Empowering functions of welfare conditionality in Poland – social workers’ perspective
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Social Policy, Institute of Labour and Social Studies, Polska
Submission date: 2023-02-02
Final revision date: 2023-07-20
Acceptance date: 2023-07-20
Online publication date: 2023-10-16
Publication date: 2023-10-16
Corresponding author
Paweł Poławski   

Social Policy, Institute of Labour and Social Studies, Bellottiego 3B, 01-022, Warsaw, Polska
Problemy Polityki Społecznej 2024;64(1):1-23
Conditional policies are well established in modern European welfare states, being one of the most important economic and social reintegration instruments. The article assesses the relation between conditionality and empowerment in Polish social assistance, particularly through the use of a social contract (version of an individual action plan). The analysis drew on a survey conducted among managers in social assistance centres and social workers. Results showed a very high level of normative support for conditional welfare arrangements among social workers, similarly to the results of studies conducted in other countries. About half of the respondents supported individual social contracts as an effective empowerment instrument. Positive attitudes towards conditionality were related to its higher perceived psychological and professional empowering functions. The fit between adopted reintegration measures – social work, vocational training, psychological, and family support – and the perception of empowerment pointed to high organizational coherence in social assistance. The research also shows the importance of the normative acceptance of conditionality in social assistance, which is embedded in welfare policy even if not sufficiently expressed in social work practice.
We thank the National Science Centre for supporting the presented research (research grant UMO-2014/13/B/HS5/03615)
National Science Centre (research grant UMO-2014/13/B/HS5/03615)
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