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).

Please note that all times are shown in the time zone of the conference. The current conference time is: 27th Jan 2022, 03:43:50am EET

Session Overview
Paper Presentation Session 11: Social Work and Migration
Thursday, 17/June/2021:
10:45am - 12:15pm

Session Chair: Elona Dhëmbo
Location: Parallel Session 4

Show help for 'Increase or decrease the abstract text size'

The role of social work in social and solidarity economy with migrants and refugees in Southern Spain: challenges and potentialities in terms of transformation

Sonia Hernández Plaza1, Enrique Raya Lozano1, Rosana De Matos Silveira Santos1, Teresa González Gómez2, Eva Juan Toset1, Encarnación Quesada Herrera3

1University of Granada. Faculty of Social Work, Spain; 2University of Huelva. Faculty of Social Work, Spain; 3University of Jaén, Faculty of Social Work, Spain

Building an inclusive society that incorporates migrants and refugees in conditions of equality in the multiple areas of collective life, continues to be a crucial challenge for the present and future of European societies. Social and solidarity economy offers huge potential, not only for its capacity to boost employment, but primarily for its value to promote a socioeconomic model based on principles of solidarity, centrality of people, sustainable development, democracy and common good. It represents a path for alternative social innovation that poses a practical critique to globalized post-industrial capitalism as a profoundly inequitable, unjust and ecologically unsustainable model; as well as a valuable intervention strategy in social realities resistant to social-political action.

In recent years, there has been increasing interest in social and solidarity economy, and a proliferation of practices in this area, with various intentionalities concerning the objectives of social transformation pursued. On the one hand, social innovation and social economy have become fetish concepts characteristic of "entrepreneurial" modes of governance, typical of the hegemonic neo-language of neoliberalism (Alonso and Fernández Rodríguez, 2011; Zubero, 2015). On the other hand, counter-hegemonic and rupturist proposals are growing, either from concepts and theorizations such as the economy for the common good (Felber, 2015), the urban commons (Harvey, 2012), and various forms of social, collaborative and pro-common economy (Peeters, 2017); or from self-managed, collaborative and alternative social practices (Zubero, 2014).

This paper analyzes the role and potentialities of social work in social and solidarity economy with migrant and refugees, based on the qualitative analysis of twelve in-depth interviews with key informants in this field in Andalucía. This study is part of a broader research project, currently ongoing, aimed at developing an innovative approach in the field of social work with migrants and refugees, grounded in the Economy for the Common Good (Felber, 2015), from an interdisciplinary approach that links the perspectives of social work, applied economics, sociology and business management, together with the perspectives of social work professionals and the people involved in social and solidarity economy in this field, paying particular attention to the voice of migrants and refugees.

The Welcome of Migrants: New Skills for Social Workers

Carla Moretti1, Benedetta Polini2

1Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy; 2Università Politecnica delle Marche, italy

The management of the so called “immigration emergency” regards not only the identification of adequate normative tools but also effective welcome practices (Ambrosini, 2017). The Italian policies immigration, the administrative order n.113/2018 then converted in law n. 132/2018, modified modalities and standards of policies immigration. The interruption or the strong limitation of welcome projects modified the role of social workers.

This contribution will present the training course carried out between October 2019 and June 2020 by the Research Center on Health and Social Integration (CRISS) of the Polytechnic University of Marche (Italy), in collaboration with the national NGO-Human Solidarity Group (GUS), concerning themes as the welcome of migrants and innovative projects for social cohesion. The training course was organized with lessons and workshops and it carried out in two different towns in Marche Region. The training course objectives were to improve the awareness of the role of social workers and to acquire skills for community work. The training course purpose was to propose tools for innovative solutions to professional challenges as the achievement of integrate policies to contrast and prevent discrimination and intolerance.

The training course was conducted with participative and cooperative learning tools based on the experience exchange. Moreover, the training course was constructed as knowledge-learning-action sequence (Stame, 2016) and was focused on the reflexivity (Shon, 1993) and self-training.

Partially, the training course was during the first Covid-19 emergency and this allowed to deal with the pandemic challenges.

On the contents side, the attention was on three significative dimensions for the social workers job: the welcome of migrants, the teamwork, the promotion of cohesive communities. The analysis of these dimensions in terms of potentialities, difficulties and actions of improvement allowed to develop innovative practices for the welcome both in relation to the interventions of social workers and to the organization of local social services.

Interdisciplinarity as a lens and professional belonging as a compass: challenges and insights from social work practice with asylum seekers in Italy

Paolo Boccagni, Chiara Denaro

University of Trento, Italy

Far from being a new phenomenon, migration to Europe keeps being a structural feature of contemporary border and migration regimes. In Italy, since the early 90s the presence of people in seek of protection has raised important challenges for social work professionals, and required the inclusion of several innovative components into their daily practice. As already highlighted by practitioners and scholars, the multidimensionality of asylum seekers’ needs has been increasingly addressed through interdisciplinary approaches to case-management. This has mirrored the attempt to keep together the different components of individual needs, and to put the person at the core of assistance pathways, by avoiding the fragmentation of responses. On the other side, social workers operating with migrant and refugee clients have been exposed to the risk of distortion of their role, due both to legal or job-related needs and “priorities” of newly arrived persons, and to the securitarian approach to migration management and its impact onto social work practice. In short, asylum seekers’ needs require an inherently interdisciplinary approach, given their complexity and multidimensionality. Following this premise, our paper investigates how the professional belonging of social workers, and their capacity to stay “anchored” to the constitutive principles and values of their role and mandate may work as a compass in their daily practice. These qualities can orient them through (sometimes) “blurred” legal frameworks and grey zones, with a view to promoting a full access to rights for asylum seekers. The implications of this argument for the education and training pathways of social workers are discussed accordingly.

Recognizing the potential in the Es Refugi homeless shelter users through an intervention from the group's Social Work

Ana J. Cañas-Lerma, Tatiana Casado, M. Elena Cuartero-Castañer

University of the Balearic Islands, Spain

The emergence of COVID-19 has entered our lives as a critical experience. It shares with other traumatic events similar characteristics, but certain peculiarities differentiate it other. The population groups most affected by the COVID-19 crisis have affected people and health personnel and both groups' relatives. However, also those people who had a pathology previous mental.

Homeless people are experts in experiencing critical situations with a greater or lesser degree of self-perception of personal success and overcoming them. If all this is already difficult for those who count on the stability or living conditions that a home gives it, the situation becomes even more critical for those who live without it. Throughout these months of confinement, like the rest of the population, users from the Es Refugi shelter (N = 25)have lived in the same house. All of them were men between 24 and 74 years old, 30% were Sub-Saharan Africa, and 70% Spanish.

The General Objective of the presented project is to promote recognition in a group of homeless people in Majorca, within the Covid-19 critical experience, of potentialities and strengths that allow them to improve their quality of life through a group intervention. Through applied research, from a qualitative approach and a participation-action design, group sessions have been developed.

The results offered a recognition of abilities and potentialities that allowed the coping of how to maintain the habits and daily routines linked to their socio labor integration from a redefinition and adaptation of them to the island's new socio-economic situation.

Researching issues of migration and social protection: challenges and opportunities in a globalised (im)mobile world

Elona Dhëmbo, Veronika Duci

University of Tirana, Albania

Issues of migration have been concerning home, destination, and transit countries for a long time. However, it is only in the last decades that literature has been paying due attention to issues of mobility and immobility. Even more recent is the concern on issues of the nexus between (im)mobility and access to and portability of social protection – be it in its formal or informal forms. Recent intensifications of changes in the scope and scale of infrastructures and policies aimed at monitoring, intercepting, (im)mobilising, and controlling migration have often deepened contradictions between the economic need for labour mobility and the different state’s political need to assert their political sovereignty. Such contradictions became even more challenging under the Covid-19 crisis, all of which with direct implications on issues of safety and protection, particularly for the most vulnerable groups, including migrants. These new developments require new methods in researching, building evidence, and designing policies and services informed on evidence. It is in this frame, that we engage in a critical review of three research projects we’ve been involved with researching issues of Albanian migrants and social protection prior to the Covid-19 crisis, during its emergence and when it was fully-fledged. Tracing the dynamics of the right to freedom of movement and the right to social security, we explore and document challenges and opportunities in tailoring methods of social research in researching issues of migration and social protection of transnational families, and their individual members in a globalised (im)mobile world in times of crisis.

Life in parenting: co-creating services for refugee parents whose access to services is challenged

Natalie Lynette Joubert, Janet Carter Anand, Tomi Maki-Opas

University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland, Denmark

Research question:

How does the lived experience of refugee parents attending mental health services support their integration and engagement with health and welfare services?


To privilege the voices of refugee parents as co-researchers in exploring and defining their emotional and social service needs to promote their personal and family well-being and to support the integration of their child/children into the community.


1) to reduce the service isolation of refugee parents who are frequently marginalised, in their experience of support services due to language and cultural practices

2) to support and strengthen the engagement of refugee parents with available services to support their parenting practices

3) to respond supportively to the voices of refugee parents in relation to the trauma experienced during their migrant journey

4) to co-create services that are responsive to refugee parents and their families’ unique cultural needs

Research design

The design is a participatory action research methodology as follows:

A Focus group held with 8 parents living with refugee status in Aalborg Denmark resulted in the selection of parenting issues explored in interviews with 20 refugee parents in receipt of social services in the Aalborg community. All interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were content and thematically analysed using Bourdieu’s concepts of capital, field, habitus and doxa which provided the conceptual framework for analysis.

The Results were then discussed in a follow-up focus group where a collective model was developed. This has implications for practice to support the engagement of refugee parents in accessing both informal and formal social supports to reduce marginalisation

Contact and Legal Notice · Contact Address:
Privacy Statement · Conference: ECSWE 2021
Conference Software - ConfTool Pro 2.6.142+TC
© 2001–2022 by Dr. H. Weinreich, Hamburg, Germany