Care and social mentoring: how to find a theoretical and ethical framework
WORKSHOP LED BY MARINA CLAVERÍAS
Marina Claverías is a social worker specialized in citizenship and human rights. She is a Project Coordinator at the NGO Quilòmetre Zero (Tarragona, Spain) and Secretary of Coordinadora de Mentoria Social. Claverías also works as an associate lecturer at Rovira i Virgili University. She is currently doing a PhD in social work dedicated to social mentoring as an innovative intervention methodology.
This communication aims to expose the beginning of a research on care ethics and social mentoring, which takes into account social mentoring as a methodology that emerges as an innovative response to the challenge of social inequality.
The challenge: This adventure wants to serve as a pretext to illuminate an area where the focus has not been placed, to understand the establishment of social mentoring projects in Europe, and in Catalonia in particular, being born from different realities (socioeconomic crisis and cuts in public policies, care crisis) and social needs (integration, equality, need for recognition of citizenship rights, etc.) in groups at risk of exclusion. This proposal is intended to deepen the root that has allowed this type of proposals emerge in different parts of Europe, and especially in Catalonia. In the case of Europe, as explained by Prieto-Flores, O., Feu, J. 2018, the number of social mentoring programs has grown exponentially during the last decade 2007-2017 coinciding with the budgetary restrictions that most governments Europeans have promoted to manage the economic crisis.
To analyze what social mentoring is and to provide scientific theory to the practice, it is necessary to link the birth of social mentoring programs and its expansion arround the world. It seems that everything indicates that the practice of mentoring relationships has grown quickly and before the theory and we haven’t had time, opportunitys or we haven’t thought before about we were doing.
As a hypothesis, care work can be a theoretical antecedent to social mentoring, since it is part of a type of care work due to the type of programs aimed at accompaniment whose objective is to take care of each other.
By now social mentoring lacks scientific and ethical theory so, it’s important to inquire about the political context where the first social mentoring projects are born, and how and where they extend according to the socio-political and economic context of the territory and analyze the hypothesis that where methodology has been extended the most has been in neoliberal political contexts. And why this is happing without a deep questioning from the practicioners and researchers in the field? One step is to find out what are the institutional conditions for the growth of social mentoring projects or their ignorance.
And finally be able to provide the field of social mentoring with the reflection on the care ethics. How? As an analytical instrument to talk about ethics in social mentoring: the need for ethics in the construction of projects in connection with the need of a theorical framework. This would be necessary before the growth of more projects, to provides scientific content to this innovative and increasingly used methodology.