Volunteer Initiatives of Future Social Workers – The Way to Professional Success

Author`s Contribution:

Kostina V. V. 1 A
A — Study design;
B — Data collection;
C — Statistical analysis;
D — Data interpretation;
E — Manuscript preparation;
F — Literature search;
G — Funds collection;
  • H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Ukraine
Background and aim of study:
Volunteering is one of the important ways of social work in modern society, which requires the involvement of additional actors, among which an important role belongs to future professionals in the social sphere. Analysis of the scientific literature and practice of volunteer initiatives in the field of social work showed that researchers have studied the following aspects: the development of volunteering in the social sphere of Ukraine (Gapon, Golovanova, etc.); preparation of volunteers for the implementation of social projects (Bezpalko, Laktionova, Zvereva, etc.); system of volunteer assistance with the border (Bondaruk, Romanenkova, Zhuleev, etc.); volunteering as a condition for the professional development of future social pedagogues and social workers (Bondarenko, Karpenko, Lyakh, Mishchyk, Polishchuk, etc.). However, the issue of the impact of professionally oriented environment, which provides opportunities for comprehensive professional development of future social workers in the implementation of volunteer initiatives in various social institutions has not yet been fully studied and needs research. The aim of the study is to determine the content and features of training future social workers to carry out volunteer initiatives in the conditions of Student Scientific Society (SSS) activity.
Research methods:
According to the Law of Ukraine “On Volunteering”, the following areas can be identified for the implementation of volunteer initiatives: support for the poor, unemployed, large families, the homeless, people in need of social rehabilitation; care for the sick, the disabled, the lonely, the elderly and other persons who, due to their physical, material or other characteristics, need support and assistance; providing assistance to citizens affected by a man-made or natural emergency, actions due to special period, legal regimes of a state of emergency or martial law, conducting an anti-terrorist operation; providing assistance to persons who, due to their physical or other disabilities, are restricted in exercising their rights and legitimate interests; carrying out activities related to the protection of the natural environment, preservation of cultural heritage, historical and cultural environment, historical and cultural monuments, burial places; assistance in holding events related to the organization of mass sports, cultural and other entertainment and social events; assistance to eliminate the consequences of emergencies of man-made or natural nature; assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine; assisting the authorized body on probation in supervising convicts and conducting social and educational work with them, etc. In order to ensure the formation of future social professionals' competence in volunteering, we have concluded cooperation agreements with various social institutions in Kharkiv that provide social services to vulnerable groups, as well as developed the concept of SSS and its program of activities, applicants for higher education of the first and second educational levels in the student research group “Volunteer”, which provided for the implementation of work on the following aspects: organization of thematic meetings of SSS, during which SSS activists - graduates of higher education within the approbation of their own theoretical and practical developments on the basis of qualification works, acquaint applicants for higher education of junior courses with current research problems and innovative practical developments in the field of social work; preparation and holding of volunteer events on the basis of the practice of a network of social institutions in partnership with a higher education institution; training and participation of SSS activists in various scientific and practical seminars, conferences and competitions of different levels on the materials of their own research (individual research tasks in the disciplines of training, course, qualification work). Also, by involving leading specialists-practitioners and scientists in the field of social pedagogy and social work in the organization of SSS work, we have ensured that higher education students master the innovative professional experience of social work.
Surveys of applicants for higher education within the activities of SSS showed that: 60% of respondents during the involvement in active volunteering in the SSS increased their own level of professional practical competence in various areas of social work; 80% of respondents mentioned increasing their own motivation for professional activity and 70% about increasing interest in a certain area of professional interaction with vulnerable contingents.
DOI and UDC:
UDC: 378.147.88:378.184 DOI: 10.26697/ijes.2020.4.12
Information about the authors:
Kostina Valentyna Viktorivna – Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor, H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Research interests: social pedagogy, social work, ethnopedagogy, professional training; http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2410-7497