Discussion with Federal Minister Johannes Rauch
Last week, students of the master degree programme Social Work at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences were guests of Johannes Rauch, the Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection.
Together with lecturers Johanna Hefel and Christoph Redelsteiner, they presented the preliminary results of their master project “Professional Law for Social Workers”.
Master Project on Law Content
As part of their master project “Professional Law for Social Workers”, the students researched the following topics: “Content-Related Issues – International Models”, “Social Worker as a Health Profession”, and “Public Relations”.
Primary arguments for the law are quality assurance and protection of users and the profession. Possible key aspects of the law are protection of the professional title, areas of activity, rights of users, complaint and control modalities, documentation, health profession, professional register, rules of confidentiality, mandatory further training/recertification, permeability from and to other social and health professions, complaints office for users, core curriculum, and freelance work.
Federal Minister Rauch showed great interest and thanked the students for their extensive and committed work.
In addition, a group of 32 students of the UAS course “Quality Assurance and Strategic Planning” led by Christoph Redelsteiner dealt with the opinions regarding a professional law in the political landscape. They informed stakeholders in the federal states as well as in the national and federal assembly, obtained statements and raised awareness for the professional law. They discussed an overview of the main advantages and concerns expressed about the professional law with Minister Rauch, who is a social worker himself.
Professional Law as an Exemplary Solution
“The professional law from Israel has proven to be an internationally exemplary solution. It regulates access to the profession, registration, personal and health requirements for social workers, professional secrecy, confidentiality, disclosure of information, qualifications, supervision, disciplinary offenses and procedures, criminal law provisions and commitment to professional ethics”, says Christoph Redelsteiner, Academic Director of the master degree programme Social Work at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences.
Social workers in Israel can also achieve expert status in the areas of family, children & youth, elderly, justice / probational services, disabled, health, community, and mental health. A separate Social Work Council is available as an advisory and disciplinary body.
In Austria, a professional law for social workers is part of the government programme. The goal is to develop a nationally uniform professional law for social work in cooperation with the federal states.
Photo from left to right: Christoph Redelsteiner, Linda Döger, Nina Hofmann, Johanna Hefel, Katharina Twertek, BM DSA Johannes Rauch, Sabrina Mathis, Manuel Reiter, Lisa Gebhardt. Not pictured: Mara Blum, Ines Langeder and Marco Uhl.
Photocredit: Schmidt BMSGPK