What’ social work ?
Social and Welfare work means to help the people to tackle their day to day problems. The basic goal of Social work is to prevent or at least alleviate the social problems in the society like social injustice, unemployment, psychiatric counselling, child welfare, destitution, etc.. which have damaging effects. Its about providing support to individuals through removal of barriers amongst the individuals, groups & communities.
Social Work’s core aims :
- “Help people to help themselves”.
- To help individuals & groups to find the best way of achieving goals without subduing anyone to conformity.
- Assist people in solving their emotional, social or eco problems by releasing their natural abilities & creative energies.
Areas of application of Social work.
- Public Assistance.
- Human resources.
- Social Insurance
- Family services.
- Child Welfare.
- Health & Medical Welfare.
- Community Welfare.
- Mental Hygiene.
- Veterans welfare.
- International relations.
Professional Social Work
Professional social work is concerned with psycho social problems. That include personal , family & group problems, such as broken homes, delinquency of crime, mental retardation, loneliness, occupational hazard ness & group conflicts. The operations handled by Professional social workers are..
- Case Work.
- Group work.
- Community organization.
- Social work reform.
- Social action.
- Social Welfare Administration.
Misconceptions of Social Work
- Professional social workers are not people like that of an alm-giving society or a charitable body. Its about putting sustained efforts to regenerate self confidence & self dependency of individuals.
- Most of today’s social concerned people put in – Voluntary physical service (Shramdan) which is only an effort to help the society. Its not actual social work, since it only caters to completion of a task while in social work, the process is put in place to solve the problems. Here the basic aim is to find out an “ adjust-mental solution”.
- Social work is solving problems scientifically, psychologically with emotional content.
- Political workers are not social workers, because they are neither trained in social work profession nor use social work methodology in practice.
To become a good social worker, one needs to have these qualities.
- Empathy, helping nature, coordination & lots of patience.
- Ability to accept situations & take up any challenge.
- Good communication skills, analytical & rational thinking.
- Basic qualities of leadership, team work & innovation.
UG & PG Courses
- BSW / BA – Bachelor’s in Social Work.
Eligibility : Pass in 10+2 with 50% from any board but preference to psychology students.
- MSW – Master’s in Social Work.
Eligibility : Graduate in any stream but preferably with sociology & psychology as options during graduation.
Generally an All India level test is conducted by Universities followed by Interview. Some Institutes offer admissions on the basis of marks obtained in last qualified exam.
Premier Colleges & Universities.
- Tata Institute of social sciences, Mumbai.
- Xavier institute of social science, Ranchi
- Delhi School of Social work, Delhi.
- Bangalore University. Bangalore.
- Osmania University, Hyderabad
- Mangalore University, Univ. Campus, Mangalagangotri
- Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai. University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
- Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
- and many more……
Specializations in Social work
- Medical & Psychiatric Work
This is a very lucrative option in Social work with the services of health, medical, child guidance, child welfare, mental health, psycho-social health, psychiatry, rehabilitation of handicapped & disabled people.
- Human resource development / management.
This sector acts as a prevention service which includes – life insurance, public relations, social legislation, labour welfare, adult education, HR development.
- Community development.
Socio – economic developmental activities, educational & recreational services, urbal & rural development, project for integration.
- Correctional Social Work.
Prison reform, rehabilitation after prison, prevention of prostitution, beggary, delinquencies, removal of untouchability, school social work, etc..
- Labour welfare and industrial relations
Social workers have many options in the labour welfare sections of industries, Govt dept as well as the commercial organizations.
- Child care/family services.
A good social worker keenly interested in children & family welfare can take up services like day care, child care homes, family counseling centers, etc… This includes counseling parents in advising on infancy & guiding them in bringing up children
A social work graduate has a plethora of opportunities after doing the PG – MSW. The above mentioned areas of specialization have many openings for freshers as well as experienced people. Some of the most common job prospects are.
- State & Central govt. Jobs as probation officers.
- Social workers / counselors in Rehabilitation centers, hospitals, counselling centers, Community Development Organizations, helplines, Police dept – counseling centers, etc..
- Welfare officers – Labor, development & training in Public sector factories.
- Personnel Managers / Counselors in Hospitals, psychiatric centers & helpline forums.
- Starting a new N.G.O or associated with programs of community N.G.O (minorities) or National & International bodies like U.N.O, WHO, etc..
- HR manager – training & development, recruitment , outsourcing in HR dept of Companies or HR firms.
I thank Ms. Asya Azhar, MSW, Bangalore University for her vital inputs about a career in social work.
(The author is a Career counselor working with MSW- Career Guidance & Information center, Bangalore. )
Originally Written by Mr. Ameen-E-Mudassar for the Milli Gazette, Dated On 1 August 2005.