I I N N T T E E R R N N A A T T I I O O N N A A L L S S C C I I E E N N T T I I F F I I C C P P E E E E R R - - R R E E V V I I E E W W E E D D J J O O U U R R N N A A L L


A Multi-Perspective View on the Concept of Social Protection and the Role of Social Work in (not only) Wartime Conditions

The purpose of this article is to explore the multifaceted dimensions of the concept of social protection and the role of social work in (not only) wartime conditions. This is necessary, because social workers are often acting “helpless” confronted with massive global crises or even wars or war-like conditions. This article tries to sharpen the possible role and position of social work and with this the expectations on the discipline and profession of social work.

To reach this, this article wants to shed light on the subject and the understanding of “crisis” and the different perspectives surrounding the interdisciplinary and multi perspective concepts of social protection, social support, and resilience.

This perspective allows to a better understanding of the underlying principles, challenges and potential solutions related to social protection in times of crisis. In times of crisis, ensuring social protection and social support becomes an urgent priority for affected populations and even individuals. Social protection encompasses a wide range of measures designed to protect individuals and communities from the adverse effects of crises and to provide them with the necessary resources and assistance to cope with the challenges they face.

This article is on the one side a s theoretical examination of the key terms. On the other hand directly affected people have their say: The co-author as a Ukrainian narrates her migration experiences and the results of a student – peer project with affected refugees from Ukraine in Eastern Switzerland are presented.

The results are concrete and surprise at some points and sharpen the task and role of social work: First, feeling safe and getting (social) support and psychological assistance in the trauma and war situation is much important even to feel welcome and resurrected. But then mobility, networks, and the change to support their families, relatives and friends at home have a great importance. It is also very important to be able to travel to Ukraine (home) from time to time and to be able to return to the host country. The task of social work is a very special one: It is not primarily the role of the benefactor and care giver, but of the professional who makes things possible and supports and empowers the people who feel it. The article also makes clear, that a one-dimensional and static understanding of crisis, flight, migration and needs no longer works in today’s world global situations and crisis.


Keywords: Social work, social protection, social support, crises, war in Ukraine, Ukrainian refugees, needs.