Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Social Work ]]> vol. 50 num. 2 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Factors that affect social workers' job satisfaction, stress and burnout</b>]]> Social work was classified as a scare skill and the retention of social workers is an important aspect that needs urgent attention. The research goal of this study was to determine what degree of work engagement and job satisfaction South African social workers experience in their current positions and how this influences job turnover, burnout and the intention to leave the profession. The purpose was to determine the needs social workers experience that will affect turnover in the profession. The needs/problems social workers experienced were stress, burnout, lower job satisfaction and work engagement. <![CDATA[<b>Fieldwork education in health contexts: Experiences of fourth-year bsw students</b>]]> The Social Work profession experiences various challenges in practice that influence the practice education of students. Educators, practitioners and the experiences of students should inform practice education in curriculums. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of fourth-year BSW students at the University of the Western Cape doing their fieldwork education in healthcare contexts. Integration of social work theories, the types of client problems, emotions caused by fieldwork and ethical dilemmas were challenges to students in health contexts. Supervision was emphasised by the students as a positive experience during fieldwork. <![CDATA[<b>The evaluation of a training programme based on Paulo Freire's views on community practice: A South African example</b>]]> A training programme in personal leadership, directed at facilitators of community practice, based on the principles and methods of Paulo Freire's approach, was applied and evaluated in an African context. The nature of the training programme was student centred, and implemented in a participatory consciousness-raising and experiential way. The purpose of this article is to report on the evaluation of the programme, which was conducted by means of an exploratory, descriptive and contextual strategy of inquiry pursued within a qualitative paradigm. Practice guidelines derived from the findings indicated the importance of facilitation methods that raise consciousness in the process of transformation. <![CDATA[<b>Factors enabling and hampering social welfare services rendered to street children in Pretoria: Perspectives of service providers</b>]]> A qualitative study was conducted to develop an understanding of the social welfare services being rendered to street children in Pretoria and to ascertain what factors facilitate or hamper the rendering of these services. The research shows clearly that the funding required for ensuring the sustainability of the organisations is insufficient, and that the human resources are unstable. The article provides a critical analysis of some of the key social welfare service challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the effective and sustainable delivery of social welfare services. <![CDATA[<b>Validating the evidence of violence in Partner relationships with regard to Xhosa african women</b>]]> This article reports on how African women understand the forms and meaning of violence in partner relationships. The findings suggest that many African women experience physical, emotional and economic abuse. Some of the reasons for abuse which emerged include a patriarchal system, alcohol abuse, infidelity and failure to support children financially. The influence of Xhosa African practices on violent partner relationships was explored. The study indicates a need for ethnically sensitive interdisciplinary programmes for social service practitioners, and an effective, accessible legal system for rural women to reduce incidences of abuse. <![CDATA[<b>Against the odds: Strengths displayed by abused women</b>]]> Although legislation protecting women's rights in South Africa is well developed, statistics indicate that violence against women has become the norm. There are no cultural, socio-economic, political, religious or educational boundaries to domestic violence. Despite this, some abused women display certain strengths. The strengths perspective is thus a suitable theoretical approach for this qualitative study exploring and describing the strengths of twenty abused women who formed the sample. Five strengths -namely hope, resilience, pride, healing and wholeness, and lastly personal qualities, traits and virtues - were identified. Some recommendations are made about the suitability of the strengths perspective for practice. <![CDATA[<b>Factors contributing to elder abuse and neglect in the informal caregiving setting</b>]]> This article provides an overview of factors contributing to elder abuse and neglect within the informal caregiving setting from the perspective of ecological theory. This theory offers a deeper understanding of the complexity of elder abuse by considering the interactions that take place across a number of interrelated systems as well as the multiple risk factors that contribute to elder abuse and neglect. Researchers, policy makers and practitioners need to develop awareness of the risk factors regarding elder abuse and neglect, and to develop appropriate interventions in response to elder abuse and neglect. <![CDATA[<b>Male Gang Members' perspectives on Gang Membership and the role of drugs</b>]]> Drugs play a pivotal role in the functioning of gangs, motivating deviant behaviour and meeting members' physiological and belonging needs. To understand the process of engaging in and disengaging from a gang, a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods was utilised. The ecological perspective was used to identify various systems that influence the individual, whilst Maslow's motivational theory was used to explain intrinsic needs that motivate human behaviour. The findings of the study reveal that gang members present with unique physiological and belonging needs, which must be understood by social workers in order to gain optimum results with intervention. <![CDATA[<b>Historiography of South African social work: Challenging dominant discourses</b>]]> The task of examining the origins and development of social work is fraught with competing narratives. In South Africa Individualist, liberal, colonial, masculine and "white" discourses prevail. The dialectical-historical perspective, rather than chronological "progress", shows how socio-political and economic dynamics are formative of societal conditions and of social work, which in turn has a role in shaping these dynamics. The fiction of purely historical records of progress and freedom of choice is challenged, and hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourses uncovered. Social workers are urged to be engaged with the full complexity of events emerging from the class and race-based antagonisms of South African society.