrial surveys indicated that 90% of all jobs require an elementary command of ICT. Estonia has set itself a target of 95% computer literacy by 2023, and large investments are being made into renewing the technologies available in schools, improving internet accessibility and providing digital books. At the same time, providing quality services and support to the public in a cost-effective manner remains the biggest challenge in the social sphere. Smart technologies and automated work processes can be used in a variety of settings from client security, wellbeing and entertainment to easing workloads and optimising efficiency. This would allow more time for the most important things – being human and being there for your clients!

To thrive in the global digitalization race, Europe must quicken the pace at which new technologies are employed and widen the spectrum of activities in which they are applied. In this workshop, we will take a closer look at new technologies and their applications in the social sphere, with insights from specialists in the field and good practices from Estonia and around the world. The last section of the workshop will provide the participants the opportunity to debate the possibilities and limitations of ICT with our panel of specialists, practitioners and academia.

WORKSHOP 3: Inertia of Movement in Active Social Work

In this world, we are surrounded by sounds of nature and voices of people. Similarly, we are surrounded by constant movement, our vital motion through the cycle of life. Most people have some awareness regarding its basic concepts, which are not completely understood, but we can learn their importance and practice them. We realize now that music, dance and movement are very important for maintaining our mental health. Thus, we are glad to introduce you to some interdisciplinary methods in social work. The project is aimed at all age groups at various points in the cycle of life. Our mission is to show how to use music therapy and movement and dance in social work practice. For that, we are preparing two thematic workshops involving students from various countries and specialists working in Estonia. Each workshop includes overviews of various methods, discussion on the topic and narration of experiences by Estonian experts in their respective fields. The methods we plan to use are empowerment, encouragement and therapeutic creativity. These are important for our project because creative methods are not generally considered to be science-based, even though they can be very effective. Some of the examples of Estonian music therapy and movement and dance approaches in social work are as follows: Estonian Music Therapy; Tai; Autism Movement Therapy; Dance therapy.

Through the social work pre-conference workshops, we intend to bring into focus several theories and methods. Our effort is to create and convey a better understanding and development of interdisciplinary methods used in social work in general. Participants can explore our ways and work through problem-solving processes. To confirm the effectiveness of our methods, we seek help of international research and studies and other academic sources. We have structured these workshops in three stages – presentations by group members and, hopefully, by international students, along with specialist comments/discussion around spoken topics.

WORKSHOP 4: Benefits of Animals and Nature in Social Work

Social work is traditionally human-centred in practice, even though for many the bond between humans and animals and nature is the most fundamental of daily-lived experiences. This workshop intends to reflect on the predominant humanistic basis of social work and to consider the growing evidence for developing a wider perspective to incorporate the human–animal–nature connection into social work practice.

The workshop is divided into two main themes – animals in therapy and nature hikes (including virtual travelling). It is scientifically proven that animal therapy programs can improve motor skills and the movements of joints, increase verbal communication and self-esteem, lessen depression, decrease boredom and reduce anxiety. Another excellent way to reduce stress and anxiety is to take up hiking to let your mind ‘switch off’ and just listen to the sounds of nature and let yourself relax.

Our goal in this workshop is to give an introductory presentation on the above activities, analyze and give real-life examples from existing practices in Estonia. We are eager to explore new opportunities and look forward to hearing examples from various countries. We will end the workshop with a panel discussion that will focus on ‘Why Companion Animals are Beneficial during COVID-19?’ in which we will be joined by both students and working professionals.

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