This special issue is dedicated to the 1st Social Work International Conference (SWIC) organized by the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work in partnership with the Association of Schools of Social Work from Romania (ASSWR), the papers included being presented during the conference in November 3-4 2016. The general theme of the conference was: Envisioning sustainable social work: empowering communities and individuals, being inspired by the Global Agenda for Social Work. An extensive presentation of the conference itself was presented elsewhere (Lazăr, Anghel, 2016). The endeavor of having a special issue is somehow different, since we could only rely on those who had an extended version of their presentation from those who attended the conference. Another challenge is that the papers are quite diverse in terms of approach – some are based on research, some are based on projects implemented and some are theoretical or based on literature review from other studies. As a result, the current issue of the journal is quite eclectic, reflecting the variety of presentations carried out during the conference.
The first three articles are based on projects: an action research project implemented in London, a research project carried out in Romania and a multi-country Erasmus+ project.
Sarah Lewis-Brooke, Linda Bell, Rachel Herring, Lynne Lehane, Sioban O’Farrell-Pearce, Karen Quinn and Theresa So report on a project (Mothers Apart) based on a partnership between a university and a local authority in London, UK. The methodological challenges are insightful for future researches, also introducing the reader to the complexities of an action research project. Moreover, the research project informed social work practice which is in line with one of the general goals of social research.
Csaba Laszlo Degi is presenting an ambitious research he coordinated for three years on oncology social work in Romania (APSCO project). The project resulted in one of the few applications for people affected by cancer and professionals, freely available for use on Google Play for smartphones and tablets (the emotional thermometer). The article is focused on some of the main results of a complex mixed methods research, underlining the role of social workers in the life of people affected by cancer.
Paul Rigby and Sandra Egstromare reflecting on an Erasmus+ collaborative project focusing on developing curriculum in social work education to improve the protection and wellbeing of children. The project has partner institution from eight countries and the authors are discussing on the cultural, social and political challenges faced during its implementation.
The next articles are examples of the variety of topics included in the conference.
In their paper, Maria Constantinescu, Cornel Constantinescu and Cristina Dumitru are interested in the social work and protection of children exposed to abuse and neglect. The starting point is a research attempting to show the role of professionals and specific interventions/approaches (Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy) to address the consequences of divorce on children and families from Arges county.
Gabriela Irimescu and Mihaela Rădoi have researched, using mixed methods (questionnaires and focus groups) how young people (Social Work students) perceive and experience cyberbullying, but also how they cope with it.
Rebeca Popescu, a probation officer herself, has analysed administrative data of a Probation county department looking at co-offending and court decision in order to identify the judicial practice of judges in terms of forbidding parolees to meet co-offenders.
SmarandaWitec wrote about the “adventures” of immigrants on the labour market in Romania, using qualitative data from a larger research project. The current migration flow to Europe is making the research valuable to understand the challenges and possible barriers in finding a job in Romania for future immigrants.
Mihaela-VioricaRuşitoru and André Lemieux are proposing a rather theoretical approach on the elderly, advocating for an active life for the elderly. To this aim they create an analytical framework which include gerontagogy, lifelong learning and wisdom.
In her article, Gheorghita Nistor is focusing on the situation of elderly in Romania, using demographic data, social protection information and arguing for extended social care services for the elderly.
This conference would not have been possible without the financial and logistic support of the Facultyof Sociology and Social Work, Association of Schools of Social Work, the enthusiastic organizingcommittee (Mihaela Ştefan, Sorina Dumitrache, Daniela Gaba, Anca Mihai) and, of course the chairof the organizing committee and the head of Social Work Department, Assoc. prof. Adrian Nicolae Dan. Under the supervision of Mihaela Ştefan (Popa) our Social Work students voluntarily joined theefforts and made the conference a success! Our gratitude go also to the president of the conference, prof. Marian Preda, the co-chair of the conference, the dean of the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, prof. Doru Buzducea and our keynote speakers, prof. Silvia Fargion (currently from Trento University) and dr. Rory Truell (secretary of IFSW). Without the voluntary contribution of the Scientific Committee it would not have been possible to select from the submitted papers.
Lazăr, F., Anghel, M. (2016). First social work international conference. Envisioning sustainable social work: empowering communities and individuals. Ljetopissocijalnograda, 23, 3, 525-528. Preuzeto s http://hrcak.srce.hr/177458