Social Work in Romanian Rural Communities: An Inside Perspective from a Qualitative Study

Cristina Faludi, Nicoleta Neamțu


The social work profession was revived in Romania in 1994, when the first generation of university graduates went to the field. However, only in 2011, when the Law no. 292 of Social Work was issued, the framework for the activity of social workers in the rural communities was settled. Although the legislation provided a proper context for the unfolding of a meaningful social work in rural settings, the labor market was far from being able to absorb the great number of needed professionals. On the one hand, the paper intends to present the barriers that marked the beginning of social work in the Romanian rural space. On the other hand, the paper briefly describes the particularities and the opportunities for social work in the rural areas. Also, through the voice of professionals, the main social problems in the countryside are exposed and some possible interventions aiming at the improvement of the life conditions among the villagers are proposed. The study is based on 43 qualitative interviews carried out in 2016-2020 with professionals employed as social services workers by commune or village local councils. The collected data were explored and interpreted using thematic analysis. One conclusion is that the field is dynamic and in need of substantial improvement.


social work; qualitative study; Romania; rural communities.

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