FUNDAMENTALS OF PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL WORK
Social work is the youngest profession that emerged in the 20th century. As a profession, it is still in its tender age. Though it continues to exist from the very beginning of human civilization as helping activity, has not produced great philosophers of its own. It therefore, uses the philosophical thoughts from other professions and relates those to the basic knowledge and methods applied in its own areas of operation.
Social work as profession is of recent origin in India. The 1936 marks the watershed in the history of professional social work training in India. Professional education for social work in India was first started with the founding of the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work in Bombay in the year 1936. Gradually, it has achieved all the essential characteristics of professional social work with the global standard.
Social work we mean work for the society. Social work is a work by which a social worker can aware individual about their problems, identify their worth & dignity & give a satisfactory and independent life which they can’t get by their own effort.
Friedlander (1951) defined, “Social work is a professional service, based on scientific knowledge and skill in human relations, which assists individuals, alone or in groups, to obtain social and personal satisfaction and independence”.
From Indian and foreign perspectives of social work profession, it can be submitted that: i) Social work is a professional practice which critically involves professional knowledge, skills, tools and techniques for dealing with human behaviour ii) It mainly emphasizes on the analysis and synthesis of human behaviour for establishing a growth-producing relationship iii) It is concerned with individual and social problems which are solved by applying different methods and techniques. iv) As a practice giving much emphasis on social adjustment. v) Its main objective is to help the individuals to become self-dependent. vi) It aims at permanent solution of problems and prevention of their occurring through proactive measures. vii) It relates the available resources with the needs of individuals, groups and community at large. viii) It also integrates and coordinates the means and resources of social development. ix) It believes in democratic values. x) It is based on humanitarian philosophy
Generic objectives of social work: These are generally and universally accepted objectives of social work which basically try: i) To solve psycho-social problems ii) To fulfill humanitarian needs like love, affection, care, etc. iii) To solve adjustmental problems iv) To create self-sufficiency v) To make and strengthen harmonious social relations vi) To make provision of corrective and recreational services vii) To develop democratic values among the people viii) To provide opportunities for development and social progress ix) To conscientize the community x) To change the environment in favour of individual’s growth and development xi) To bring change in the defective social system for social development and xii) To provide socio-legal aid to the needy who cannot afford to meet them.
METHODS OF SOCIAL WORK
The methods of social work will help his/her to understand ways of helping people. Social work methods are:
Primary methods (direct helping method)
1) Social case work
2) Social group work.
3) Community organisation.
Secondary methods (Auxiliary methods)
4) Social work research.
5) Social welfare administration.
6) Social Action
These six social work methods are systematic and planned ways of helping people.
Social case work deals with individual problems- individual in the total environment or as a part of it. An individual is involved in the problem as he is unable to deal with it on his own, because of reasons beyond his control. His anxiety sometimes temporarily makes him incapable of solving it. In any case, his social functioning is disturbed. The case worker gets information regarding the client’s total environment, finds out the causes, prepares a treatment plan and with professional relationship tries to bring about a change in the perception and attitudes of the client.
Social group work is a social work service in which a professionally qualified person helps individuals through group experience so as to help them move towards improved relationships and social functioning. In group work individuals are important and they are helped to improve their social relationships, with flexible programmes, giving importance to the personality development of the individual in group functioning and relationships. The group is the medium and through it and in it, individuals are helped to make necessary changes and adjustments.
Community Organization is another method of social work. Being made up of groups, a community means organized systems of relationships but in reality no community is perfectly organized. Community Organization is a process by which a systematic attempt is made to improve relationships in a community. Identifying the problems, finding out resources for solving community problems, developing social relationships and necessary programmes to realize the objectives of the community are all involved in community organization. In this way the community can become self reliant and develop a co-operative attitude among its members.
Social Welfare Administration is a process through which social work services both private and public, are organized and administered. Developing programmes, mobilizing resources, involving selection and recruitment of personnel, proper organization, coordination, providing skilful and sympathetic leadership, guidance and supervision of the staff, dealing with financing and budgeting of the programmes and evaluation are, some of the functions of a social worker in administration.
Social work research is a systematic investigation for finding out new facts, test old hypotheses, verify existing theories and discover causal relationships of the problems in which the social worker is interested. In order to scientifically initiate any kind of social work programmes, a systematic study of the given situation is necessary, through social work research and surveys.
Social action aims at bringing about desirable changes to ensure social progress. Creating awareness about social problems, mobilizing resources, encouraging different ‘sections of people to raise their voice against undesirable practices, and also creating pressure to bring about legislation are some of the activities of the social workers using the method of social action. It seeks to achieve a proper balance between community needs and solutions mainly through individual and group initiatives and self-help activities.
Values relating to social work Practices
Social work believes in the following values in relation to social work Practice:
1. Social work practice is based on humanitarian philosophy and offers social treatment and psychological education in response to human needs.
2. Social work practice believes in democratic values. It is in the background of philosophy of social justice, equality and fraternity that the methods of social work of social work have been developed by its practitioners.
3. Social work believes in distributive justice. It believes in dividing the fruits of social development among all according to their capacities and aspirations. It also emphasizes to help the unprivileged to face the challenges of their life.
4. Social work believes not only in the solution of the problems of individuals but also in social development.
5. Social work believes in modernization and coping with the changing situations.
6. Social work believes that socio-economic objectives can be achieved through planning.
7. Social work recognizes the concept of welfare state
8. Social work believes Non-violence
Skills of Social Work
1. Skills in Problem identification
2. Skills in Problem solving
3. Skills in analyzing social situation
4. Skills in building and using constructive relationship
5. Skills in appropriate planning
6. Skills in resource mobilization
7. Skills in Programme activities
8. Skills in evaluation
Besides, a social worker is also skilled in:
3. Relating himself to individuals, groups and communities
4. providing effectiveness as a change agent
6. Making conscious use of self
Role of the Social Workers in promoting Social Change
Social workers play numbers of role in the task of bringing about social change in the society, such as:
1. Policy Maker 2. Planner
3. Social Activist 4. Educator
5. Advocate 6. Coordinator
1. Implementer . 8. Philosopher and Guide
9. Watchman 10. Resource Mobilizer
11. Evaluator 12.Volunteer
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