Refugee ‘crisis’ and social services in Greece: Social workers’ profile and working conditions

Dimitra-Dora Teloni, Sofia Dedotsi, Aristeidis Telonis

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12 Citations (Scopus)
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Since 2015, social workers are in the ‘front-line’ of the so-called refugee ‘crisis’, facing a series of difficulties in helping effectively their users through a context of austerity, anti-immigration policies, racism and under-resourced social services. Whilst Greece is one of the ‘entrance’ countries in Europe, to the best of our knowledge, there is no current research in social work practice with refugees. This study was a self-funded, quantitative research project carried out from June to August 2018. The main research questions explored the professionals’ profile and working conditions, the social work practice with refugees and the connection between social work and the anti-racist movement. This paper will discuss part of the findings in relation to the profile of professionals, the organisations’ profile and their working conditions. The findings identify a series of difficulties for professionals in order to respond to the refugee population’ surgent and uncovered needs. Placing the findings within the wider neoliberal context of repressive European policies, this paper argues that both refugees and professionals are affected by the politics of welfare as well as anti-immigration policies. These policies systematically violate human rights, rendering the role of social work crucial in the struggle for social justice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1005-1018
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Work
Issue number6
Early online date6 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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