Lenka Caletkova, Marie Pindakova, Michal Burda, Jiri Winkler
OBJECTIVES: The aim of the paper is to find out what barriers and supporting conditions professional counseling workers face and what strategies they use when applying an individual approach to long-term unemployed clients. THEORETICAL BASE: The organizational environment, as well as the professional consultants themselves can have an influence on the application of important institutional rules of this profession, such as an individual approach to clients. METHODS: A mixed-research strategy was used, where we combined quantitative research using a questionnaire of our own creation and its subsequent descriptive analysis with qualitative research using a thematic analysis of respondents’ open answers. OUTCOMES: Professional counseling workers apply an individual approach to long-term unemployed clients and point to similar characteristics. Despite the perceived barriers, they modify administrative procedures with the aim of making assistance to clients more efficient, thus contributing to the individualization of services and non-standardized procedures. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: For the more effective application of an individual approach, there is a need to establish inter-organizational cooperation, improve cooperation within the organization, reduce the administrative burden, and further professional training of labor office staff.
individual approach, long-term unemployment, labor office, social services
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