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Home > Arhiva > 2014 > Numar: 3 > Professional and Community Challenges for Social Workers in Romania: On the Decision of Practicing Abroad

 Professional and Community Challenges for Social Workers in Romania: On the Decision of Practicing Abroad

  • Oana Lăcrămioara Bădărău („Petre Andrei” University from Iasi, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, 13 Grigore Ghica Vodă, 700400, Iaşi, România; E-mail:
  • Cristina Iulia Teodorescu (“Petre Andrei” University of Iasi, Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education street no 13, Ghica Voda, 700400, Iasi , Romania, 0040 232 210474, E-mail:

The fall of communism in Romania led to a reassessment of social work both as an academic and professional line and as a domain promoting the development of international networks and projects. Also, since the early 1990s, the professional training in this domain has relied on exchange and training programs carried out in close partnership with professionals from various western countries having a long tradition in social and community services. Closely related to the level of professional and individual satisfaction in the country of origin and to the opportunities existing elsewhere, a part of this professional category chose to leave Romania temporarily or definitively. The purpose of our study is to analyze the causes underlying the Romanian social workers’ decision to immigrate. The qualitative methodological approach used in our study consists in the identification and analysis of a few declarations/testimonies selected from on-line media regarding the experiences lived by Romanian social workers who have left the country. Thus, the categories of assisted population and the type of community intervention, the working conditions, the standard of living, the professional satisfaction closely related to the perception and the social representation of social workers, and to the policies supporting their role and status, all contribute to the decision of this professional category to emigrate or not. To sum up, our study facilitates a better understanding of the professional and socio-cultural challenges the social workers face in various western countries from the perspective of the right to free circulation and professional mobility.

Keywords: social work, international migration, professional skills, satisfaction, socio-cultural context