Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Social Work ]]> vol. 50 num. 4 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Reflective social work education in support of socially just social work practice: The experience of social work students at a university in South Africa</b>]]> The use of reflective skills as a cognitive tool in education to cultivate critical responsiveness to practice was investigated. The study aimed to determine students' ability to engage with practice in an insightful manner. Forty-two third-year students participated through reflective exercises on their community work projects. The study was qualitative in nature, using thematic content analysis. The findings indicated that critical reflection, as an educational tool, encourages constructive engagement in students. This paper argues that for social work to fulfil its social justice mandate, social work education is vital in honing the graduate attributes required for this purpose. <![CDATA[<b>Social work students' experience and management of countertransference</b>]]> Countertransference - the emotional reactions that clients trigger in practitioners - can, if not understood or managed, result in unethical conduct and harm to clients, practitioners and the profession. A solid understanding of countertransference theory, insight into one's own countertransference reactions, and skills in managing countertransference appropriately are vital components o f ethical and effective social work practice. This paper reports on a small qualitative study among undergraduate social work students. Results reveal that countertransference is indeed experienced by students, but poorly understood and sometimes inappropriately managed. Recommendations for social work education, field instruction and supervision are provided. <![CDATA[<b>Social work forensic reports in South African criminal courts</b><b>: </b><b>Inevitability in the quest for justice</b>]]> Social work forensic reports can play a vital role in sentencing. In this article the expectations of criminal courts of social work forensic reports were established in order to improve the contribution of the social work discipline in the search for justice. An important result indicates that courts would like to make use of social work forensic reports, among others. However, the poor writing style of some of these reports makes them unfit for use in the legal context. It is argued that social workers must be trained in critical thinking and the elements of clear writing to enable them to produce high-quality forensic reports. <![CDATA[<b>The role of stokvels in improving people's lives: The case in orange farm, Johannesburg, South Africa</b>]]> Stokvels are self-help initiatives designed to respond to the problems of poverty and income insecurity in communities. Stokvels are thus a form of informal social security. Based on a study of members of stokvels in the Orange Farm community in Johannesburg, South Africa, the article examines the role of stokvels in improving the lives of their members. The results of the study showed that stokvels enable members to meet their basic needs. Stokvels also provide opportunities for members to save and invest and ultimately to accumulate assets. The results also show that stokvels promote the empowerment of women. <![CDATA[<b>Economic experiences of single mothers in Bhambayi, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa</b>]]> Women living in low-income communities often initiate livelihood activities as a means to support themselves and their families. Even though these small-scale livelihood activities supplement the household income, they are insufficient to lift single mothers out of poverty. This study explores the economic experiences of 25 single mothers who embarked on individual livelihood activities. Using feminist theory, the paper presents their biographical profile and discusses two key themes, namely institutional barriers leading to economic insecurities, and the strengths and limitations of social networks. The paper concludes with some considerations for harnessing the valuable contributions made by single mothers. <![CDATA[<b>Identification and initial care process of child victims of transnational trafficking</b><b>: </b><b>A social work perspective</b>]]> Child trafficking violates children's rights and undermines their protection. Under-identification of child victims of trafficking has been reported to be a challenge globally and in South Africa. This article illustrates the process a social worker could apply when identifying child victims of transnational trafficking. Findings of the qualitative research reveal that there is no single point of entry for a trafficked child and thus there can be several actors in the identification process; it was also found that initial care and protection are also essential. The role of social workers in the identification-assessment-care process is highlighted. <![CDATA[<b>She's not a victim! she's my wife! intimate partner violence:</b> <b>Fuelled by dangerous perpetrator attitudes</b>]]> This study used mixed methodology research; chose 53 male and 47 female respondents through purposive sampling, selected intervention research: design and development methodological framework to develop guidelines, used a Canadian Risk Assessment Tool to "assess risk"/"predict dangerousness". The findings highlighted the need for "risk factor assessment", showing specific risk factors predicted violence, with sexual violence playing a role. Perpetrators disregard their partners as victims when sexual violence was employed. Qualitative data from female respondents showed that perpetrators use physical assault and sexual violence in their attacks, and their behaviours were fuelled by attitudes that supported/condoned intimate partner violence (IPV). <![CDATA[<b>Psychosocial implications of stillbirth for the mother and her family: A crisis-support approach</b>]]> In this article mothers' emotions after experiencing a stillbirth are discussed. A study combining quantitative and qualitative research provided the foundation for a better understanding of the psychosocial implications of stillbirth for a mother and her family. The crisis-intervention approach was used to assist a control group of 25 mothers and was also evaluated during the study to establish the effectiveness thereof. Findings indicated that those mothers receiving the intervention used different coping mechanisms to deal with the severity of their loss. Narratives further show that relationship problems occurred following the loss. Receiving crisis intervention from a social worker during this period of grief, helped to facilitate the grieving process.