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, 04:40:53am EET

Session Overview
Paper Presentation Session 21: Social Work Training and Practice
Friday, 18/June/2021:
5:15pm - 6:15pm

Session Chair: Andrea Nagy
Location: Parallel Session 1

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Occupational Aspirations of Care Leavers and their Pathways to Autonomy (OCAS)

Andrea Nagy

Free University of Bolzano, Italy

The research project in progress examines the experiences of transitions to work and the associated challenges

for the agency of young people leaving residential care institutions in South Tyrol/Italy. The concept of agency

focusses on individual opportunities for action and ways of influencing the own life. From a relational perspective

those opportunities are produced in changing social constellations depending on the contextual conditions.

Social work services that accompany care leavers' transitions to an independent life after care are part of the contextual conditions,

and there is an urge for innovation in those services to better respond to the needs of care leaver in their transitioning processes.

Quick transitions into a job and the experience of related conditions as precarious employment situations with

low career prospects are more common, than the choice for higher education in order to have more career prospects,

higher income and more job security in the long run. Fostering factors for the transition into the labour market are education,

financial support, and one’s social background, as well as a close relationship to professionals in the care environment and a

reliable, extended private and professional support network (Zeira, Refaeli, & Benbenishty, 2019; SOS‐ Villagi dei Bambini Italia 2017).

The presented first results draw from qualitative in depht interviews with young adults who have left the child and youth welfare

system and with professional social workers who accompany individual projects with care leavers.

They allow insights into the unfolding transition processes and in the experiences of care leavers from the perspective of a

later point in their careers. The analysis offers a base for reflective awareness of the prevailing shifts and

‘distributed agency’ of care leavers, that can positively influence the practice of

transition and inspire new approaches to the lifespan and the way practitioners intervene

throughout the lifespan.

SOS‐ Villagi dei Bambini Italia (2017). Report italiano della ricerca:

Una risposta ai care leavers: occupabilità e accesso ad un lavoro dignitoso.

Zeira, A., Refaeli, T. & Benbenishty, R. (2019). Aspirations toward higher education:

A longitudinal study among alumni of public care in Israel. Journal of Youth Studies, 1‐18.

Working in Spaces of Encounter parents-children (« Espaces de Rencontre) in France : what occupation in social work, with what training? Reflections from a large qualitative study

Arnaud Morange

Institut Régional du Travail Social Normandie-Caen, France

We will present here the functioning of the (« Espaces de Rencontre) in France to question the practices of social work in this system. This social divice is a court order for situations of conflict between parents or the inability of a parent to fulfill their parental obligations. This allows the parent who does not have custody of the child to see him regularly for a few hours in a neutral place, under the responsibility of social workers. This particular system, which exists in different forms in Europe, disrupts the practices learned in social work training institutes.

We will present a vast study that we have carried out in 12 meeting spaces on the French territory (2018-2020). The research method was immersion and observation within structures

and more than 100 interviews with professionals and parents. Part of the analysis shows that professional practices in these Encounters Spaces are variable and require harmonization. Moreover, we observed that social workers in meeting spaces must work in multidisciplinary teams (specialized educators, psychologists, social workers, etc.) and they must constantly adapt between the achievements of their initial training and the realities of work in this practice. This raises the question of how they are trained and the question of continuing training.

"Social Work vis-à-vis the middle class: challenges and opportunities”

Catarina Vieira da Silva1, Francisco Branco2

1Universidade Católica Portuguesa,Catolica Research Centre For Psychological, Family and Social Wellbeing; 2Universidade Católica Portuguesa,Catolica Research Centre For Psychological, Family and Social Wellbeing

Globalization, transformations in the world of work and economic financial crises, since the last decades of the XX century produced profound changes in the structure and social balance and gave rise to the emergence of new processes of vulnerability and impoverishment.

This reality occurs not only among the so-called traditional poor, but also in social groups that once knew upward trajectories of mobility and social integration. It is in this context that, for these new phenomena and social dynamics, new analytical categories are advanced by the social sciences, as is the case of “new poverty” reflected in the impoverishment of the middle class.

The present paper entitled "Social Work vis-à-vis the middle class: challenges and opportunities”, has the purpose to analyze the vulnerabilities that affect middle class citizens, pursuing the comprehension of the dimensions related to economic crisis, income and family breakdown, social disqualification and social suffering. In this context, we have also analyzed the approaches used by Social Workers in the assistance of new differentiated publics that increasingly search for social support.

From the point of view of social workers intervention, the current changes in the relationship between social worker and the middle-class publics are expressed in a greater capacity by the latter group in the analysis of social policies, in the perception and evaluation of services, and in higher levels of understanding the mechanisms and procedures.

In this context, social workers are challenged by new publics, new social problems and new ethical dilemmas that clamming for appropriate interventions at psychosocial level and policy practice field. Likewise, middle class families social and economic vulnerability and suffering is relativity unknown by social work students suggesting the need of the development of social work education in order to create opportunities for the students to approach no conventional social publics and forms of social exclusion and their political and ethical implications.

Social work education and the COVID-19 pandemic: Drawing on lessons from the pandemic to build a stronger profession

Marsela Dauti, Erika Bejko

University of Tirana, Albania

One of the lessons that we have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is that social workers should have a stronger influence in political decision-making – push for policy changes that address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals, families, and communities. But do social work programs equip students with knowledge and skills on how to push for policy changes that address the long-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic? We address this question in the context of Albania where the profession of social work is relatively new, and – within its short history – little emphasis has been placed on pandemics and more generally crises. We bring together two types of data: first, how social service providers and users are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and their policy priorities, and, second, the extent that social work education equips students with knowledge and skills to engage in policy change processes and address the priorities of service providers and users. The first type of data is based on a recent study that we have conducted with social service providers and users in 18 municipalities during September – October 2020, and the second type of data on our examination of the curriculum taught in the Advanced Social Work program – social policy, community organizing, and clinical social work specializations. In bringing the two types of data together, our goal is to provide suggestions on how to strengthen the social work education in Albania and prepare social work students for greater policy influence in times of pandemics and in the aftermath of pandemics. The case study of Albania will advance our understanding of how the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic can help us strengthen the social work profession and advance the social justice agenda on a global scale.

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