Special English Issue 2011

The main goal of this article is to clarify and characterize the principles, goals and functions of the childcare service system for children aged 0-6 in the Czech Republic in the context of the requirements and expectations of contemporary European childcare policy. Currently, the system of childcare is one of the fastest growing areas in the EU; however, this development is not occuring at the same pace or in the same way in all European countries (Sector Futures-Childcare Services Sector 2006). We can find two basic ideal principles on which European countries usually build child-care systems (Scheiwe, Willekens 2008).The first idea concerns the need of children below the age of obligatory schooling to be already publicly educated. The second idea promotes the reconciliation of care work and paid work, therefore it concentrates more on the needs of parents. We can say that in the Czech system of childcare there are both basic principles: the educational model and the reconciliation model. However, at the first glance there is an obvious difference between the concept of care for children from 0 to 3 years and that of children over 3 years of age; there is a strictly maintained division between the two in the Czech Republic. The provision of public care for children under 3 years (nursery schools) has practically disappeared. There is much pressure exerted on parents to take care of their children under 3 years within the family. This somewhat undermines the respect for differentiation among various family patterns, choices and strategies. On the other hand, the system of kindergartens for children of 3 to 6 years is a part of a social policy in the Czech Republic that is fully supported, and not just financially. Besides the mentioned main goal, this article provides also information about tools and measures which are available for social workers and about the conditions and also limits of the childcare system which represents (state) enviromental support for coping conflicting pressures between paid work and childcare.Zobrazit text

The objective of this article is to react to negative evaluations of the 70s and 80s of the 20th century in Czechoslovakia published by contemporary authors. Findings obtained on the history of social care and social work in the studied period rest upon scientific procedures using relevant research strategies. Methodologically, the results are based on historical research, which is a specific type of scientific research dealing with history. Primary and secondary sources of written character deposited in the Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs in Prague and the Ostrava City Archive are the subject of this research. To ensure validity of the findings from the content analysis, the research technique of questionnaire and semi-structured interview is applied within the methodology triangulation. Social care after 1970 concentrates on five areas of interest: care for elderly citizens, care for citizens with changed work abilities, care for children, young people and family, care for socially maladjusted citizens, and care for citizens of Roma origin. In terms of its content, the article deals with common features of social care indentified in the particular target groups.Zobrazit text

Humanitarian assistance is generally understood as a positive action with good impacts, but sometimes especially in war situations and combined crises (disaster and war) it is connected with many ethical dilemmas which have to be solved by humanitarian workers. In this article some principles and theories are introduced that could help to find solutions. However application of the theories and the principles alone is useless. Real knowledge of the theories and ability to combine them, wisdom, humility, prudence and a lot of experience are important in order to be able to solve the dilemmas and help in favour of the people in need.Zobrazit text

In the present article, the authors focused on identifying the training needs of hospice staff and other health care workers in palliative care. The authors conducted an extensive research project interviewing workers involved in the direct care of clients in the terminal stage of their life. The staff were interviewed on readiness for their existing professions in which they accompany the dying and encounter death on everyday basis. The research objective was to determine whether the respondents’ education is adequate, in their own view, for accompanying the dying and whether it enables them to come to terms with the finiteness of life.Zobrazit text

The article notes the inappropriateness of a “consensual approach to the culture of an organisation” in a situation where the individualisation of identities makes differentiation of concepts of desirable actions by the personnel of social service organisations an inevitable necessity. It points out that, in this situation, the consensual view, which is accompanied by emphasis on “uniformity” and understanding dissimilarities as “deviations”, leads to a dilemma between conformity and authenticity in social workers, thereby giving rise to stress. As an alternative, the author offers the “perpetual concept of organisational culture”, which rejects the idea that co-operation is based exclusively on consensus and builds on the thought that co-operation presupposes constancy of concepts, which makes it possible to anticipate the actions of people with different concepts of the desirable way to handle clients. From this angle, dissimilarities cease to be “deviations” and may be at the heart of discussions on meaningful responses to the actions of people who have dissimilar concepts of desirable actions.Zobrazit text

Population aging as well as the change in the approach towards the clients of personal social services impact on stated social services policy in many European countries. Likewise to support elderly people in their natural social environment is the strong point of the official policy of social services in the Czech Republic and the role of field-based assistance increases as opposed residential care. In the context of these national priorities of elderly care policy, the purpose of this study is to report on the position of the domiciliary care services as the typical means of field-based social services providing. European and national priorities regarding the policy of elderly care are presented in the first part of the text. After that using case study results of selected domiciliary care service agency extended by quantitative data (SHARE) we investigate both the current aim of the domiciliary care services and its importance to the service users themselves. Above all we focus on the possibilities and risks of the domiciliary care services providing and the potential of this kind of service to ensure suitable care of elderly in their place. We discuss this issue from the viewpoint of the different actors: service users, service workers and service managers as well.Zobrazit text