Section 5. - Social work as a challenge and opportunity for change. Reform ambitions of social work, formalisation versus de-formalisation of social work in connection with the de-institutionalisation of services.

Considering the social and political developments in Europe and elsewhere, we may expect the necessity to change the conception of state social policy as well as new requirements and expectations related to social work. This is connected with the rising demand on the definition of the efficiency of social work in terms of qualitative changes in the situation of clients and the related benefits for the society, all of which should be expressed in a manner readily comprehensible by the society. These circumstances present requirements on the qualification of social workers, adoption of evidence-based approaches, sharing of good practice, reflection on social changes and professionalization of social work. The last, however, is sometimes subject to criticism on the grounds of the need for flexible and creative approach on the part of social workers and the requirements on community social work encouraging the participation of communities on local level, which may result in supra-regional changes or social change on the level of state etc. Other interesting topics may be the reform ambitions of social work or the processes of formalisation versus de-formalisation of social work in connection with de-institutionalisation of services.