Dr. Kvetoslava Repková is a senior researcher of the Institute for Labour and Family Research in Bratislava and an external university teacher at the Faculty of Arts, University of Presov in Presov. Her research work is focused on disability studies, issues on long-term care services for caredependent persons, including support of informal carers. In recent years her research interest is very intensely focused on quality in social services´ issues, mainly from the perspective of roles social workers play in this interventional area.
OBJECTIVES: This paper is focused on professional roles that social workers play the in area of social services, with special regards to current developments in Slovakia. THEORETICAL BASE: The research builds upon the systems theory assuming that legal or other external conditions for applying distinct roles of social work in the area of social services determine current practice. METHODS: Analysis of relevant documents in combination with data obtained from qualitative questionnaires is conducted to explore how the independent experts describe the roles of social work in selected types of social services in Slovakia. OUTCOMES: Experts associate social work with enforcement of professionalism and quality in social services. There is a triangle of the most prevalent roles social workers play (should play) in social services, namely social diagnostics, social counselling, and coordination of the actors/mediation of interactions/networking. However, roles of social workers in social services are, for the involved actors, not always clear. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The research contributes to the discussion of what are the system-based conditions for institutionalization of the social work in area of social services with special emphasis on a need for systematic methodological support of social service providers and their professional staff.
social work, social services, roles, domiciliary care, residential care, crisis intervention