ERIS Journal – Winter 2016

Managing poverty and unemployment in the current political, social and economic situation is very
challenging for Austria and especially for Western Balkan countries. Austria is among the modern
welfare states in Europe while Western Balkan countries are in their EU integration process,
with their poor welfare system are facing slow economic growth, political instability, high level
of corruption and many social problems. Western Balkan countries are very well known for their
wars in former Yugoslavia, Albanian rebellion in 1997 and the NATO intervention in Kosovo in
1999, but are less known for their social welfare system. In their process of transition, development
and integration in the EU, many social problems appeared on the horizon with an increasing rate
of unemployment and widespread poverty. Can Western Balkan countries achieve the level of the
Austrian welfare system or can they follow the route of developing a sustainable welfare system as
Austria has it? This article provides and analyses statistical data about unemployment and poverty
for all Western Balkan countries compared with Austria. The overall purpose is to elaborate the
welfare state in Western Balkan countries, as one region that surprisingly was not well studied.Zobrazit text

Base systematic research in this paper3 argues that even if there are many social work practitioners,
scientists and students of the opinion that research in this field is of little use, we shouldn’t be so
pessimistic. Far from it, the authors are of the opinion that both intuitive and rational thinking
and decision making are equally important for a practice which – in order to avoid mistakes and
prejudices – must rely on “fast thinking” as well as on “slow thinking”. Against this background
the paper firstly works out the deficiencies of both epistemological approaches and then argues for
a constructive relationship between practical and scientific thinking in social work. German and
international examples of good research practice demonstrate the usefulness of a broad knowledge
base in social work for practice and decision making. Finally, the paper summarizes the main
preconditions which are necessary to realize a new relationship between social work practice and
research.Zobrazit text

In the context of the current welfare state situation, social service providers deal with the question
of innovation, its traditional methods and procedures, requiring multidisciplinary cooperation.
Often, social service providers respond to this situation with institutions establishment through
business thought that should be linked to social work’s ethics, based on community services and
business integration, thus social enterprise establishment. This text is a part of a dissertation
thesis, in which the central idea is to differentiate the social work conception in the field of social
entrepreneurship (or in the field of social enterprises) from the market logic efforts to dominate
this profession. The text aims to discuss potential solutions to the current state of resources, that
social work can be found in the area of civil society.Zobrazit text

The issue of partner relationships and family life as one of the areas determining the quality
of life of people with physical disabilities has been long neglected in the Czech environment.
The situation is slowly improving, but there is still a lack of research on the personal lives of
physically disabled people. Thus, the authors have focused on this under-researched area through
qualitative research. The participants expressed their intimate experience during semi-structured
interviews and the obtained data was analyzed in accordance with the principles of practice-based
theory procedures. The results show that partner and sexual relationships are an integral part of
young adults’ lives. The informants, on the other hand, identified some limits in their interpersonal
relations which could generate a need for specialized help provided by social workers.Zobrazit text