FH OberösterreichUniversity of Applied Sciences Upper Austria

Lectures & Abstracts

Keynote: Intercultural Social Work

Christian Stark, Austria
Vice-Dean for Research and Internationalization
Head of the Master Program Social Work
Professor for Social Work
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz

The keynote sets out some theories of intercultural competences in Intercultural Social Work and discusses major controversies about the different concepts. The keynote is based on a dynamic definition of culture: Culture as social practice. Intercultural competence and an intercultural perspective are important for all areas of Social Work. Intercultural Social Work also implies an intercultural opening of organizations. The keynote discusses possible traps and draws attention to misleading understandings of culture practiced in some crash courses.

WS1: Leading multicultural teams

Sophie Wiesinger, Austria 
Assistant Professor
Head of the Cross-Cultural Management and Emerging Markets Centre, Steyr
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Steyr

This workshop discusses cross-cultural differences and their impact on leading multicultural teams. Relevant findings from cross-cultural management research and implications of intercultural theories will be contrasted with the participants’ cultural and (social) work experiences.

WS2: Open family units for refugee families in Belgium

Bart Broos, Belgium
PXL University College, Hasselt

Since 2008 families forced to leave Belgium have lived in ‘open family units’ which consist of individual houses and apartments. Case managers/coaches support families during their residence and act as official intermediaries between the Belgian authorities and all other stakeholders. The coach proposes a voluntary (assisted) return scheme to the families and helps in surmounting any barriers impeding the return.

WS3: Experience based learning & intercultural communication

Ulrich Lakemann, Germany
Professor for Social Sciences
Ernst Abbe University of Applied Sciences, Jena

Outdoor training and experiential education are methods in Social Work and management, which follow the principle "learning by doing with head, heart and hand". In this workshop the participants will learn the theoretical and practical basics of experiential education and outdoor-training. There are no background capabilities necessary for taking part at this workshop. Just do it and understand!

WS4: Migrations: Peoples’ life – our work

Students from Bremen, Germany
University of Applied Sciences, Bremen

We would like to use our workshop as a platform for methodical and intercultural inter-communication. We will discuss different aspects, conditions and perspectives of Social Work on the topic of national migration policies in countries all over Europe and will practise methods of teamwork.

WS5: Developing multicultural sensitivity

Jaap Bruijn, The Netherlands
Senior Lecturer
Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen


You can only develop multicultural sensitivity if you dare to look at yourself in the mirror. Developing competencies and learn about other cultures is good, but it is not enough. Multicultural sensitivity means sensitivity, humanity and respect towards all men. This workshop pinpoints ways of integrating this knowledge into practice.

WS6: Quality Management: Children with problems

Anders Larsen & Bo Møller Pedersen, Denmark
University College Lillebaelt

This workshop presents aspects of quality management and legal control regarding the placement of children with problems. Steps necessary for a placement will be outlined and discussed.

WS7: Marriage without borders

Haselbacher Christine & students, Austria
Senior Lecturer
University of Applied Sciences, St. Pölten

Since 2006, the Austrian law has dramatically restricted bi-national couples in their means and ways of having a life together. The initiative “Marriage without Borders” is fighting against regulations which inhibit a joint family life. It is the initiative´s main objective to achieve equal rights for bi-national couples.

WS8: Strength of family networks

Charlotte Wekker & students, The Netherlands
Senior Lecturer
Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen

It is admirable how people succeed in carrying on with their lives despite major setbacks and experiences of loss. They often derive their strength to do so from their (extended) families. Migration can lead to the disruption of the customary channels in the families. Social health institutions and government agencies are advised to consider the strength of the extended family system. In the workshop participants connect with their own family strengths and develop what the strengths of other families are.

WS9: Stress patterns in communication

Brigitte Humer, Austria
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz

This workshop focuses on the connection between stress patterns in communication, family background and self-worth. It provides theoretical and practical insights which might be helpful in dealing with clients in a counseling setting.

WS10: REBE techniques in counseling

Sebastian Sipos-Gug & Ioana Sirbu, Romania
PhD Candidates
University of Oradea & University of Bucharest

In this workshop we will present the Rational Emotive Behavioural Education (REBE) theoretical concepts, as well as apply some of the basic intervention techniques used in counselling. The main topics of the workshop will be the use of cognitive strategies, behavioural techniques and emotional coping strategies.

WS11: Minority perspectives in a diverse society

Saleh Mousavi, Norway 
Assistant Professor
Telemark University College

In this workshop we will discuss the following topics: Minority & majority, culture - multicultural society/diversity, ethnocentrism & cultural relativism, self-confidence & mastering, & integration policy in Norway.

WS12: Super-Diversity as a challenge

Mia Dickmans & students, Belgium
Senior Lecturer
University College Leuven

More and more we live in a world of super-diversity, especially in our cities. But super-diversity is more than a quantitative difference; it's also about changing migration patterns, and especially the growing diversity within diversity. What challenges does this super-diversity pose to society and, more specifically, to Social Work?

LEC1: Men in Social Work

David Galley, United Kingdom
Associate Lecturer
Bournemouth University

The research develops themes concerning masculinities, male roles in Social Work and barriers to a numerically gender balanced education. The research aims a) to collect perceptions of male students currently engaged in Social Work education, b) to analyse existing data on the gender balance of Social Work students in the UK. Research findings will expand and update the existing discourses on men as a minority in Social Work. Conclusions suggest the need for a revised pedagogy within the Social Work curriculum.

WS13: Communication in Social Work

Jana Gabrielová, Czech Republic
Post-doc Researcher
South Bohemia University, Ceske Budejovice

The workshop focuses on the topic of communication in Social Work. Communication is of particular importance in helping professions, including Social Work. The goal of the workshop is to acquaint students with the principles of effective communication with clients through practical exercises.

WS14: Communication of unaccompanied minor refugees

Irmelin Kjelaas, Norway
PhD Candidate
Telemark University College

This workshop focuses on the communication between unaccompanied minor refugees and social workers in a Norwegian child care institution. Through close analysis of both interactional and contextual features, the aim of my PhD thesis is to explore how these children’s participation is interactively constructed in different types of institutional interaction.

WS15: Social what …? Social Work in Belgium

Students from Hasselt, Belgium
PXL University College, Hasselt

We would like to use our workshop as a platform to talk about Social Work in Belgium, but related to the 13 different topics as proposed in the leaflet. Our group consists of 13 students and each of us will discuss briefly every topic related to the situation in Belgium.

MASTER only: Homeless in Austria

Christian Stark, Austria
Professor for Social Work
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz

The lecture deals with the situation of homeless people in Austria. It gives a short overview of the reasons of homelessness and common prejudices concerning homeless people. The lecture focuses on the logic of the system of support for homeless people and its possibilities and limitations with a special view on participation of service users. Finally, the lecture describes the new concept “Housing First” and its first steps of realization in Austria.

WS16: Fostering intercultural friendships

Elisabeth Stefanek, Austria
Post-doc Researcher
University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Linz

Growing up in culturally plural societies is becoming increasingly common for children and youth. The aim of this workshop is to identify factors on the individual and contextual level that foster intercultural friendships in youth centers and schools. Two theoretical approaches (Acculturation and Contact Theory) will be presented and their implications for intercultural friendship formations will be discussed.

WS17: Working with volunteers

Astrid Hübner, Germany
Professor for Youth Welfare
University of Applied Sciences Emden/Leer

The number of people who do volunteer work in the fields of Intercultural Social Work is increasing. During the workshop we will talk about motivations and benefits for the volunteers as well as discuss the challenges and prospects in the collaboration between social workers and volunteers. We will discuss and compare the situations of the volunteers in your countries and your personal experiences.

WS18: Counseling skills

Sari Höylä, Finland
Senior Lecturer
Humak University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki

This workshop discusses practical skills needed in counselling work, the ethical questions in counselling, multicultural counselling, web-based counselling, and youth case work.

LEC2: Kinship care in England and Zululand

Jill Davey, United Kingdom
Principal Lecturer
Bournemouth University

This research project develops case studies of kinship care in the South West of England and Zululand, South Africa, using an ethnographic methodological approach. The study explores the unique experiences of kinship carers’ providing kinship care placements and considers the phenomenon of kinship care in the context of current UK and South African legislation, policy and social work. This lecture will explore some of the cross cultural issues for Social Workers.