2012 Symposium: Homelessness and Housing
Deinstitutionalisation has become central to social work, as it changed the lives of service users, its multidisciplinary work, its organisation, methods and the epistemological position. Recognition of service users’ strengths and potential for recovery in its new meaning became possible only with de-institutionalisation. This radical change has implications also to the interactions and power relations between social workers and service users, their family members, other professions and the general public.
We explore the deinstitutionalisation in different settings. We learn from the experiences of people who have experienced institutionalisation and de-institutionalisation how to prevent mini institutionalisation and trans-institutionalisation in the community.
Housing is one of the key features of deinstitutionalisation. Resettlement support plays a pivotal role in the provision of care in the community to marginalised and socially excluded populations. Accommodation is needed and lack of housing stock is one of the most pertinent obstacles to it. On the other hand people who lose homes are either left on the streets or put up in some institution or another. Homelessness is another face of institutionalisation. Specifically for the homeless, resettlement is a way of integrating them back into mainstream society: where the homeless are normally institutionalised in large scale accommodation - whether it be homeless hostels, prison, probation hostels and hospitals - resettlement support aims to help them make the smooth transition from institutions to live independently.
Besides exploring the relationship between housing, homelessness and deinstitutionalisation, we want to see what the opportunities for a better housing provision are. The good quality accommodation and the availability of housing stock and working across different housing sectors, and in relation to different disabilities, is also pivotal to the success for addressing the needs of homeless populations. This symposium will be addressing the issues and successful ways of tackling the housing problems for the homeless and will also explore the tensions in working with the homeless, of engaging a disenfranchised group within society. We want to explore what are good models of new residential care that combines housing, independent living with support needed. We will try to address issue of collective effort and ways of organising to overcome the missing roof.
Participants are expected to bring along key facts or features of homelessness, housing or deinstitutionalisation in their countries.
2012 Organising director:
Vito Flaker, Faculty for Social Work, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia,
Phone: +386 31872847,
A SOCIAL WORK INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL Dialogue in Praxis can be found here.