Social Work Research & Development

The research and development strategy of the Social Work study program addresses the following issues:

  • Social Problems
  • Social Justice
  • Social Security
  • Participation
  • Human Rights

 

The specific areas of research focus in which these issues are investigated are:

  • Childhood, Youth, and Family Life
  • Old Age
  • Education, Occupation, and Personal Development
  • Criminality, Delinquency, and Social Rehabilitation
  • Health: Disability, Addiction, Mental and Chronic Disorders
  • Material Security and Public Services
  • Migration and Integration
  • Social Environment and Participation

 

Our research is conducted through applied research and development projects in cooperation with partners from practical social work and through specific internal research projects carried out by our full-time lecturers. Students may get involved in such research projects as part of workshops or practical assignments.

Thus, they  acquire a knowledge of basic and evaluation research, applying both quantitative and qualitative methods. In the case of interdisciplinary cooperation, research and development projects are implemented in conjunction with other study programs, depending on the topic.

 

Research in the Social Work study program is guided by:

  • the triple-mandate of social work,
  • relevant theories pertaining to the research focus,
  • a strong focus on human rights and ethics, as well as
  • a global perspective.

 

Contact
Belachew Gebrewold
FH-Prof. Dr. habil. Belachew Gebrewold Head of Department & Studies +43 512 2070 - 3400

Childhood, Youth, and Family Life

Childhood, Youth, and Family Life research primarily investigates issues social workers are faced with, for example, in:

  • outpatient and inpatient treatment of children, adolescents, and families,
  • socio-pedagogical family assistance, and
  • educational guidance and family counseling.

This also includes any topics that may concern community social workers and school social workers. Examples of the topics addressed are gender sensitivity and crisis intervention.

 

Old Age

The Old Age research focus investigates issues encountered by social workers in counseling and caring for elderly people and their family members. The aim is to support social workers, for example, in helping find appropriate facilities for inpatient care, in providing assistance at discharge from inpatient rehabilitation, or in assisting and working with relatives.

 

Education, Occupation, and Personal Development

Research in Education, Occupation, and Personal Development specializes in topics relevant, for example, to career and personal development counselors, social coaches and social workers or initiators of everyday world education services such as parenting classes, unemployment programs, and coping skills training.

The aim of research in this field is to facilitate the planning, organization, and implementation of professional and personal development courses, and to help ensure and improve the quality of care and counseling services.

 

Criminality, Delinquency, and Social Rehabilitation

Criminality, Delinquency, and Social Rehabilitation research deals with the issues faced by probation officers and social workers in social rehabilitation, prevention, or mediation in criminal justice. The aim is to help ensure and improve the quality of probation services, of assistance for newly-releasednewly released prisoners, of housing counseling, of help for crime victims, or of psychosocial facilitation.

 

Health: Disability, Addiction, Mental and Chronic Disorders

The Health focus area covers topics of social workers working with (drug) addicts and disabled persons, in hospitals or respective organizations. Results of research in this area should benefit work in grief counseling or individual and group counseling of family members, socio-pedagogical work with inpatients, particularly mentally ill children and adults, or psycho-social prevention and conflict management at the workplace.

 

Material Security and Public Services

Material Security and Public Services research focuses mainly on the activities of social workers helping secure other people’s livelihood or providing debt counseling. Our research in this area aims to ensure and improve the quality of work that is being done to advise and fulfill the basic needs of and homeless persons and individuals in crisis situations, as well as to organize accommodation.

 

Migration and Integration

Migration and Integration research deals with the issues faced by social workers who work to:

  • counsel migrants and refugees,
  • integrate immigrants,
  • support facilities for asylum seekers, or
  • educate the local community and increase their tolerance of migrants.

The aim of this research focus is to theoretically and practically contribute to quality assurance and improvement in counseling and care for migrants and refugees, as well as in cooperation in integrating immigrants into the local community and respective political activities.

 

Social Environment and Participation

Research in Social Environment and Participation investigates the relationship between spatial environments and the social behavior of the individuals involved in these environments. This concept is applied, for example, in community work. This social work approach is characterized by its participative and process-oriented nature. It is primarily concerned with improving the life situation of people in a specific social environment with respect to both material and immaterial conditions.

 

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