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Issues » 2018/4 - ERIS Journal - Summer 2018 »

New Paradigms in German Health Promotion – (New) Challenges for Social Work

Anna Lena Rademaker, Katrin Liel

OBJECTIVES: This article addresses the new paradigms in German health promotion, as there is a new law (German Prevention Act) since summer 2015, asking for (new) challenges for social work. THEORETICAL BASE: This so-called “law to empower health promotion and prevention” encourages actors in this field to collaborate and forces the health insurances to put more than 500 million euros per year into a national health fund. The national prevention committee described recommendations on how to invest the money, and defined core areas (for example childcare services, schools, communities and care facilities) and core topics (for example the reduction of health inequalities). METHODS: Theoretical discussion and reflection on the current opportunities and the challenge for social work in health promotion and prevention. OUTCOME and SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Lifeworld orientation in social work is derived as a theoretical framework to reduce health inequalities. Therefore, we focus on “health in everyday life” and discuss to what extend environmental limitations shape health-related agency – people’s real options for action to decide either for or against an action. From a professional perspective it is inevitable to mandate for social work clients and their living environments, to include their agency in all considerations and to consequently address social disadvantaged target groups.

health promotion, lifeworld orientation, health-related agency, German Prevention Act

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