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Title: Contemporary social work practice in Greece : the perspectives of social workers and users in county welfare departments and municipalities
Author: Teloni, Dimitra-Dora
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 5119
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2011
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Social work in Greece is undeveloped despite its relatively long history. One reflection of this under development is that there is very little literature on Greek social work. This thesis is an attempt to fill this gap by providing, from a critical perspective, an in depth understanding, explanation and critical analysis of contemporary social work practice in Greece. Through qualitative research and specifically through a case study strategy in several Social Services Departments (SSDs) in the County Welfare Departments (CWDs) and municipalities the role and nature of social work is examined from the perspectives of front line social workers and users. These perspectives, the thesis argues offers the chance to grasp the actual realities of official Greek social work in a way which would never be revealed by official papers, legislation and other literature. The thesis is structured in eight chapters. Combining data from interviews with users and social workers, with other relevant policy and historical data the chapters uncover the contemporary realities of Greek social work and seek to offer an explanation for the difficulties facing Greek social workers and the users. In this thesis, through the findings and the analysis, the close link of social work with politics and the impact of the latter on social work are made apparent. It is particularly evident through the findings that the SSDs are neglected by the state which results in practitioners having limited resources for helping effectively their users who in the majority are poor. The poverty of the users and the close link of poverty with social work are some of the main findings of this thesis. Additionally, one of the central arguments of this thesis is that the virtual abandonment of social work and its users by central government stems in part from the class specific character of the profession and the welfare system which systematically ignores the needs of the disadvantaged and their carers. On the other hand, the response of social work to the poor is contradictory and in any case is affected by the politics of welfare, the organizational context, the education as well as the beliefs and attitudes of the practitioners towards the poor. The thesis shows how social work struggles to survive day to day while the practitioners do their best in their attempt to respond to users' social problems. As it was revealed, there are several actions that practitioners take and techniques that they use within the framework of their commitment to the values of the profession. In parallel, users welcome the "good" social worker meaning the humanitarian social work and ask for further co-operation with these social workers. The need for a social work that acts for social justice on the side of the oppressed is more than ever topical given the current period of austerity. In Greece, there are signs that further coalitions and partnerships between practitioners and users are emerging demanding their common rights.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available