Publication details

Professionalisation of social work through the perception of ethical problems and dilemmas by social workers



Year of publication 2019
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Description So-called post-modern society could be characterized by various changes and uncertainties. At the same time, social work, which was not fully established in the past as a profession in the Czech Republic, struggles on the one hand with the demand for professionalisation and, on the other hand, with the hidden de-professionalisation trend. As Evetts (2013) pointed out, organizational and occupational professionalism differs in various aspects, and also in the way of controlling the occupational group. While occupational professionalism relies on normative control by a professional group, organizational professionalism in managerial settings uses professionalism as an ideology for controlling professionals on the distance. The ideology on one hand and the respected norms of the profession on the other hand are used by managers interchangeably. The aim of this contribution is to explore how social workers perceive the trends in the professionalisation of social work and their strategies in dealing with the consequences of the process. The topic has been explored through qualitative research focused on difficult situations (ethical problems and dilemmas) that social workers face and deal with in their practice. The research was partly devoted to the investigation of the connection between education and the ability to understand the processes. The preliminary results show that respondents do not understand the process of professionalization in depth, but they react unconsciously to the consequences at the level of practice - they try to resist the de-professionalistaion or they feel helpless. At the same time, the importance of the qualification and long-life learning to understand the process seems to be underestimated by them. The findings contribute to the contemporary discussion taking place in the Czech Association of Schools of Social Work concerning the changes in the Minimum Standard of Education of the respective subjects - findings support the importance of hermeneutics, critical social work and reflective practice in education.