“Chronic Clients” – Opinions and Empirical Experiences of Social Workers in Municipalities in the Czech Vysočina Region

Martina Cerna, Vlasta Reznikova, Jana Gabrielova, Marketa Dubnova

OBJECTIVES: The main objective was to convey the empirical experiences of social workers in municipalities with so-called “chronic clients” as well as to share the opinions and suggestions of interviewed social workers on solving the most common problems and dilemmas when working with these clients. THEORETICAL BASE: By “Chronic clients” the interviewed social workers meant people who remain “in the system, and remain needy”. Workers and social workers regularly meet these clients in practice, but not enough attention is paid to this target group in professional sources. METHODS: Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews with social workers in municipalities with an authorised municipal office in the selected Czech Vysočina Region in the summer of 2021. Overall, 26 interviews took place. Based on the thematic analysis, the question on the definition of a “chronic client” and the reasons for their persistence in the system were answered, and options for solving difficulties and dilemmas were proposed. OUTCOMES: The “chronic client” has complex needs and is seen as more likely to fail; the system setting does not facilitate change for either the client or the social workers. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The implications of this study focus on client strengths and strengthen macro social work.

dilemma, inspiration, municipality, social worker, chronic client

p. 69- 79

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