Keynote Speaker

October 13, 2021 | 10:30 – 12:00 (CET Time)

Language: English

Topic: Embedding professional experiences from supervision in turbulent times in the future of social work practice in Croatia

Contributor: Kristina Urbanc

The aim of this contribution is to reflect upon two issues: the first one deals with the needs of social workers during turbulent times due to pandemic and devastating earthquakes and the second one deals with the role of supervision meeting the needs of social workers within the ethical, theoretical, legal and practical framework of social work in Croatia.

In order to perform efficient and ethical social work practice, social workers need more than knowledge – they need an opportunity and an ability to reflect upon their work and to make use of it to understand the experience and to improve it. Knowledge of social work theories and methods itself does not make a good social worker capable of coping with constant changes, raising requirements and above all, with the uncertainty of everyday practice, such as pandemic and earthquake.

Reflection is a key competence in social work that takes time and needs a safe place, such as supervision. It deals with a very intimate process for every individual practitioner, but on the other hand, it generates very “public” results due to new knowledge and perspectives of specific situations. This gives social workers a chance to raise their awareness of actions and to transform the reflection into the new steps and actions, it enables them to become and to stay reflective practitioners. Supervision is a place, a time and a way that enables social workers to learn from their practice and for their practice. This is an argument to discuss how can supervision be embedded in social work not just as an emergency measure in turbulent times, or, sometimes, as a fashionable toolkit or even, as a panacea to cure all weaknesses of the social care system, local community or society in general, but also as a quality standard tailored by the needs and capacities of social workers and other helping professionals.


Prof. dr. sc. Kristina Urbanc is social worker, holds PhD in social pedagogy,  licensed supervisor in psychosocial work, systemic family therapist and integrative child therapist. She works at the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb as a full professor in permanent position, teaching various courses at graduate and postgraduate level: Creative methods in social work, Social casework, Users perspective in social work, Integrative social work, Methods of supervision; Individual and group supervision etc. She also works  with adolescents in a counselling Center for children, youth and families – Velika Gorica, Croatia on a weekly basis as a child psychodrama therapist. Furthermore, she is the author of two books and over 60 articles published in scientific and professional revues.  She works home and abroad in various supervision trainings and projects. Currently, she is a president of Croatian Association for supervision and organizational development.