Ayşe Şeyma Turgut Arıkan  (Kocaeli University Department of Social Work)

Topic: Social Work Intervention Needs of the Unemployed: A Qualitative Study at a Public Employment Service in Turkey
Language: English 


Unemployment has been the most important, comprehensive and chronic problem since the Industrial Revolution that happened in 18. Century in almost every economy. Unemployment may jeopardize the well-being of the individuals, their families and the society they live in terms of the social, psychological and economic risks it brings. The rising number of unemployment cases makes the society vulnerable to social conflicts and poverty.
This study aims to show the psychological, social and economic difficulties that unemployed people encounter in their daily lives, and to address their needs for social work interventions.

In this study, phenomenological research with a qualitative research method was used. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 26 unemployed who were registered with a public employment service in Kocaeli province. Datas were selected according to the purposive sampling method. The data were analyzed using descriptive analysis method and by the MAXQDA 18 program.

In the descriptive analysis of the data, three themes emerged: the unemployed’s sense of self and sense of future; the unemployed’s thought towards the causes of unemployment; psychosocial and economic needs of the unemployed. In accordance with the themes, it is seen that unemployed people confront psychosocial and economic hardships such as depression, anxiety, sleep deprivation, distress, social isolation, social exclusion, shame, fear of future, desperation, hopelessness, extreme poverty and family conflicts. They indicated that they need psychological help to decrease their stress levels in the phase of unemployment.

In conclusion, unemployed people need micro, mezzo and macro-social work interventions to moderate their stress and psychical health problems, to solve family conflicts based on unemployment, to fight with poverty that they faced during the unemployment process, and to advocate both workers and unemployed people against violation of rights in labour market.