Social Pedagogical workers help people – young and old – to live as independently as possible again. Their work centres around providing temporary, long-term and permanent support to people who have relational, family, developmental and educational problems as well as support to people with a handicap, a temporary or structural psychosocial limitation, a mental disorder or illness. The support they offer consists of supervision and/or home support or home treatment as well as support and treatment in an institution. Social pedagogical workers passionately help people function to the best of their ability.
The professional field of social pedagogical workers is very broad. Graduates can find careers in a substantial number of institutions including institutions for the mentally-handicapped, penitentiary institutions (prisons and forensic psychiatric centres), juvenile psychiatric hospitals, detox centres, social care centres, Bureau Jeugdzorg (Office for Juvenile Care), Boddaert centres, etcetera. In general hospitals the social pedagogical workers perform their duties in a number of different departments including children’s wards. If you have affinity with the target group of senior citizens , you can also work as a social pedagogical worker in nursing homes and rest homes. Social pedagogical workers can also help (multi-problem) families, offering support to parents in upbringing their children.
There is a distinct overlap between the professional fields of these two study programmes that both lead to a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work. In many institutions social workers and social pedagogical workers are colleagues and collaborate closely. There are some differences in emphasis, though.
Differences between Social Work & Social Services and Social Work & Social Pedagogics
Social pedagogical workers mainly support young people and adults in groups. The Social Work & Social Pedagogics study programme prepares its students for group work but also pays ample attention to working with individuals. The study programme is characterized by its focus on applying agogical methods such as musical therapy, drama and visual arts.
Social workers usually help (adult) individuals or families. The Social Work & Social Services study programme focuses on social work methods used in the fields of psychosocial work, (sexual) violence support and debt coaching.