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Original scientific paper

Work Experience of Social Workers with Roma Families

Mirna Elijaš ; City Office for Veterans, Zagreb, Croatia
Maja Laklija ; Study of Social Work, Zagreb, Croatia; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Roma families are facing different problems connected with life in social exclusion, poverty and closed communities. Because Roma’s specific way of life which is much different from other population and their exposure to numerous risks, the aim of this study was to gain insight into work experience of social workers with Roma families in Social Welfare Centres (SWC) Zagreb. The study was conducted on a sample of 9 social workers. A semi-structured interview was conducted with each of the participants, and the results were obtained by qualitative content analysis. Regarding the reasons of SWC treatment of Roma families, the following categories were given: achieving material benefits, notices by other institutions and family violence. Regarding the social workers cooperation experience with Roma families, most of the participants describe it as a positive, describing their experience of working and contacting with members of Roma families. Regarding their cooperation experience with Roma families, the following category was given: challenges of working with Roma families, such as: problems in contacting members of Roma families, tendency to manipulation and giving socially desirable answers, the need to adjust professional work, dropout prevention, unemployment and unresolved status issues. Under a proposal to improve professional work of social workers with Roma families, participants expressed a need for additional professional education and knowledge about the life of Roma families and their tradition.


Roma families; social workers; experience; SWC

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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