Approaching the concept of social economy in the CR through the prism of social work – reality and perspective

Obrazek miniatury
Danihelková, Ester
Tytuł czasopisma
Tytuł tomu
Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego
One part of the current discourse of Czech social work is the issue of “marketisation” and the so-called “quasi-market” in the sphere of social services. Social economy, as a part of the national economy, represents an action field for further development of the social work profession. In a wider context, this topic relates to the search for identity of the social work profession in the postmodern society which imposes new requirements and challenges for social work. From its very beginning, social work has been expected to provide protection against the social exclusion of clients and their re-integration into society. Employment is the important element in social integration. Castel suggests: It is increasingly more illusory for social work with the new conditions aimed at integration of its clients into society. In the society in which we live, the fundamental prerequisite for permanent integration is a full-valued job, i.e. something which is actually missing and which cannot be provided by social work itself (Castel 2010: 152). Social work now finds itself in a nonenviable situation as it can no longer rely on the integration that was once massively provided by the labour market and social insurance. The role of social work hitherto has been the fine-tuning of integration in individuals with various disabilities and disadvantages. Nowadays, social work is supposed to apply the same tools to cope with the integration of large groups of people who have been condemned by the labour market to live in uncertainty, while the welfare state has fewer resources to secure these people against the increasing job and life uncertainty (Keller 2010). Unlike social work, the social economy endeavours to optimise the processes associated with increasing poverty, social exclusion, and the impact of a globalised market in becoming a legitimate part of the market as well as civil society through the activisation and stimulation of citizens to self-help and community-service activities. The priority of the social economy is employment of socially excluded persons or those vulnerable to social exclusion (Hunčová 2006). Persistent unemployment, the need for a reduction in the national budget deficit, and maintaining the deficit at low levels are all factors which cause difficulties for conventional social policy and social work. This raises the question to what extent the social economy can contribute to the solution to these problems and whether or not it can assume the role of the public authorities and institutions in certain areas of interest (Borzaga, Defourny 2001). The objective of this document is to analyse the current status of the Czech social economy and social firms. Czech social economy has been gradually defined in its form and researched from the bottom. The initial point of the analysis is formed by the outputs of the project Thematic network for the development of social economy in the Czech Republic. The analysis also includes a description of the current state of social firms in terms of legislation and finances. The conclusion presents several recommendations for the social policy actors in relation to the development of social enterprise in the Czech Republic.
Słowa kluczowe
social economy , social service , social work
Szluz Beata, Matulayová Tatiana, Pešatová Ilona, Cross-sectoral cooperation in order to solve social problems, s. 62-75