Exploring Cross-cultural Social Work-
A Student Workshop by University of Sydney and UIN Kalijaga
by Nur Kholidah
Yogyakarta (5/2/2016). The profession of social work developed with its unique emphasis on directly helping people as well as improving their environment. Social work deals not only with internal aspect of human condition but also with its external aspects. Social workers are able to help clients to receive needed medical, financial, groceries, educational services that improve their lives. Because social workers act as advocates by helping their clients to access the services from the government, their goals is to help people become self-sufficient by only doing for people what they may be unable to do for themselves. Its look like our goal as students of social welfare (IKS) at UIN Kalijaga is helping people to help themselves.
Social workers have to understand social problems in society. The problem in society is very complex. For example: poverty, social stratification, economic issues, public health, abortion, environmental racism, education and public schools, immigrant, work and occupations, ect. According many social problem in society, students of social welfare already trained to finishing a social problem. So, this workshop be importantly for social work students discussing about social issue in Australia and Indonesia. The first, we have been talking about illegal immigrant in Australia which have a complex of social problem by Mrs. Margaret.
The Australian government has a controversial policy in dealing with the refugees. The country is not reluctant to stop refugees' boat and make them return or restrain them in Nauru Island. The refugees' life is very heartbreaking, because they stay only on tent in warming area and all of them are locked up with a grating. Nauru island didn’t has a hospital, school, places of worship, a shop for their needed. So one day, there is a pregnant women need a doctor or hospital. Then, this women taken to city in Australia to get medicine by social worker. And this problem made social workers try to make negotiation with Australian government policy to let illegal immigrants have a good life without a grating and they can take a service public in Australia cities, but it have not realizable yet. Although Australian government has given the budgets $1.2 billion to take care of illegal immigrants, but its not good influentially with illegal immigrants. Luckily, church in Australia make career to assist illegal immigrants and protect them. So the government can’t touch them, when an illegal immigrant stay in church, it make some social workers make a cooperation with the church to helping an illegal immigrant to get a good life “hidup layak” .
In Indonesia, as we know the social problem is complex too, there are poverty and unemployment that has an impact to society. Any job openings really little, it make crimes anywhere. But for solving that problem, government has provided health assurance “JAMKESMAS”, welfare rices, social assist, some scholarship for poverty, etc. It’s just not maximum to help society. If the social services still not maximum, we have to learn about policy which organize about social problem. The same problem with Australia about controversial policy, so social workers should to knowing, learning, criticized about that policy. And then, social workers can change the social condition as a whole.
Listening to discussion in this workshop, we as social workers need to remember that we need to see social problems more widely. Social workers do not work only in social area, but in the larger area. Social workers need to utilize skills and experience in management, education, research, policy development, politics and economic, to help our clients better.