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Military government weekly information bulletin
Number 98 (June 1947)

[Training social workers],   pp. [2]-[5] PDF (3.5 MB)


Page 4

was founded and supported by the
Swabian Women's League.
There is, however, an increasing
recognition of the need for trained
male social workers. In Freiburg,
Caritas sponsors a school for women
founded in 1918, and a school for men
opened in 1928. In Ludwigsburg, a
new school was opened recently for
men. Other schools in their reogani-
zation plans are making provision for
the enrollment of men students.
Candidates for admission to a
school must have completed 10 years
of education, four years in elemen-
tary school and six years in a higher
school. In addition, three years of
practical experience is required as a
nurse's aid, a helper in a kinder-
garten, a worker in a day nursery,
or a teacher. Since many of the uni-
versities were damaged by bombs dur-
ing the war, the registration is neces-
sarily limited. As a result, some of the
schools are receiving applications
from students who have had univer-
sity training as pre-medical students
or in other professions. Because of
the great number of applications
schools must now be more selective
in the choosing of their student body.
Students pay from RM 200 to
RM 250 per year for tuition. De-
nominational schools receive grants
from their respective sponsoring or-
ganizations while the state and muni-
cipal schools are supported largely
by public funds. Formerly, the schools
received scholarship grants from the
state but these have not been
available since the war.
IN ALL schools it takes two years to
produce a trained social worker, but
there are different ways of doing it.
In some schools the students study
theory for a year, put them into
practice for six months, and them
complete their course with a final six
months of theory. In other institu-
tions six months of theory is followed
by  four months' practice, eight
months' theory, and a final practice
period of three months. The curri-
culum ranges from the study of reli-
gion, psychology, hygiene, and labor
laws to handicraft and singing. The
confessional schools place emphasis
upon religions and character training
so "that the Christian life in faith and
charity may become effective." There
is no opportunity to select subjects
according to one's interests. Courses
in all schools are obligatory for all
students as a preparation for public
examinations.
ACULTY members usually are
F three in number who work full time,
plus a number of part-time teachers
from specialized fields including the
Ministry of Health, the Courts, the
Labor Office, and the Youth Bureaus.
Some of them have doctorates in law,
medicine, divinity, economics, and
social science. In general, the school
directors are experienced persons,
devoted to their profession and with
a remarkable spirit of sacrifice and
courage.
Some, however, fear that policies
in force today will create a supply
of trained social workers beyond the
demand. They cite their experience
during the years of the economic
depression in the 'thirties when
despite the urgent need for social ser-
vice, well trained social workers
could not obtain positions because
of lack of funds to pay salaries. They
also express some misgivings in
regard to obtaining qualified teaching
staffs, and of the possibility of pre-
sent pressure for short term courses,
thus lowering the standards of the
schools. Their policy is to strengthen
the programs of the schools already
in existence.
Several schools have established
short term courses as an emergency
measure to train persons already
holding social work positions. For
example, the Sozialpaedagogisches In-
stitut, Hamburg, conducts evening
courses for persons employed in so-
cial work organizations. Fifty persons
are enrolled in the classes which are
held once a week for one year. Cour-
ses are offered on such problems as
housing, care of refugees and expel-
lees, and homeless children.
Land Public Welfare authorities
have assisted the towns by providing
special in-service training programs.
The most ambitious of these was a
30-day in-service training course
conducted by the Ministry of Labor
and Welfare for Hesse in the summer
of 1946. Seventy male welfare wor-
kers participated in this training
course, which consisted of lectures
and study material, mainly on legal
and economic aspects of relief.
Lack of housing-the problem    of
most schools in Germany today-is
one of the main handicaps to the
schools of social work. Many of the
buildings were destroyed or badly
damaged. Temporary quarters in a
hospital, a child care institution, a
kindergarten, or a vocational school
are now being occupied. Loss of
libraries, furniture, and equipment has
been a serious blow and the shortage
of fuel, food, and clothing during, the
past years has aggravated the situa-
tion. Schools which formerly provided
rooms for resident students now have
no dormitories. In "closed cities"
(towns in which the housing situa-
tion is so acute that persons are
forbidden to move into that area) no
accommodations can be obtained and
students frequently must travel great
distances every day. Yet many
teachers and students seem to feel
that these hardships will give them
more understanding of the poor and
will help them to serve more effec-
tively.
For practice or field work the
students  are  assigned  to  Public
Welfare Bureaus of the municipali-
ties; to Health, Youth, Labor Offices,
and the courts; and to the various
agencies and institutions of the two
major religious welfare federations,
Der Deutsche Caritasverband and the
Innere Mission, Hillswerk der Evan-
gelischen Kirchen. The practice work
usually is under the direction of the
social agency but schools and agen-
cies collaborate in the supervision of
students through their conferences
and reports.
Examinations are almost identical in
all cities. When the two-year course
is completed, students take the state
examination-both written and oral-
and receive a certificate. After one
year's practical experience in social
work, workers are licensed by the
state as welfare nurses for one of the
three chief branches: health, youth
welfare, or family welfare work.
IN ALL these fields the profession
pays very modestly. The beginning
salary of a social worker is about
RM 200 per month minus deductions
for income tax, social insurance, and
retirement fund. Social workers, how-
ever, seem to have accepted this low
salary scale. Some of the more ambi-
tious among them who have ,a dip'
loma qualifying them to enter a uni-
versity, later go on to obtain a doc-
WEEKLY INFORMATION BULLETIN
23 JUNE 1947
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