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Issues » 2015/2 - Work Conditions of Social Work »

Radka Janebová, Marcela Hudečková, Romana Zapadlová, Jana Musilová

Stories of Social Workers Who Did Not Keep Silent – Ways of Dealing with Dilemmas


The present article aims to describe specific ways of resolving the dilemma of social workers who decided to solve dilemma between the subjectively perceived need for promoting the rights of clients and the power pressures from the contracting authority by choosing the option of enforcing their clients’ rights. We also want to depict the consequences this decision has for their professional career. To achieve the goal, we have chosen a qualitative research strategy with the use of a semistructured interview. The present study suggests that the situation of social workers in the Czech Republic is characterized by uncertainty and intimidation threats. While one can find examples of social workers who remained silent and tried to promote the rights of their clients through such methods as bargaining with the contracting authority, negotiations with the governing authority, public criticism of the contracting authority, open rebellion against the contracting authorities or secret enforcement of “moral ideal”, yet these strategies appear risky. Those who withstand the intimidation from contracting authorities may bear consequences for their “bravery”, including loss of job or even jeopardy of their own organization, which may be divested of its subsidies.


social work, client’s rights, promoting the rights of clients, dilemmas, ways of solving dilemmas

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