Guest Editorial: Clinical Social Work Spring 2016
Springtime is the season for the renewal of body, mind and spirit for nature and more importantly for humanity. But not every human being shares in this rebirth? One of the reasons for this deficiency is the immorality and injustice in the world economy. In mid-April 2016 the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences convened an international conference at the Vatican marking the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s landmark social encyclical Centesimus Annus on the 100thanniversary of Pope Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum on social matters in the world of 1891.
Vatican Radio reported that “Centesimus Annus was written at a moment of massive change and upheaval in politics and economics in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and in the midst of an unprecedented increase in wealth and standards of living across the globe that were threatened by corrupt and exploitative interests. Its purpose was to welcome a vision of morally ordered liberty in the service of the human person. Scholars, policymakers and political leaders from around the world gathered in the Vatican to take stock of political, economic and cultural changes since the release of Centesimus Annus, and to offer a critical appraisal of Catholic social doctrine’s engagement with the world over the same period and into the future”.
Among the speakers was Bernie Sanders candidate the Democratic nomination for President in the USA. He flew from New York City to the Vatican to give a 10 minute address entitled The Urgency of a Moral Economy (available on the web). Sanders met the pontiff briefly and discussed the need to inject morality and justice into the world economy.
Perhaps one vision of the present diminishing economic-social situation in the world can be viewed through Hegel’s thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectic. Capitalism (thesis) is in serious diminishing chaos - maybe its demise. Communism (antithesis) has already risen and fallen. Distressed human beings all over planet earth in myriad cultures are crying out in helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness threating extreme political dictatorship. Is the new emerging synthesis democratic socialism? Whatever human evolution brings us, Social Workers are hearing the cries and are at the forefront in their dedication to helping. Is it through Social Workers that the morality and justice of this democratic socialism (synthesis) will be birthed?
Jon RG & Troya GN Turner, Co-Founders & Co-Directors
Whole-Self Discovery & Development Institute, Inc, International
Albuquerque, NM USA & Grootebroek, The Netherlands
Regarding the economic factor in a globalized society James R. Olechna and Dr. Daniel J. West, Jr. from the University of Scranton in Scranton, Pennsylvania, USA address the question: Physician migration from developing Central and Eastern Europe to more developed English speaking Western Nations: what are the factors, causes, and potential solutions? The answer in most cases to this “brain drain” of essential medical professions to perceptibly affluent societies - is economic. Here is scientific proof from 2009 data retrieved from the WHO for the dictum “Follow the money!” Investigating the claim of Slovak Social Work demise - that it simultaneously disappeared with the fall of Communism in the Czechoslovak Republic, J. Levická, K. Levická reveal the morphing faces of Social Work and Social Care in their illuminating and even intriguing study: Social Work in Slovakia in the period after 1945. An often overlooked group of socially challenged are prisoners who are often participatants in the social environment themselves and their families. That is why Eva Zacharová’s study Kvalita zdravotní péče z pohledu klienta ve výkonu trestu odnětí svobodyThe quality of health care from the perspective of the client in prison is so important for Social Workers to be aware of. Guidelines are irrelevant because National Laws precisely control how healthcare is provided for the prison population. Child abuse is a major public health issue worldwide. The next paper takes us to the balmy Caribbean where Dr. Emmanuel Janagan Johnson and Chrissie Jamie Paula Worme-Charles expose the tragic failure of Social Services in the health risk yet resilience lived by a sexually abused girl - a school dropout facing challenges in her life with her own family in their investigation: Case analysis of child abuse and neglect in Trinidad. An increasing cultural challenge in Europe is the refugee and immigration some see as a multi-cultural invasion. As American song writers Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein so powerfully lyricized “Hatred and Fear must be carefully taught!” Martina Cichá and Andrea Preissová Krejčí delve into how multi-cultural attitudes and values shared by teachers and students are being “carefully taught’ in their eye-opening study: Prevention of marginalized social problems in Czech schools: a starting point for educational Social Work. Examining another cultural disaster, I. Bartošovič sheds light on: Some aspects of the health status of homeless people. This study reveals that 40% of homeless people report at least one chronic health problem including nutritional deficiencies, infectious diseases, tuberculosis, trauma, health care, hospitalization, health status, ageing ending in death. As with hatred and fear Social Caring with compassion and empathy “must be carefully taught!” Populations worldwide are aging and with age one of the most impactful patterns the elderly experience is loneliness. The triumvirate O. Kabátová, S. Puteková and J. Martinková teamed up to look at this major challenge to health and wellness: Loneliness as a Risk Factor for Depression in the Elderly. Social isolation and living alone may lead to cognitive decline; increased need for help physically and emotionally; use of health services, if available and affordable - early institutionalization. What is the role of left-handedness in human evolution? This study of the history of left-handednessby Gabriela Ručková and Ľubica Varečková is relevant to recognize the functions and dependence of neurotic behavior on emotional lability, instability and possible dependency on personality characteristics and amazing creativity impacting and impacted by specific social dimensions. Love your left-handed friends! Patients with specific medical pathologies such as multiple sclerosis (MS) can experience varying qualities of life. Viera Hancinova and Ladislav Simor have made an Analyses of measuring tools comparing the quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis. Readers will gain a comprehensive understanding of MS and the challenges MS patients must deal with on a daily basis and, may provide Social Workers to assist patients dealing with the challenges to the quality of life of other diseases as well. Concluding this Spring Issue of CSW, the quartet of Mrosková, S., Lizáková, Ľ., Mašterová, V. and Čuríková, A. bring us an essential study concerning the Social environment and its impact on selected aspects of children's health. These include quality of saturation needs of the child’s families by analyzing the influence of the social environment on child morbidity; length of breastfeeding; child development; incidence of hospitalization. The role of Social Workers is alertness for assessment and elimination of risk factors in the family environment to support children surviving a "socially disadvantaged background" such as poverty; social exclusion; marginalization; social inequality; social differentiation; stratification of society; identification of differences in the incidence of hospitalization after Social Worker intervention in children at risk needing social protection.
And so, all of these topics in this Spring issue of CSW bring us back to one of the biggest obstacles facing Social Workers in the pursuit of their highest purpose to help humanity. That obstacle is the money – never enough to solve all the challenges of immorality and injustice from economic inequality. May each of the following studies bring a lightness of insight into your Springtime.