The word social comes from society meaning “a group of people with a common goal and usually sharing a common way of life.”
Social work is any collective and active participation in a given activity with the aim of achieving broad common objectives of the group.
Others have defined it as “any planned purposeful intervention based on professional knowledge, working skills and values aimed at individual change.”
Social work is concerned with any interaction between people, institutions or society that affects people’s ability to accomplish tasks.
As a profession, social work has methods, skills and knowledge which employs when working with clients.
Mission of Social Work
As a profession, social work is committed to the following:-
- The pursuit of social justice
- The enhancement of quality
- The development of the full potential of the individual, group or community
The purpose of Social Work
- Professional social workers are concerned with social problems
- Their impacts
Social workers work with individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations undertake the purpose of social work.
Areas of Social Work practice
- Hospitals i.e. guiding, counseling services, nurses, matrons etc.
- Schools i.e. nursery schools or health services in schools
- Communities – social workers help vulnerable groups e.g. widows, orphans, people living with AIDS, development groups etc. in communities
- Entrepreneurship – social workers help women groups, youths etc. in income generating activities
- NGOs – they act as coordinators and links between communities and donor agencies
- Government – social workers are employed as civil servants in different ministries
The role of Professional social workers
- Case management – they work with and link with agencies that meet their psycho – social needs
- Medical social work – this include counseling and psycho-therapy
- Human services management e.g. health services, probation.
- Social welfare policy analysis – they work with others to formulate and analyze policies before and after implementation.
- Community organizing – they organize communities to form groups
- Advocacy – they act on behalf of communities or individuals e.g. petitioning the government on their behalf.
- Teaching social work in institutions
- Carrying out social science research – they carry out research on social problems
- Enhancement of capacities of individuals to address their social problems