- Andrea SchmelzAndrea SchmelzCoburg University of Applied Sciences and Arts
Helena Radlińska’s (1879–1954) pioneering roles in social work education, political and social activism, and her visionary contribution to theory, practice, and research of social work in Poland and beyond its borders are reviewed. Radlińska’s conceptualization of social work aimed at community development and social change, and addressed the social conditions of individuals as well as their potential. According to Radlińska, social workers assisted in overcoming difficulties by empowering individuals and communities. Hence, education and research in social work needed to build on an interdisciplinary approach and the personal development of students as educators, group facilitators, and community mobilizers. Based on the principle of critical reflection with the self and the world, Radlinka’s social work ouvre outlasted the socialist period and underwent an international renaissance in the postsocialist era. Radlińska has inspired social workers to fight for an inclusive and antipopulist future in Poland’s communities.