Economization in Social Work on Cases of Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Work with Children and Young People in Germany

Jutta Harrer-Amersdorffer, Oldřich Chytil

OBJECTIVE: The article looks at the impact of economisation and modernisation on social work. This issue is explored at the level of social work on helping children and young people in Germany. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND: Social differentiation theory is used as a starting point for grasping said developments in one area of social work. METHODS: With reference to a theoretical starting point, we have analysed the current theoretical German discourse on the effectiveness of social work using content analysis. In the case of the two evaluation approaches used in aid programmes for children and young people in Germany, we have shown the limits that this approach aimed at achieving the highest possible efficiency in social work. RESULTS: We conclude that while the requirement of efficiency and transparency is justified and contributes to the professionalisation of social work, the field would require the development of an evaluation system based on comprehensive indicators. Otherwise, the profession runs the risk of its content being reduced to exclusively economically focused programmes pursuing only the aspect of financial gain. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATION: The analysis shows how important it is to focus attention on developing and implementing theory-based evaluation programmes. Social work has the opportunity to shape the profession in terms of content, based on its own design of such programmes.

assistance to children and young people in Germany, evaluation, modernisation, economisation

p. 75-88

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