History of Social Work@IUC
Relatively early in its history the IUC had courses related to social work. In 1985 Dada M. Maglajlić and Burt Galaway met in Zagreb, Croatia to explore the possibility of establishing a set of courses that would devote equal attention to the exploration of social work ideas (theory) and direct experience (practice). In 1987, the International Association of the Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) were approached for approval and technical assistance. With approval and support from both organisations the next two years were devoted to developing the first set of courses. By the Academic Year 1989/90 work had been completed and first four courses were defined: Social Work and Spirituality, Foster Care as an Alternative to Institutional Care, Social Work with Children and Youth and Social Work and Social Welfare in the Nordic Countries.
Shortly after the beginning of the Social Work School at IUC, the war in former Yugoslavia started. Although we were one of the first programs that offered courses in Dubrovnik after the siege of the ancient city, the school had to seek new locations in order to preserve the broad network of active participants, established during the first two years. With the help of the IUC secretariat and numerous other institutions, annual programs were staged in Zagreb (several times), Budapest, Brijuni, Seattle and Philadelphia. In 1997, we returned to Dubrovnik. War in the region affected our, and all other, academic programs. A need was felt to "deliver a message" about the situation in the region and our efforts to preserve the school as a plea for peace and a more just world.
In subsequent years some courses changed, some have been replaced, and new courses were developed. The course on Social Work and Social Welfare in the Nordic Countries was replaced in 1995 with a course Social Work and Social Policy; a course on foster care was substituted in 1995 by a course Developing Neighbourhood and Community Support Systems. In 1999 a new course on Social Work with Juvenile Offenders was added, now renamed as Social Work with Children in Conflict with Law. In 2003 a course on Social Work Theories and Methodologies was introduced, and in 2006 a course Social Work and Clinical Interventions, soon to be replaced by Social Work and Public Health, which next year (2012) will be replaced by the course Contemporary Issues in Social Work: Working with Old Age, the last course to be developed was Social Work and Deinstitutionalisation. Thus the original goal of having a set of eight postgraduate level courses has been achieved.
Over the years the IUC Dubrovnik School of Social Work Theory and Practice published four books: one in the USA, Canada, Croatia, and one as a collaborative effort between the IUC and the University of Goteborg, Sweden.
In 1997, the School has introduced the electronic journal predecessor of Dialogue in Praxis. As of spring 2003, one issue is prepared at BSU, Bemidji, MN, USA and one at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology - NTNU, Trondheim, Norway. Still available on: www.bemidjistate.edu/academics/publications/social_work_journal. Altogether twenty issues were published at the rate two per year, eighteen of the in electronic format and last two in hard copy for the twentieth anniversary of the School in 2009 (published in 2010).
Twentieth anniversary was marked by a big conference where all courses participated. Sadly it was also farewell to the founder and the motor of the School Dada Maglajlić who retired the next year. Directorship was assumed by Vito Flaker (School organising director) and Vera Grebenc (assistant director) who are coordinating the school from 2010 on.