The Association of Educators in Social Work (henceforth only the „Association“) is a voluntary registered association of colleges and universities in the Czech Republic that offer post-secondary educational programmes in social work in the Czech Republic.
The history of the Association goes back as far as to 1992, and its present form is defined by the current statute.
Information on individual members of the Association can be found in the section Members.
The mission of the Association is to increase the standard of quality of education in the field of social work, which contributes to improving the offer and performance of social work and social services in the Czech Republic.
The main instrument for pursuing this goal, used by the member schools for providing education, are Minimal Standards of Education in Social Work.
Maintaining and increasing the quality level of education in social work is implemented through regular consultations, provided by the Association to its members.
The Association contributes to the quality of education by its own educational activities, aimed at the member schools as well as at helping profession practitioners.
The Association is a publisher of the only professional journal in the field of social work in the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic – Czech and Slovak Social Work (Sociální práce / Sociálna práca), which has been published since 2002.
Goals of Our Journal:
- to support and enhance the ability of Czech and Slovak society to solve life problems of people by means of social work
- to improve quality of social work and support professionalization of social work practice
- to contribute to development of social work as a scientific discipline and improving quality of education in social work
- to promote interests of providers and users of social services
The Association cooperates with various subjects that influence the conditions of social work education and practice and is also a member of the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW).
Current Executive Committee:
As a rule, twice a year a General Meeting of the Association is held. In the meantime, the Association is run by the President and the Secretary in cooperation with other members of the Executive Committee.
Functioning of the Association is based on a current statute, and in accordance with this statute distinguishes between full, extraordinary, associate, and honorary memberships.
The different types of membership depend on meeting the Minimal Standard of Education in Social Work by the members. Honorary membership can be granted to persons who, in the past, took direct part in activities of the Association, or otherwise were credited with advancing goals of the Association.
The purpose of the Minimal Standard of Education in Social Work (henceforth only the Standard) is to specify expected minimal quality of study programmes in the field of social work education. The Standard thus defines framework study programmes and acquired competences necessary for forming professional identity and for performance of profession of a social worker. At the same time, it provides individual schools with enough space for profiling and focusing on specific areas of social work.
Periodic revisions of The Standard contribute to increasing the quality of study programmes in social work.
The Standard is taken into consideration by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in connection with accreditation process for university and higher education study programmes.
Individual disciplines of the Standard have a uniform structure:
The Concept is the formulation of discipline framework relating to social work. It gives a graphic image of orientation of individual disciplines and their teaching content defining characteristics.
Objectives – stating concrete outcomes of teaching from the view of the educator (expected results of education within the discipline).
Values and attitudes promoted within the discipline.
Output characteristics – skills (a person can do) and knowledge (a person knows) of an individual discipline graduate – educational goals linked to completing the discipline studies (these goals are also a part of a study programme graduate profile).
Structure of the Standard:
1. Philosophy and Ethics
2. Basics of Sociological Theory
3. Psychology in Social Work
4. Theories and Methods of Social Work
5. Practical Training
7. Methods and Techniques of Social Research
8. Basics of Law Theory and Practice
9. Social Policy
10. Social Pathology
11. Minority Groups
12. Health and Disease
Maintaining and improving the quality level of education in social work is facilitated by consultations provided to the members by the Association.
Consultations have the following objectives:
- to enhance maintaining quality level and further development of the profession in given (changing) conditions,
- to support respecting minimal standards of education in social work,
- to alert schools (members of the Association) about problems connected to their work, and to enable sharing experience with schools, organizations, social workers and other relevant subjects in the Czech Republic as well as abroad,
- to maintain contacts between schools and teachers of Social Work,
- to strengthen cooperation between schools, for example in the area of exchange programmes for teachers and students, etc.
Within the Association expert committees function, which focus on various topics connected to social work. The members of expert committees are representatives of the Association member schools. The role of expert committees consists of continuous monitoring of current developments in a given area of social work (or concerning a given topic), presenting proposals and preparing opinions.