Social Construction of Social Work in Domiciliary Care Service

Kvetoslava Repková

Kvetoslava Repková is a senior researcher of the Institute for Labour and Family Research in Bratislava and external university teacher at the Faculty of Arts, Presov University in Presov. Her research work is focused mainly on disability studies and issues on long-term care services. In recent years her research interest is very intensively focused on quality in social services issues, mainly from perspective of roles the social work plays in this interventional area.


OBJECTIVES: This paper aims for an in-depth examination of how social work is constructed in domiciliary care service (DCS) through reflexions and expectations of its actors. THEORETICAL BASE: The research is based upon the Payne´s social-constructivist interpretation of social work in the field of social services in combination with concept of the home care. METHODS: Analysis of relevant documents in combination with data obtained from semi-structured interviews with municipal social services managers, social workers, and care workers is conducted in order to study how social work is constructed in the practice of two DCS public providers. OUTCOMES: Social work in DCS may be constructed as DCS coordination; it consists of a lot of sub-roles and tasks, but which are not always performed by persons formally qualified for social work. Managements recognise, at least declaratorily, professional preparedness of social workers to perform the DCS coordination, but care workers describe their roles as being rather administrative. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Social work has the potential to contribute to the effective DCS coordination, but this potential is not fully applied due to current position of DCS in the system of social services as well as some legal conditions in this field.


social services, domiciliary care service, social work, social construction

p. 90-104

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