Holub, Martin – Mertl, Jan – Millionová, Pavlína – Šlapák, Milan – Vostatek, Jaroslav – Víšek, Petr
Typology of social benefits and developments in the insurance and non-insurance social security systems in terms of suitability and effectiveness
Prague: RILSA, 2019. 226 pp., ISBN 978-80-7416-355-5
The monograph is based on the division of social security benefits into their insurance and non-insurance elements. While the insurance and non-insurance social security benefits criterion is often employed by both professionals and non-professionals, and it appears to occupy a high position in the theoretical hierarchy, it is relatively unrefined in terms of distinguishing capacity. The theoretical analysis identified the extent of the problem of insurance and non-insurance benefits in the field of social policy, the importance of the material approach to benefits in terms of securing individual life situations and the use of equivalence principles in social insurance. Subsequently, a breakdown was performed of the division of insurance/non-insurance benefits into sub-criteria, based on which the various benefits were assessed. International comparison provides a further methodological approach in this context, both at the individual benefits level and in terms of the wider social models applied in developed countries. Non-insurance benefits were disaggregated according to their role in the system (social benefits in case of poverty versus selective support for recognised social situations). The development of the Czech system was mapped in detail with regard to significant events that determined the design of the benefits system. Rather than to suggest specific reforms to the benefits system, the main aim of the study was to highlight in which contexts the settings of the system are in conflict with the various criteria applied in the classification of benefits. A further aim was to define both theoretically and practically the basic principles governing benefits in relation to real situations addressed through the social security system.
In some cases, it was apparent that the partial characteristics of particular benefits differed from the “pure” characteristics that we identified in the breakdown and summarised in tabular form, which provided both a stimulus for the consideration of the nature of the respective benefits, their classification and, indeed, their existence, and the necessity to justify why the legislator or public policy-maker chose such a solution. Further, the study identified the use of social models in various social security subsystems, supplemented with a description of the specific characteristics of benefits provided in selected countries. Moreover, trends in terms of the content of both insurance and non-insurance benefits were identified, as were significant changes that exerted an impact on the equivalence and solidarity of the benefits system; this was performed for all the major areas of public finance and social security. The main research findings are discussed and summarised in chapter six. The study provides recommendations for public administration institutions on the approach to adopt with respect to benefits systems and describes the approach to the setting of selected benefits from the perspective of their insurance and non-insurance elements.
only in Czech:
Self-care of social workers as part of the professional performance of social work
Prague: RILSA, 2019. 84 pp., ISBN 978-80-7416-352-4
The study deals with the topic of self-care of social workers. Above all, professional self-care, especially the possibilities, skills and strategies to achieve well-being and improve stress and pressure management in the workplace. In the Czech social work, this topic remains rather neglected. The study sets this theme in the wider context of working conditions and employer care for social workers. The first part of the study is bringing a basic theoretical insight into the theme of self-care in social workers, which is mainly based on foreign experience and research. Self-care is presented as a multidimensional process of deliberate dealing with different strategies aimed at promoting healthy functioning and increase well-being. Professional self-care is a process of deliberate and purposeful engagement in activities that support the efficient and appropriate use of the social workers´ “self” in fulfilling their professional roles. The theoretical part of the study focuses mainly on the importance of social workers‘ self-care and the risk of neglecting this area. Self-care is presented both as a professional competence and as a part of professional socialization. This should take place already as a part of educational process in the form of self-care in the study and self-care practice of social work students.
The empirical part of the study is based on data concerning social workers of municipal authorities. Due to the specifics of social work at municipalities, some findings apply only to this area of social work. However, many of them can be expected to have a broader validity. Four data sets from two more extensive research projects were used for the analysis. They include two sets of quantitative data, qualitative data from in-depth and semi-standardized interview with municipal social workers, and data obtained by the DELPHI method from experts, specifically social workers‘ supervisors.
The presented empirical findings focus on how the social workers perceive the importance of self-care as well as areas of self-care with which social workers have or do not have experience with; the findings also deal with the demands and risks of social work in municipal offices, sources of tension, dissatisfaction and work stress from the point of view of social workers.
The results show, among other things, that working conditions are the problem. Social workers face a number of risks and, at the same time, such working conditions are not created in many workplaces that would make it easier for social workers to take care of themselves and their well-being right in workplace. Apart from working conditions, different types of other barriers to self-care were analysed. At the end of the study, a set of recommendations is formulated aimed at the theoretical and practical of the role of self-care of social workers in daily social work practice as well as professional education. These recommendations are directed not only to social workers themselves and to their employers, but also to other key subjects such as MLSA or educators, including the Association of Educators in Social Work.
only in Czech: