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Welfare Reform on the Web (June 2011): Social care - overseas

Caregiver stress and staff support in illness, dying, and bereavement

I. Renzenbrink (editor)

Oxford: OUP, 2011

The need for renewal and support for those who care for seriously ill, dying and bereaved people has been acknowledged from the very beginning of the hospice and palliative care movement. While often referring to the rewards and satisfactions of the work, Dame Cicely Saunders was the first to acknowledge that helping encounters with dying patients and distressed relatives could be a source of anguish and grief for dedicated and compassionate carers. This book discusses the challenge of finding a balance between the support needs of patients, families and staff and the resources available. With contributions from practitioners and researchers from around the world, it recognises that palliative care today is being provided in many different settings and that there are wide variations in the way individuals and organisations identify and manage the stressors that arise through the work. This unique collection of international perspectives on the complexities and management of caregiver stress and staff support extends the firm foundation Mary Vachon built over twenty years ago in her studies, and broadens the scope to include significant social, political and cultural variations on the theme.

A comparison of social work education across South Africa and Japan in relation to the global standards for social work education and training

H. Sakaguchi and V. Sewpaul

International Journal of Social Welfare, vol. 20, 2011, p. 192-202

The Global Standards for the Education and Training of Social Workers adopted in 2004 detail nine sets of standards. The document also calls for comparative international research involving the application and evaluation of the standards to identify gaps and limitations. Against this background, the authors undertook a comparative study of social work education in Japan and South Africa. This article draws on a one-year study visit to the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, interviews with field supervisors and students in Japan, and comparison of the two national education frameworks. It identifies similarities and differences in social work education across the two countries and explores the historical, socio-cultural and economic factors that might account for differences.

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