INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE European Dimension in Social Work Education and Practice

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This event is organised the Czech delegation to the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament, in co-operation of the Faculty of Social Studies of the University of Ostrava and the European Research Instituted for Social Work at the University of Ostrava.


24rd - 25th September 2018, University of Ostrava, Main auditorium, Českobratrská 16, Ostrava, Czech Republic


This international conference is organised at the occasion of the centenary celebrations of the social work education in the Czech Republic and the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Faculty of Social Studies University of Ostrava and the European Research Institution for Social Work University of Ostrava.

Its objective is to discuss the contingency of social structure, social policy and social work within the Union. As the relationship between the above-mentioned domains creates a number of frictions, the EU institutions' efforts to  harmonise the conditions in respective member states and regions represent an important challenge.

To a large extent the social structure in EU member states is created and reproduced by the policy of multinationals. Individual countries hold varied positions in terms of internal labour distribution of these corporations, which leads to significant differences in their social structures with diverging trends.

At the same time, social policy decisions still remain in the hands of the national governments attempting to keep the momentum of basic parameters of three or four welfare system models, as described by Esping-Andersen in one of his studies. Globalisation pressures combined with the offensives of neoliberal policy force to close the gaps between these systems towards the most austere one, yet the inertia of institutions and national cultures has still managed to resist them so far.

On the other hand, we can detect a high level of harmonisation in the field of social work. However, even this development allows other than optimistic interpretations.

The current EU's social structure and social policy progress brings good and bad news for social work: the good news is that social work in the Union's member states has not seen as much asymmetry and divergence as their social structures, and unlike social policy it has more potential to develop in one direction, that is towards convergence. The bad news is that such convergence has a tendency for further deconstruction and depart from the institutional programme.


Social policy experts across Europe will gather at the University of Ostrava to discuss these challenges, we anticipate around one hundred participants.


Sunday 23rd September 2018
eveningarrival of participants and guests
Monday 24th September 2018
7h00 - 8h00breakfast in the hotel
8h30 - 9h00registration at the venue (Main auditorium of the University of Ostrava)
9h00 - 9h15welcome by Jan Lata, the Rector of University of Ostrava, and Alice Gojova, the Dean of the Social Studies Faculty
9h15 - 10h15keynote by Jan Keller (Member of European Parliament): Social Structure, Social Policy and Social Work in the EU
10h15 - 11h15lecture by Oldrich Chytil (University of Ostrava, Czech Republic): Changes in the Society and their Reflection in Theory and Practice of Social Work in the Czech Republic
followed by a discussion
11h15 - 11h45coffee break
11h45 - 12h45lecture by Peter Erath (Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Germany): Current Issues of Social Policy and Social Work in Germany
followed by a discussion
12h45 - 14h15lunch break
14h15 - 15h15lecture by Brian Littlechild (University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom): Social Work Education and Practice in the UK: Government Policy, Professionalisation and Inequalities
followed by a discussion
15h15 - 16h15lecture by Walter Lorenz (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy): Social Work Education for a Social Europe - Challenges in the Face of Individualism, Nationalism and Commercialism
followed by a discussion
16h15 - 16h45coffee break
16h45 - 17h45lecture by Hans van Ewijk (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, Netherlands): The Great Transformation and its Impact on Social Work
followed by a discussion
19h00 - 21h00networking buffet dinner
Tuesday 25th September 2018
7h30 - 8h30breakfast in the hotel
9h00 - 10h00lecture by Emmanuel Jovelin (Université Catholique de Lille, France): Social Work in the Face of Weakening of the Welfare State in France - What Consequences?
followed by a discussion
10h00 - 11h00lecture by Riina Kiik (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway): What Now - Challenges in Social Work Practice and Teaching in Norway
followed by a discussion
11h00 - 11h30coffee break
11h30 - 12h30lecture by Elena Iarskaia-Smirnvova (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia): From social contract to the market of social services: routes and roots of social work professionalization in Russia
followed by a discussion
12h00 - 14h00lunch break
14h00 - 15h00lecture by Mariusz Granoszik (University of Lodz, Poland): The Impact of Social Policy on Social Work in Poland - A Critical Review
followed by a discussion
15h00 - 16h00lecture by Bela Szabo (University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania): The Evolution of Social Work in Romania
followed by a discussion
16h00 – 17h00lecture by Berta Granja (Institute of Social Service of Porto, Portugal): Ethical challenges on education and practice on social work, facing up changes on society and social policy
followed by a discussion
17h00 end of the event
departure of participants


Updated: 10. 09. 2018