Courses in English

University of Zagreb

Faculty of Law

Department of Social Work

Nazorova 51, 10 000 Zagreb



Gordana Berc, Ph.D.

ECTS coordinator



The list of the courses in English





Study program and degree


Gojko Bežovan

Zoran Šućur

Siniša Zrinščak

Comparative social policy


Social Policy,



Marina Ajduković

Intimate partner violence


Social Work,



Nino Žganec

International social work


Social Work,



Marijana Majdak

Youth in conflict with the law: Educational measures


Social Work,



Gordana Berc

Social work in education


Social Work,



Kristina Urbanc

Social work from the perspective of the users


Social Work,



Branka Sladović Franz

Interpersonal communication


Social Work,



Vanja Branica

History of social work


Social Work,





The description of courses in English




Professors: Gojko Bežovan, Zoran Šućur, Siniša Zrinščak


Course Description:

The aim of the course is to provide a theoretical knowledge and to stimulate a critical thinking about social policy from the comparative perspective. It will also give students a tool of how to analyze those changes. Although it will basically cover European welfare states, a particular attention will be directed to global social changes and their relevance and impact on the quality of life in different European countries. The course will also analyze social policy development in post-communist states.

Students enrolled in the course are expected to have basic knowledge about social policy systems and welfare state models.


Themes: Comparative social policy – basic concepts; Methods in comparative social policy; Welfare state models approach – concept, development, limitations; Global social policy and governance; Actors in social policy; Social policy in post-communism from a comparative perspective; Social policy in Croatia and South East European countries.


Lectures will consist of presentations by teachers accompanied by active student participation.


Exam: Instead of exams, students will write an essay about chosen topic of comparative social policy in consultation with teachers. The topic of the essay will be based on the indicative readings listed below, as well as on additional literature in line with the topic. Essays will be presented in the class. In addition, students will be asked to read a few segments of the literature in relation to the lectures.



The following literature will form the basis for lectures:

  • Classen, J. (2004) Defining Comparative Social Policy in P. Kennett (ed.) A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy. Edward Elgar.

  • Deacon, B. (2007) Global Social Policy & Governance. Sage Publications – selected chapters.

  • Kennett, P. (2004) Introduction: the changing context of comparative social policy, in: P. Kennett (ed.) A Handbook of Comparative Social Policy. Edward Elgar.

  • Palier, B. (2010) The long conservative corporatist road to welfare reforms. In B. Palier (ed.) A Long Goodbye to Bismarck? Amsterdam University Press.

  • Smelser, N. J. (2003) On Comparative Analysis, Interdisciplinarity and Internationalization in Sociology, International Sociology 18(4); 643-57.

  • Stubbs, P., Zrinščak, S. (2010) Social protection and Social Inclusion from Lisbon to Europe 2020. In: V. Samardžija and H. Butković (eds.) From Lisbon Strategy to Europe 2020. Zagreb: Institute for International Relations.

  • Stubbs, P., Zrinščak, S. (2009) Croatian Social Policy: The Legacies of War, State-building and Late Europeanization. Social Policy & Administration, 43 (2): 121-135.

  • Stubbs, P., Zrinščak, S. (2009) Rescaling Emergent Social Policies in South East Europe. In: Rummery, K. Greener, I., Holden, C. (eds.) Social Policy Review 21. Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2009. University of Bristol: The Policy Press.



Professor: Gordana Berc


Course description:

The course is based on understanding of the role of social workers in connecting schools, pre-schools, families and communities in purpose to realize the best interests of children and youth during their growth. This course emphasizes roles and tasks of the social workers in helping children, students, schools and families adjust to and cope with special needs. The conceptual framework is based on the eco-systems theory with special focus on social work perspectives.


Themes: History of school social work – context of USA, Europe and Croatia; School social work as profession – roles and functions.

Ethical principles of school social workers; Social workers in pre-school education; Eco-system perspective; Student focused interventions (behavior problems, social problems, students with disabilities); Case study from perspective of social work in education – assessments, planning and interventions; Work with families – monitoring, planning and interventions; Work in interdisciplinary team; Social work in education in Croatia – perspectives and challenges.


Development of general and specific skills and knowledge: During this course students will achieve the knowledge and skills unique for the area of social work in education (work in schools and pre-schools) as follows: a) Competences for work with children and youth in purpose to meet the best conditions for their success on both socialization and academic level; b) Negotiation skills for establishing the cooperation between pre-schools, schools, families and local communities; c) Assessment skills for work with children with specific needs, interests and problems; d) School social work practice with families and local communities; e) Skills for team work in pre-schools and schools.


Exam: written and oral.


  • Constable, R., Massat, C.R., McDonald, S., & Flynn, J. (2006). School Social Work: Practice, Policy, and Research. (6th Ed.), Chicago: Lyceum Press.

  • Dupper, D. R. (2003) School social work; skills & Interventions for effective Practice. John Wiley &Sons, Inc. Hoboken. New Jersey.



Professor: Marina Ajduković


Course description:

This course covers the topic of violence in intimate partner relationships of adolescents. The aim is to familiarize the students with theoretical explanations, causes, forms, prevalence, incidence, and forms of combating violence in intimate relationships and to develop their professional attitudes and skills that are required for conducting prevention programs.


Themes: Definition and forms of intimate partner violence and family violence. Intergenerational transfer of family violence. The dynamics of intimate partner violence. Health, social and psychological consequences of exposure to violence. Crisis interventions with victims of violence. Inter-professional cooperation and networking of services for victims and perpetrators of violence. Experts’ attitudes and beliefs. Specificities of violence in adolescent relationships. Preventive activities with adolescents. Gender and feminist perspective. Contemporary research.


Development of general and specific skills and knowledge: Understanding intimate partner violence and family violence as a form of violation of basic human rights. Understanding the causes and dynamics of intimate partner violence. Mastering the skills of recognizing violence and establishing contact with the victim. Understanding the importance of prevention of violent behaviors in relationships of adolescents, who are a group that students will often encounter in their future professional work. Students will be enabled to develop and implement preventive workshops on intimate partner violence in adolescent relationships.


Exam: A critical essay about their experiences during the implementation of the preventive workshops



  • Ajduković, D., Ajduković, M., Cesar, S., Kamenov, Ž., Löw A., Sušac, N. (2010) Prevention of violence in adolescent relationships – Manual for program implementation. Zagreb: Društvo za psihološku pomoć.

  • Fredland, N.M., Ricardo, I.B., Campbell, J.C., Sharps, P.W., Kub, J.K., Yonas, M. (2005). The Meaning of Dating Violence in the Lives of Middle School Adolescents: A Report of a Focus Group Study. Journal of School Violence, 4(2), 95-114.

  • Jonson-Reid, M., Scott, L.D.Jr., McMillen, J.C., Edmond, T. (2007). Dating violence among emancipating foster youth. Children and Youth Services Review. 29, 557-571.

  • Josephson, W.L. and Proulx, J.B. (2008). Violence in Young Adolescents’ Relationships: A Path Model. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 23(2), 189-208.

  • Ibabe, I., Jaureguizar, J., Diaz, O. (2009). Adolescent Violence against Parents. Is it really a consequence of gender inequality? European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context. 1(1), 3-24.

  • Manganello, J.A. (2008). Teens, dating violence, and media use. A Review of the Literature and Conceptual Model for Future Research. Trauma, Violence and Abuse. 9(1), 3-18.

  • Marcus, R.F. (2007). Aggression and Violence in Adolescence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Noonan, R.K. and Charles, D. (2009). Developing Teen Dating Violence Prevention Strategies. Violence Against Women. 15(9), 1087-1105.

  • Pittman, A.L., Wolfe, D.A., Wekerle, C. (2000). Strategies for Evaluating Dating Violence Prevention Programs. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. 4(1), 217-238.

  • Ruiz, J., Exposito, F. and Bonache, H. (2010). Adolescent witnesses in cases of teen dating violence: an analysis of peer responses. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context. 2(1), 37-53.


Additional literature:

Current papers from domestic and international periodicals.

Current research.



Professor: Vanja Branica


Course description:

Development of Social Work in Croatia through the different economic, social and political settings since the end of 19 century.


Themes: Main topics include prehistory of social work in Croatia, conceptualization of social problems, role of charity organizations and their services, different type of helping activities, individuals important for social work development, social work education, gender issues and social work development, child welfare history, hidden history of social work, social policy and important welfare laws.


Development of general and specific skills and knowledge: Students will upgrade their knowledge about development of social work profession specific with the knowledge about the development of social work in Croatia. Students will learn about social problems that existed through 20 century and the ways society coped with social issues. They will also learn about development of child care in Croatia. Social work development will be discussed regarding gender issues. Students will gain knowledge about important individuals that contributed to the development of social work profession.




  • Marijana Majdak & Melita Richter (2006). History of Social Work in Croatia, 1900-1960, Final Report of Research Project

  • Ajduković, M. & Branica, V. (2009). Some Reflections on Social Work in Croatia (1945 -1989). U: Hering S. (ed.): Social Care under State Socialism (1945-1989) - Ambitions, Ambiguities, and Mismanagement. Opladen, 249-264.

  • Melita Rihter Malabota (2005). Tatjana Marinic—from antifascism to the care for the needy. In: Schilde, K. & Schulte, D. (eds.) Need and care – Glimpses into Beginnings of Eastern Europe's Professional Welfare. Opladen: Barbara Budrich Publishers

  • Presentations


Additional literature:

Darja Zaviršek (2008). Engendering Social Work Education under State Socialism in Yugoslavia. British Journal of Social Work, 38, 4, 734-750International Social Work



Professor: Nino Žganec


Course description:

The course will contribute to the complementing of the social work curriculum with adding the international perspective


Themes: Current issues in the field of social, economical and ecological development - meaning for social work; International social work: meaning, possibilities, needs and barriers for development; International practice of social workers in the context of the current social problems; Assumptions for running of the international social work practice: organizations, ideology, political processes, theoretical basis; Skills of the social workers included in the international social work practice; Education of the social workers at international level; International scientific researches in social work; Implementation of the foreign practice at the national level: case of Croatia; Individual and group assignments; Individual and group assignments.


Development of general and specific skills and knowledge: Students to be able to follow the current development of social work practice and education in the international perspective, and to elaborate the meaning of the „international social work“ both as a social work field and as a concept, and to prepare the students for the practical work in the field of international social work.


Exam: Students will be graded using the written essays and evaluated by attendance and their personal contribution to the course (discussion, asking the questions, opening of new themas etc.). Written and oral exams will be used at the end of the course.



  • Cox, D. R., Pawar, M.S. & Pawar, M. (2006). International social work: issues, strategies, and programs. London: Sage publications. Poglavlja: International social work (1-25) i The global context of international social work (49-77).

  • Dominelli, L. (2010). Social Work in a Globalizing World. Cambridge: Polity Press. Poglavlja: Human, social and environmental degradation (101-125) i Globalizing the local and localizing the global in practice (127-150)

  • Healy, L. M. (2008). International social work: professional action in an interdependent world. New York: Oxford Univeristy press.: Poglavlja: International Social Work: Why Is It Important and What Is It? The context of international social work: concepts, issues, and organizations (3-134)

  • Xu, Q. (2006). Defining international social work: A social service agency. International Social Work, 49 (6), 679-692.

  • Trygged, S. (2010). Balancing the global and the local: Some normative reflections on international social work. International Social Work, 53 (5), 644-655.

  • Žganec, N. (2013): International Social Work: Internal script prepared for the course using the recent literature.



Professor: Kristina Urbanc


Course description:

Themes: Concept of active learning and critical thinking in social work; Principles, prerequisites and ethics of including users into practice; research and education of social workers; Examples of good practice of the inclusion of users into the theory and practice of social work; Practical work through visits to associations; Writing reports in small groups, presenting reports from practical work in small groups; Conclusion and evaluation. In theoretical and practical part of the course, common participation of users of services and students is anticipated. Their co-operation would be based on principles of partnership learning. The basic idea is that the users and students should learn from each others through this course, both about the theoretical concepts of inclusion and about the application of these concepts in the context of individual associations and social work practice.


Development of general and specific skills and knowledge: The expected outcome of the course for the students is a better insight into the importance of participatory approach and the role of users in service planning, as well as theoretical foundation for their empirical expertise (concepts of inclusion, empowerment, socially beneficial learning).


Exam: Students will take a written mid-term examination covering the theoretical part, and get the second part of the overall grade based on their active participation in outreach practice.



  • Urbanc, K. i Kletečki Radović, M. (2007.) Aktivno učenje i kritičko mišljenje u kontekstu supervizijskog, edukacijskog i pomažućeg odnosa. Ljetopis socijalnog rada, (14), 2, 355-367.

  • Ljetopis socijalnog rada, 2009, 16, 3 (one of the articles from thethematic issue, chosen by a student).

  • Koller-Trbović, N. i Žižak, A. (2005) Participacija korisnika u procesu procjene potreba i planiranja intervencija: Socijalno pedagoški pristup. Zagreb: Edukacijsko-rehabilitacijski fakultet.

  • Sewpaul, V. i Jones, D. (2004) Global standards for social work education and training. Social Work education, 23, 5, 493-513.

  • Beresford, P., Branfield, F., Taylor, J., Brennan, M. Sartori, A., Lalani and Wise, G. (2006) Working together for Better Social Work Education. Social Work Education, 25, 4, 326-331.



Professor: Marijana Majdak

Course description:

The course will be consisted of lectures based on critical thinking and active learning about juveniles in conflict with the law as well as on field work and practical learning in contact with social workers and other professionals who take part in conducting of educational measures with juvenile offenders, then also in contact and practical work with juvenile offenders.


Themes: Contemporary explanation of juvenile delinquency; Juvenile criminal acts; Gender differences; Court procedure and Juvenile law; Educational measures (non-institutional and institutional); Social work and conducting educational measures; Types of institutions for juveniles in conflict with the law; Perspectives of juvenile delinquents as users of social care system; Alternative possibilities for juveniles in conflict with the law, probation.



Development of general and specific skills and knowledge: Observation skills for the professional social work with juveniles in conflict with the law; Communication skills for the professional social work with juveniles in conflict with the law; Evidence-based intervention strategies to help youth, families, schools, and communities with juvenile delinquency problems; Consultation and collaboration with parents, teachers, social workers and other professionals who work with youth in conflict with the law; Developing, writing and monitoring Behavioral Assessments, Behavioral Intervention Plans, and Individual Rehabilitation Plans; Advocacy for the needs of juvenile offenders and their families; Skills of conducting educational measures.


Exam: Students will take a written mid-term examination covering the theoretical part, and get the second part of the overall grade based on their active participation in outreach practice.

Literature (required):

  • Majdak, M: Internal script prepared for foreign students who will attend elective course.


Additional literature:

  • Siegel, L.J. i Welsh, B.C. (2012.) Juvenile delinquency: Theory, Practice and Law. Belmont, USA, Wadsworth.

  • Siegel, L.J. i Welsh, B.C. (2010.) Juvenile delinquency: The Core. Belmont, USA, Wadsworth 457 str.

  • Whitehead, J. T. i Lab, S. P. Juvenile Justice: An Introduction. Belmont, USA, Wadsworth. 484 str.

  • Shoemaker, D. J., (2009), Juvenile Delinquency, USA. Virginia. Rowman and Littlefield .

  • Shoemaker, D. J. (2005.) Theories of Delinquency. Oxford University Press, Fifth edition, 116 str.

  • Roberts, A. R. i Springer, D. W. (2007.) Social Work in Juvenile and Criminal Justice Settings. USA. Charles Thomas Publisher, 438 str. Articles from the web page:

  • Duke, N.N., Borowski, I. W., Pettingell, S. L. i McMorris, B. J. (2011.) Examining Youth Hopelessness as an Independent Risk Correlate for Adolescent Delinquency and Violence. Matern Child Health Journal, 15: 87-97.

  • Zammit, M. A. (2013.) Unemployed Youths behind Bars: Facing the Challenges. Revista de Assistenta Socijala, XII, 1, 145-151.

  • Stepp, S. D., Paradini, D. A., Loeber, R. i Morris, N. A. (2011.) The Relation Between Adolescent Social Competence and Young Adult Delinquency and Educational Attainment Among At-Risk Youth: The Mediating Role of Peer Delinquency. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 56, 8, 457-466.

  • Colman, R.A., Mitchell-Herzfeld, S., Kim, D.K. i Shady, T.A. (2010.) From delinquency to the perpetration of child maltreatment: Examining the early adult criminal justice and child welfare involvement of youth released from juvenile justice facilities. Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 1410-1417.

  • Church, W. T., Tomek, S., Bolland, K.A., Hooper, L.M., Jaggers, J i Bolland, J. M. (2012.) A longitudional examination of predictors of delinquency: An analysis of dana from the Mobile Youth Survey. Children and Youth Service Review, 34, 12, 2400-2408.

  • Mason, W. A., Hitch, J. E., Kosterman, R., McCartney, C. A., Herrenkohl, T. I. i Hawkins, D. (2010.) Growth in adolescent delinquency and alcohol use in relation to young adult crime, alcohol use disorders, and risky seks: a comparison of youth from low-versus middle-income backgrounds. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 51-12, 1377-1385.

  • Steketee, M. i Gruszcynska, B. (2010.) Juvenile delinquency in Six New EU member States. European Journal of Criminal Policy and Research, 16, 111-125.

  • Schwalbe, C. S. i Maschi T. (2009.) Confronting Delinquency: Probations Officers Use of Coercion and Client-Centered Tactics to Foster Youth Compliance. Crime and Delinquency,

  • Wampler, R. S. i Downs, A. B. (2010.) Parent and Peer Attachment in Minority Males at High Risk for Delinquency. Clinical Social Work, 38, 107-119.

  • Peters, C. M. (2011.) Social Work and Juvenile Probation_ Historical Tensions and Contemporary Convergences. Social Work, 56, 4, 355-366.

  • Greene, C., Sprott, J. B. i Jung, M. (2010.) Punishing Processes in Youth Courth: Procedural Justice, Court Atmosphere and Youths View oft he Legitimacy oft he Justice System. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 10, 3, 38, 527-545.


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