REFLECTION IN THE PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITY OF THE SOCIAL WORKER

Leta Dromantienė, Valdonė Indrašienė, Justinas Sadauskas

Abstract


The article deals with the use of activity reflection in social work, it discloses the experience of social workers that work with families at risk applying reflection. The peculiarity of the activity of the social worker is determined by the diversity of social problems and clients, dynamic relationship with different groups of clients. That means that the social worker must be able to organise the social work process with clients establishing and assessing the social needs and the social problems. It is the same important that the social worker aims for improvement in the Professional activity, since only a continuously improving specialist may efficiently help his/her clients by way of creating mutual meaningful and problem solution orientated interrelationship.
For the performance of the research a qualitative research access was applied, for the data collection a semi-structured interview was used. 7 social workers with the experience of not less than 10 years of social work with families at risk were selected by way of targeted criterion- selection. The data of the research were analysed applying the content analysis method.
The analysis of scientific literature showed that reflection of the professional activity of the social worker is associated with the learning from experience and is the essential factor of professional activity improvement. Ability to activate the reflection process, as a response to the real problems of social work, considering and making decisions for the future enables development of efficient professional practice.
Empiric research disclosed that social workers reflect their professional activities in critical cases (dissatisfaction with the results of activity, felt by oneself or expressed by others) on the individual and interaction levels.
The place or time for activity reflection depends on the complexity of the situation and possibilities: in work place or back at home. In cases of very anxious situations social workers reflect on their activity or on a particular situation in any place - “right here and now”. The analysis of the research results disclosed that the reflection experienced by social workers might be either constructive or unprofitable. Constructive reflection encourages participation in the process of continuous learning: engage in self-education, self-help, to take over the best experiences of colleague. Unprofitable reflection orientates the social worker towards dissatisfaction with one’s self and with the results of the work. In order to avoid the unprofitable reflection it is necessary that the heads of the institutions initiate reflections on the organisational level.

Keywords


reflection; improvement of professional activity; social work; learning from experience.

Full Text:

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SD-16-14-1-01

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789