The Possibilities of the Subjective Observation of Social Workers from the Social and Legal Protection of Children: Entrusting Children to Kinship Care and Its Use

Leona Hozova, Renata Kyzlinkova

OBJECTIVES: The aim of this research is understanding the mechanisms shaping the decision-making process of social workers from the area of social and legal protection of children, especially when they deal with the issue of entrusting children to kinship care. THEORETICAL BASE: The research is theoretically based on comprehensive models of the decision-making process and on models of knowledge parameters entering into the decision-making of social workers when choosing intervention. METHODS: Mixed research was used to answer the research questions, with an emphasis on the thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with staff from the area of Social and Legal Protection of Children, data from focus groups and data from open-ended survey questions. OUTCOMES: The analysis confirmed that the decision-making of social workers in this area is influenced by two basic determinants – external and internal. External elements include the legislative and social environments, cultural determinants, regional influences and the worker’s working environment. The internal elements relate to the personal characteristics and professional competences of the worker, including his value orientation, work with power, ethical principles and the degree of empathy. The decision-making process in the field of Social and Legal Protection of Children is laced with an element of ambiguity and disunity, often leading to feelings of uncertainty and frustration among social workers. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The research contributes to a deeper understanding of the problem and the need to take measures to increase the efficiency and transparency of the processes and intervention strategies of social work.

social worker, social and legal protection of children, kinship care, aspects of decision-making

p. 61-78

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