EFFECTIVENESS OF SOCIAL WORK AND FACTORS RESTRAINING IT

Raminta Bardauskienė

Abstract


Despite there is an operating social support system for families, social workers are affected by factors that limit the effectiveness of their activities in working with families whose children are taken into temporary custody. The article aims to uncover what hinders social worker to carry out effective work in providing social services to families whose children are in temporary custody (care). A qualitative study was carried out in January - February, 2015. The data were collected through documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. For document analysis 5 custody cases were taken from a department of The State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service. Using semi-structured interview four social workers from Social services center were interviewed. The workers worked with the families of those child who were in temporary custody (one social worker worked with the two cases). The research data showed that the awareness of the research participants about social work effectiveness is limited to its individual components. While these components putting together you can get a broad definition of social work effectiveness, the research participant themselves do not operate such a concept. The research date reveals that the micro-level factors influencing effectiveness of social workers activities in working with families whose children are in temporary custody are as follows: absents of parental motivation to seek changes and unfavorable environment as well as negative community approach to social risk families. Macro level factors limiting social work effectiveness working with the families at social risk lie in the system of the social services. Inadequate management of social work, limited social worker’s access to resources necessary to restore family functions, excessive workloads for social workers are essential factors limiting social work effectiveness. The research participants pointed out that their activity would be more effective if they could work in a system closely collaborating not only with the client’s environment but also with a local community, institutions, working in a team and using different and numerous resources in a family helping process. This means that it is not enough for social workers just to intervene into micro level, but it is very important to target an intervention to mezzo and macro levels initiating changes in a community and social services system. The responsibility for social work effectiveness have to take not only social workers, but also representatives from municipalities and different ministries as well as politicians.

Keywords


effectiveness, social worker, social services, family at social risk, temporary child custody, permanent child custody.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13165/SD-16-14-2-03

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