The Attitudes of Social Workers towards the Applicability of Mediation in Social Service Organizations
Keywords:Mediation, mediator, mandatory mediation, non-judicial mediation, social worker, social service organization
The aim of this article is, on the basis of the conducted research into scientific and other (statistical, documentation) literature and empirical analysis, to show social workers’ approach to using the mediation method in social services organisations. In the article the theoretical aspects of the research are discussed, the concept of mediation is explained, as a means of solving conflicts peacefully, and the stages of implementing the mediation method in social services institutions are pinpointed.
The research was conducted by analysing 4 social workers’ open answers to a questionnaire. The 4 respondents have done introductory mediation courses, are using the mediation method at work and are working in social services organisations. The most common social conflicts occurring in social organisations are interpersonal and social. The theoretical arguments of using the mediation method have been confirmed by the research. Although the need to apply the mediation method is positive and well-meant, this method is used in individual
cases only. Social workers, applying the mediation method, face different social services chief executives’ approaches, the majority of whom emphasize their approval and goodwill but, in fact, are sceptical and indifferent. Besides, their colleagues tend to support the negative or uninterested policy.
As for social services clients, they may not be aware of the mediation method, but after being explained about it in a clear way, they understand the method correctly, take part with motivation and are satisfied with achieved results. After starting to apply the mediation method in a social services organisation, social workers acknowledge the advantages of this method for both clients and workers, stating that it helps solve conflicts successfully at an early stage and suggesting social services founders and chief executives initiate and implement the mediation method.
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