Editorial

2005/2006 ISSUE 11

Issue no. 11 of the IUC Journal of SW Theory and Practice contains eight articles anchored in the lectures presented within the three courses of the IUC School:

  • SW Theories and Methodologies
  • Social Work and Spirituality, and
  • Social Work with children and Youth.

In addition we have a report regarding the review of the Spirituality and SW Home-Page. Prof. Terry Sacco from SAR kindly agreed to work on the evaluation, while Dr. Dada M. Maglajlic’ helped design the instrument and implement it at the IUC Dubrovnik.

 

Thirty-five faculty, researchers, practitioners and students participated in the above mentioned June 2005 courses/symposia: 9 from the UK, 6 from Croatia, 3 from Slovenia and USA, 2 from Germany and SCG, and one from Czeck Republic and Poland; in addition we had three participants originally from one country yet living and presenting theoretical concepts and practical experience pertaining to another country; first country indicates country of origin: Swiss/Nepal, Holland/Croatia and Croatia/USA.

 

Each of the three courses/symposia implemented its own evaluation and recommended three lectures for publication. Unfortunately authors from Norway, due to the nature of their research, could not prepare brief progress report within the given deadline. Thus, in this issue of the Journal we have a total of eight lectures and one review.

 

Course “Social Work Theories and Methodologies”, staged a symposium “Evaluating and Demonstrating Success in Social Work” from June 4-10. Dr. Carmel Byers from the University of Hertfordshire presented a lecture about most recent development in SW education – developing partnership between service users and SW educators; author reflects on the history of the user involvement in the UK, and highlights what users identified as desirable learning outcomes for SW students. Dr. Nino Rode, Mag. BarbaraKobal and Dr. Ljiljana Rihter from the School of SW, University of Ljubljana and the State Department for Human Services presented development of the model for the evaluation of the social welfare programs in Slovenia. Major facets of the model are procedures – processes – outcomes and related cost. Ideally, it would be valuable to seek input from every service user keeping in mind evaluative elements such as quality of life, strength perspective, normalization, and functional capacity. At this stage of the model implementation aggregate level is implemented. Dr. Vito Flaker, Professional Director and Magdalena Zakelj, Social Worker presented alternative approach to institutional care for the people with mental distress. Long-term residential care home Hrastovec was established in 1947 and at its peak had a capacity for 626 people. De-institutionalization was introduced in 2001 by the new administration of the home. Model of “integrated care” with external units in natural environment focuses on normalizing alternatives.

 

Course “Social Work and Spirituality” staged a symposium on “Cultural Identity, Meta-Ethics and Culture of Peace”, also from June 4-10, 2005. From the symposium we have a lecture by a student (Mr. Manenica), young practitioner (Ms. Visinski) and Dr. Yves R. Nedeljkovic, well known professor and long-term associate of our program. Over the past few years Professor Nedeljkovic’ presented results of his continued exploration: “on the one side we perceive the rising, overwhelming speed of the development of technology, and on the other, a devastating absence of ethical judgment towards the use of that technology”. Focus of the lecture, and the article, is exploration of the conscience as the essence of human consciousness. Igor Manenica prepared a lecture on metaethics and shamanism in the age of science, reviewing use and abuse of the existing shamanistic systems, modern as well as the ancient. “The high complexity of the modern day shamanistic mainframe, representing a combination of ethics (including sources from which they are drown), neurochemistry, physics, mysticism, mass religion, etnobotany”.

 

Silvija Visinski prepared a lecture anchored in continued theoretical exploration and practical implementation of the “Towards a Peaceable Community” document (to be found in the issue no.3. of the Journal). With the focus on an individual and rudimentary virtues illustrated by the angels Ms. Visinski explores dynamic from “existential openness to optimism”.

 

Course “Social Work with Children and Youth” explored over the past few years how to reach the inner world of a child/young person. Symposium was staged from June 19-25, 2005. Mr. Martin Masar MSW, Clinical Director of the Youth Connect International prepared a summary of the 20-year review of treatments that work “in helping to change the lives of severely troubled youth and their families”. Treatments combine use of the psychotherapy, enriched learning environment and neuroscience. Program has impressive 85% success rate almost three years after the discharge. A team from the research center, University in Trondheim prepared an impressive set of lectures.

 

Keeping an eye on what’s best in the world, NTNU Team considers what may work well in Norway, thus enriching already high standard of services for children, youth and their families. Torill Tjelfaat, Director of the Center and Dr. Jim Lurie, Senior Researcher combined two lectures into one article under the title “Prevention and Treatment of Behavioral Problems among Small Children in Norway”. After staging an expert conference, and preparing a formal report, several innovative approaches (trials) were introduced such as the Parent Management Training (PMT), Multi-System Therapy (MST) and Webster-Straton model of parent training. It is equally important to focus on parents and children as subject in both, treatment practice and “research” (evaluative practice). UN Convention defines principles which are to safe-guard this dynamic. Norway and other countries of the Nordic region continue to demonstrate implementation of given principles, combined with the latest international research, local tradition of good practice, high quality of life and  peoples’ wisdom. Dr. Ann-Mari Brubakk’s lecture presents brief progress report related to the research project which has as its objective evaluation of the “prevalence of psychiatric symptoms and disorders associated with low birth weight and the effect of low birth weight on quality of life, parent-child relationship and parents’ mental health.” Unfortunately Dr. Brubakk’s team was not able to provide text by the time we had to submit contributions for this issue of the Journal. We hope that they will be joining us at the IUC Dubrovnik in the near future with the final results of the project!

 

 

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Copyright for the I.U.C. Journal of Social Work Theory and Practice is owned by the Social Work Program, Department of Social Relations and Services, Bemidji State University, Bemidji, Minnesota, USA. One copy may be made (printed) for personal use; teachers may make multiple copies for student use if the copies are made available to students without charge. Permission must be secured from the editors for sale of any copies of articles or for any commercial use of the material published in the Journal.
2001 Copyright BSU/IUC Journal of Social Work Theory & Practice