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Welfare Reform on the Web (October 2008): Social care - overseas

Domestic violence services in Romania: a longitudinal case study

J.S. Wimmer and P.A. Harrington

International Social Work, vol. 51, 2008, p. 623-633

Domestic violence is a widespread social problem in Romania. However the issue has only recently been addressed with the passage of legislation pertaining to family violence prevention and punishment in 2003. This article describes a domestic violence intervention and prevention programme established in Sighisoara, Romania in 2003 called Floare de Colt. It was a USAID partnership project between the Social Work Program at Cornerstone University, Michigan and the Veritas Foundation in Sighisoara. A locality development model with international assistance was used to create services.

The professionalisation of social work: a cross-national exploration

I. Weiss-Gal and P. Welbourne

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 17, 2008, p. 281-290

Since its beginnings in the late nineteenth century, social work has become a global profession practiced in over 144 countries. Its spread and development have been accompanied by a drive to attain professional status. This exploration of the state of the social work profession as it is reflected in ten countries across the globe indicates that certain professional features are common to social work in all of them. These features include the establishment of professional organisations, the formulation of a professional code of ethics, the development and dissemination of a specific body of knowledge, and the placement of social work training in institutions of higher education. By contrast, other professional features were found to be lacking in most of the countries. In none of the countries studied were there formal monopolies over fields of practice. Enforceable licensing regulations and procedures, restrictions on the use of the title of social worker, state sanctions for breaches of the code of ethics and control over training and entrance to the profession were found in only some of the countries studied.

A reflection on the indigenization discourse in social work

Huang Yunong and Zhang Xiong

International Social Work, vol. 51, 2008, p. 611-622

This article has provided a review of the concept of indigenization in social work, using the indigenization of social work in China as a case study. The proponents of indigenization claim that social work should be made to fit a local context. Some have blindly adhered to indigenous cultural and social structures and questioned western social works values and principles. This can lead to the perpetuation of oppressive social structures in the indigenous country. They have also overemphasized the differences between western and indigenous cultures, and have ignored ethnic and cultural diversity both in the west and in the indigenous country.

Social care work in the recent past: revisiting the professional/amateur dichotomy

L. Hughes

Australian Social Work, vol. 61, 2008, p. 226-238

Historians of social welfare have been engaged in reconsidering the received wisdoms of their discipline. This article challenges one of these pieces of received wisdom, namely the distinctiveness of secular professional social work in Australia when compared to religious or amateur charity. Findings are presented from a qualitative study of Australian Catholic sisters' experiences of social care work from the 1950s to the present day based on in-depth interviews. Sisters' accounts of their work with marginalised people reveal many similarities to the values and principles of social work. This suggests a blurred line between professional social work and amateur charity.

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