Social Work in (Not) Ending Housing Need

Magdalena Opletalová, Zuzana Truhlářová

Magdalena Opletalová is a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, majoring in Social Work. She works as the director of the Podskalí Fokus Prague centre.

Zuzana Truhlářová works as the deputy director at the Institute of Primary, Pre-Primary and Special Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Hradec Králové. She focuses her research activities on social work education, with emphasis on the undergraduate preparation of social workers, the issue of practical training. Another area of her expertise is social work with the elderly from the perspective of formal and informal social care. She is a co-author of many domestic and foreign professional publications and a member of professional and expert organizations.

OBJECTIVES: To map the performance of social work in supporting people in acute housing crisis, including the factors that represent barriers and those that represent sources of support. THEORETICAL BASE: Housing need, Luhmann approach to exclusion/inclusion, ecosystemic model of social work. METHODS: An integrated approach combining literature research, semi-structured interviews with actors addressing housing need, thematic coding of responses. OUTCOMES: The role of social workers in dealing effectively with housing distress is perceived as simultaneously central, powerless and under threat. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The results of the research contribute to the discussion on the necessity of systemic change in the processes of ending housing distress at the micro, meso, and macro levels, the specification of the role of social work in the processes of ending housing distress, and the necessity of involvement of social workers in setting equitable policies.

housing need, social work, social workers, human rights, social justice

p. 73-87