Level of „involvement“:
My name is Silvia Kramkowski and I’m a student of pedagogy in the 6th semester in Cologne, Germany.
At first, just in order to avoid misunderstandings and too high expectations, I’ve got to point out here that my specialization isn’t social work but adult education, intercultural pedagogy and methods of consultation.
I started work in the social department half a year before I began to study.
My first contact with this profession was at an advice centre for women. At first I made an internship there and afterwards I worked on the side of my studies for about a year.
At the same time I became a students temp in a women’s refuge where I worked for 2 ½ years during night.
These temps offered me many possibilities to see how social workers handle their clients and besides that I had the chance to try it by myself.
Both institutions didn’t work with the whole family together merely with the client himself. The main focus wasn’t put on the family itself, like it might be in an advice centre for families.
Further on, since the beginning of my studies, I participate actively in a project of the University of Cologne called “Kinder aus alkoholbelasteten Familien” (Children from alcohol burdened families) in which we got to think about the system of a family.
The theory to have a look on the whole family system instead of focussing just a single person seems to me confident in this case. But maybe it's important to say that we don't cooperate with the families, but with the multiplicators like teachers and social workers.
The first part of my essay will content repetition of the most important issues Professor Constable was talking about in the lessons, which are in my opinion:
1. Family is the basic social system
2. How does a family become socialized?
4. Role as a mediator
In the second part I would like to go on with the topic “Communication in the German society”, connected with a short description of social worker’s working conditions in Germany, and a transition towards my specialization adult education.
Finally, closing this essay, some remarks regarding to what I have taken along from the seminar "Social work with families" will round it all off.
In the first lesson Professor Constable told us about the importance of the family.
1) Family is the basic social system!
That means the family is the centre of everything surrounded by a community.
Without family children can’t develop. First families have to organize themselves, because otherwise they can’t support the kids improving their independence as well. That is a very important aspect, because when a social worker can help a family to be „available“ for their children then he does the main point.
For example a social worker makes an assessment with the whole family. That means that he sees the whole family as a system. He can see the parents only in the beginning and has an agreement with them how to cooperate with the child.