Special English Issue 2014

This article deals with the issue of substitute family care from the perspectives of social work and
social policy. In the first part of the article, basic terms are introduced: substitute family care and
social policy or family policy. However, the meaning of both is ambiguous. The second part
discusses the National Concept of the Czech Republic regarding social policy and social work
with respect to the current state of substitute family care after the amendment of the Act on Social
and Legal Protection of Children and the emergence of the new Civil Code. Substitute family
care is a social event which requires assistance by society both from the perspective of social work
and social policy. For this reason, the article describes how the issue of substitute family care is
perceived by Czech social policy and what position substitute family care holds in it.Zobrazit text

This article aims to describe and analyse the situation of single grandmothers in asylum houses for
mothers with children in the Moravian-Silesian Region. The first part of the text is devoted to
the description of the situation of single mothers in the Czech Republic. Later the methodological
anchoring of the research will be presented. The research consists of quantitative and qualitative
parts. The quantitative section refers to the frequency of grandmothers with a child in care in
individual districts of the Moravian-Silesian Region. The results were measured by means of
structured interviews with social workers from various asylum houses. The qualitative part is
focused on the analysis of the factors that led the grandmothers to being in an asylum house.
This section was based on interviews with three communication partners, i.e. grandmothers with
a child in care in asylum houses in the Moravian-Silesian Region. In this research, the author
aimed to obtain information useful for the development of social work for those working with
this target group.Zobrazit text

This article is in response to the increasing pro-integration role played by social services in the
implementation of integration activities in areas of working with immigrants in the Czech Republic.
The authors are looking for an answer to the question of whether the regional distribution of
immigrant-specialised social services corresponds to the number of foreigners living in individual
regions of the Czech Republic. The authors will try to conceptualise the relevant terms of the
research issue, which involves immigrants in the Czech Republic and the immigrant-specialised
social services. The authors found that even if the state and the regions (administrative units)
provide social services which specialise in working with immigrants, they lack any systematic tools
to monitor, at a minimum level, the distribution and coverage of the services with respect to the
number of immigrants in any given locality. This may lead to serious regional problems in the
availability and use of social services intended for immigrants.Zobrazit text

This study deals with incidents of client violence and their connection to the conflict styles of the
victims. It lists the most important findings in the areas of client violence in social work practice.
The research is based on a survey and its objective was to detect the incidences of individual client
violence cases and their possible connection to the conflict styles of the victims.
315 respondents to the study were from the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, the
employees of crisis centres, re-socialisation centres and foster homes. The survey results showed
a high incidence of verbal abuse. On the other hand, the study did not confirm any connection
between a conflict attitude of the victims and the incidence of client violence. The respondents
used mainly collaborating as a conflict style; men opt for competing as a conflict style more often
than women and the respondents reached higher scores in the cooperativeness indexes than in the
assertiveness indexes.Zobrazit text

New methodologies in social work with underprivileged children and youth promote the
participation of the service users and see the participatory approach as a powerful tool of
empowerment. In this article the participatory approach is presented as a possible solution to the
specific problems of social exclusion of youth in urban areas. The article discusses the empowering
potential of the participatory approach. The research sections of this article is a case study of the
application of the participatory approach in a low-threshold youth drop-in centre in one socially
excluded neighbourhood. It highlights its contribution to addressing the specific life conditions of
service users and brings new questions and areas for further discussion about the enhancement of
services users´ participation in social services that deal with children and youth.Zobrazit text

Based on a critical review of social science research into female drug use, the author identifies
a tendency to lay particular emphasis upon two roles: that of structural constraints or that of
individual agencies. This dichotomous perception portrays women drug users as either powerless
victims of oppression, or as volitional agents unrestricted by structural limitations. The author
explores the implications of such specialised discourse upon social work practice and how
it may contribute to further stigmatization and disempowerment of female drug users. Using
intersectionalism and broad definitions of agency and social structure, the article suggests a basis
for empowering social work practice.Zobrazit text

Social work takes place in multi-professional contexts. These contexts require skills in
understanding meaning in order to intermediate from different perspectives in order to deal with
cases successfully. Taking or looking at perspectives which differ from our own, and using them is
– from a theoretical point of view – defined as dialogue (Kloepfer, 1982; Mead, 1965). A dialogue
understanding as a “meeting of minds” (Mead 1965, 52) happens mostly during
and also to a lesser degree from written information. Given the epistemic potential of writing
for social work (Dias et al., 1999; White, Epston, 1990), this article specifically proves the
potential of the study writing to initiate and keep up dialogical conversations in order to become
a well-educated social worker. Therefore it discusses letter writing and its dialogical potential
from a trans-disciplinary perspective, and through an empirical study of a series of letters written
by social work students. The analysis methodologically involves grounded theory procedures
(Straus, Corbin, 1990; Bromberg, 2014), and makes use of analytical methods, usually used for
autobiographical narrative interviews (Riemann 2003; Schütze 2008). Along with the analysis, it
will show how both addressed writing, as provided from letters, serve professional attitudes and
acting through dialogical communication, promote dealings from different perspectives required
in multi-professional social work contexts. The general idea that letters help us become better
professional social (case) workers that Mary E. Richmond made nearly hundred years ago can now
be verified by theoretical and empirical insights.Zobrazit text

This paper proposes the value of conceptualising as ‘reading’ social work interpersonal actions and
written documents, since ‘reading’ as developed in cultural and media studies, literary criticisms
and homilectics provides a technology for interpretation of both surface and hidden events and
texts, potentially providing opportunities for empirical analysis of alternative understandings
of social work. Media of communication, representation, structure, audiences and authors and
politics of interaction may all be considered, and exploring source and structural awareness in
readers, concept recognition, difference awareness and link awareness together with concern for
phonology, semantics, grammar and pragmatics provide a technology for analysis. Discussion of
a social work record, a higher education assessment in social work and paragraphs in two social
work academic texts exemplify some of the possibilities.Zobrazit text