Mediation as a Method of Social Work or Unique Behavioral Pattern?

Lenka Dvorakova, Mirka Necasova

OBJECTIVES: Following up the relationship between mediation and social work, the authors specifically ask about the place of mediation in social work. THEORETICAL BASIS: The issue is considered from a mediation theoretical background and its applied historical perspective in the Czech Republic, specifically in social work, the underlying conception being professional identity. METHODS: The objectives are achieved through the analysis of academic texts about mediation, legislative texts adjusting the execution of mediation in the Czech Republic and texts referring to using mediation especially in social work. OUTCOMES: It was necessary to distinguish particular mediation styles, because the authors writing about mediation often interchange mediation with facilitative mediating style. Mediation has historically evolved especially within the Czech context of the social work profession and can be seen as a separate model of proceeding (especially evaluative and partly facilitative mediation), even as a specific method of social work (facilitative, transformative and narrative mediation). SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: There is uncertainty in social work about social worker competencies in applying mediation; therefore, its potential to help clients is not fully utilized. The solutions could be completing further education in mediation, so the trained social worker would practice mediation to support a wider range of interactions.

mediation, identity, mediation style, method of social work, profession, mediation act



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