The topic planned for this issue, as it was announced in the ‘’Call for Papers” was education and training in Social Work. We proposed a debate about problems and challenges experienced by social work schools nationwide and worldwide like the standardization of education, because of the standardization of diplomas, the role of fieldwork, the feed-back from employers, or the evaluation strategies.
We began to receive articles, some of them within the announced period, the majority after the deadline, articles that treated subjects only partially according with the topics we proposed. Of course, some of them have been accepted, some of them have been rejected, but most of them have been sent back by the reviewers with observations about reconsidering the objectives, the content or the list of references.
The final result is the present issue with 12 articles (seven Romanian and five international) which presents interesting and diverse topics inviting the reader to meditate about the role and situation of social work from a globalist perspective. That is why it is difficult to say if the initial objectives were reached or not. From a very formal point of view only some of the articles develop strictly the topics we indicated. But after reviewing the final draft our feeling is that the objective we proposed was not only reached but our expectations were largely exceeded by the generosity of the subjects, by the richness of the perspectives assumed and the reflection of the new challenges of contemporary society in redefining the role of social work. The international perspective which is present in various degrees in all contributions shows that the education of social workers became more and more an “initiatic” activity for their entrance in the elite group of social thinkers and educators who fight for maintaining the real human values in a time when fights for economic, political or administrative dominance is pushed far beyond acceptable limits.
The article of Portuguese professors Francisco Branco and Maria Inês Amaro is criticizing the administrative bureaucracy brought in the social work system by the results-based management. They propose a more individualist perspective called „active social work” which would lead to the true respect of the domain’s objectives through the empowerment of individuals and communities. It is to be noted the interesting technique of confidential argument: „mystery client”.
The article of Professor Samantha Wehbi from Ryerson University, Canada, debates even the concept of „internationalization” of social work practice and she is signaling the loss of local and cultural perspectives because of the neo-colonialist attitude. The author insists for a more responsible attitude instead of charity in response to social issues.
The article of professor Gill Martin from East Anglia University from Norwich is focused on social workers’ education and the impact of employers’ feed-back on universities’ curricula in the UK. The new curriculum, expected in 2013, offers the prospect of social workers strengthening their professional identity so they can work more effectively both within and across organizational boundaries.
Two professors from two New York universities: Shirley Gatenio Gabel and Sheila B. Kamerman wrote an article on a socio-educational policy method from Latin America and Asia: Conditional Cash Transfers. By conditioning benefits on school attendance and obtaining health care and social support services, many countries were able to reverse intergenerational and intractable poverty rates.
Florentina Scârneci from Brașov University presents an interesting article about the qualitative research in social work schools, based on significant examples about training social work students to carry out this kind of studies.
Our younger colleagues from Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj Monica Elena Ghiţiu and Ana Mago-Maghiar present a comparative study about field practice organization for social work students in two universities: one from Romania and the other from the US, the final result being some recommendations for planning this important part of any social work educational program.
Our equally young colleagues Elena-Loreni Baciu and Theofild-Andrei Lazăr from the West University Timisoara compare the skills gained by social work students and the skills demanded by employers, analyzing an important sample of social work graduates.
PhD student Filip Guttman from Babes-Bolyai University proposes a very militant and participatory article about future perspectives of visually impaired students in universities based on a very rigorous experimental research.
Supervision as a form of further training in social work is presented by two researchers: Adriana Florentina Călăuz from North University Baia-Mare and Patricia Luciana Runcan from the West University Timisoara.
Maria Marinela Mihăilă from the Iasi branch of the Romanian Academy describes the effects of the new civil code on family protection and the changes in the training of the social work students due to these new ways of intervention for social services.
From the West University Timisoara, Professor Alexandru Neagoe shows the benefits of the field practice in churches and religious institutions for social work students.
And finally, Denizia Gal from Babes-Bolyai University presents the main social and educational consequences of the Leonardo project: „Training of professionals for adults with dementia.”
This is briefly the content of the present issue, the last of 2011; I invite you to carefully read it and to think about its sometimes too rich significances and to review it any time when in your activity you will come across problems like those presented by the authors.