Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Social Work ]]> vol. 59 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Factors influencing relapse in individuals with substance use disorders: an ecological perspective</b>]]> Substance abuse is a global problem that has generated considerable concern among patients, families, clinicians and researchers. Existing research has not explored the views of social workers as treatment professionals but has focused on the service users and their significant others. A qualitative study was conducted to explore the factors influencing relapse in individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) from a social work perspective. The findings revealed that various factors play a role in relapse at the different levels described from the ecological perspective. The study contributes towards the development of strategies to combat relapse and help in formulating relapse prevention programmes. <![CDATA[<b>The co-development of a framework to support parents of children with a hearing loss: using a consensus workshop</b>]]> Research highlights the complex needs of parents of children with hearing loss. These complex needs include the need for parents to have access to information, be connected with social support networks, consider communication options and have collaborative partnerships with professionals. A mixed-methods approach with a sequential explanatory design using a two-phased approach was implemented in the study. This article reports on the last phase of the study, the consensus workshop. The consensus workshop approach allowed for greater participation, interaction and discussion in the decision-making process in the co-development of a framework to support parents. This phase consisted of two workshops where experts, stakeholders and parents reached consensus on four topics and fifteen sub-topics. Each topic with its sub-topics offers insights into the kind of professional support parents require. The consensus workshop can be considered a valuable tool for multidisciplinary engagement to support parents of children with hearing loss. <![CDATA[<b>Now the solution is here - social assistance for orphaned children: the extended child support grant</b>]]> The current crisis in foster care was precipitated by using the child protection system to meet the social assistance needs of orphaned children. The new parallel system in the form of an extended child support grant system would enable children in the care of relatives to access an appropriate grant without having to go through a time-consuming and resource-intensive statutory process. This article outlines the challenges in the South African foster care system, discusses the reasons for introducing the extended child support grant system and explains how it will be implemented. The paper seeks to contribute to the knowledge base on social work policy changes. The policy shift towards an extended child support grant could ensure that the majority of orphans have access to adequate social protection and free up the formal child protection system, enabling a quicker social work response to cases of child abuse, maltreatment and neglect. <![CDATA[<b>Foster care: yes or no? the decision-making processes of social workers rendering foster care services</b>]]> Decisions made by social workers play a crucial role in foster care. Despite the challenging conditions under which social workers work in South Africa, they continue to make decisions to place children in foster care. There is a lack of research on the decision-making processes of social workers rendering foster care services. A need to understand what decisions are made and how these decisions are made prompted this study. A qualitative approach was applied using the multiple case study design, with explorative, descriptive and contextual designs. Most social workers make decisions using a mix of intuition and empirical evidence, justifying the child's best interest as the basis for their decisions. This study contributes to the knowledge of the decision-making processes of social workers rendering foster care services. This knowledge can enable social workers to be consciously aware of their own decision-making processes during all the phases of rendering foster care services, facilitating transparent decision-making, with the best outcome for the foster child and his/her biological and foster family. <![CDATA[<b>Ethical guidelines for adoption social workers in South Africa: the Delphi process</b>]]> Adoption involves dealing with legal and ethical complexities, competing rights and addressing the long-term implications for those involved. The principle of the best interests of children and protecting their rights must guide the process. Currently, no ethical guidelines are in place to address South African adoption practices. This article focuses on the findings of a rapid review of relevant national and international ethics documents and adoption guidelines. The Delphi method was used to identify the challenges in adoption-related practices, as well as to develop and refine ethical guidelines for South African adoption social workers, to be included in the South African Council for Social Service Professions Policy Guidelines for Course of Conduct, Code of Ethics, and the Rules for Social Workers. <![CDATA[<b>Exploring reciprocity in grandparent-grandchildren care: the case of Mdlankomo location, Libode in the Eastern Cape, South Africa</b>]]> In South Africa, there appears to be a paradigm shift where the majority of the country's children are taken care of by their grandparents. This article explores the states of reciprocity existing in grandparent-grandchildren care in Mdlankomo location, Libode of the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The study utilised a qualitative approach to explore the perceptions of grandparents on reciprocity between them and their grandchildren. Nine grandparents were interviewed. The findings revealed that grandparents manifested love for their grandchildren, who also reciprocated the gesture; delinquent behaviours of grandchildren exasperated their grandparents; the conflict between grandparents and grandchildren ensued when children suspected the abuse of their children's welfare grant by their grandparents. The researchers urge the Department of Social Development and NGOs working in the children's domain to strengthen the programmes for the well-being of older persons and children. <![CDATA[<b>An analysis of policies and legislation relating to child participation by children in alternative care in South Africa</b>]]> Worldwide, children in the care of the state constitute one of the most vulnerable groups in society. They are often not heard, or their views not respected in matters concerning them. This is incongruent with the Declaration of the Rights of the Child (1959) as well as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN, 1989). Guided by a conceptual framework of child participation theory, this article analyses South African legislation and policies to determine how and when child participation is being promoted. Findings indicate that providing information to children on how to participate meaningfully is the key for effective child participation and that practical guidelines should be developed. <![CDATA[<b>Social work educators' perceptions of the importance and relevance of environmental social work</b>]]> It is well known that the effects of climate change and especially environmental inequality are amplified for people who live in poverty or who are marginalised. Social workers internationally and nationally are therefore becoming duty-bound to engage with the issue of environmental social work. This qualitative study used a descriptive design to explore and describe the perceptions of social work educators of the importance and relevance of environmental social work in South Africa. Purposive sampling was used to sample six social work educators from different universities. Semi-structured interviews were incorporated to obtain the data, which was thematically analysed. The results indicated that social work educators perceived ESW as important and relevant, and indicated that ways of integrating it into the social work curriculum should be explored further.