As quoted by the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle; Man is a social animal, who is born in society, lives in society and dies in society. Society is essential to man. It is an aggregation of individuals linked by defined relationships or patterns of behavior. It is also a complex web of social relations. This relationship is the result of the interaction of social people. Change is an essential aspect of society. When social people struggle to keep up with the pace of social change properly, they are faced with a multi-faceted dilemma that requires professional, knowledge-based and sustainable solutions. To eradicate these problems, social work was born.
Social work is a helping profession which fundamentally aims to help individuals, groups and the community to cope with their tangled socio-economic psychological problems by allowing themselves to solve their problems and possible problems by helping themselves- same. Social work primarily believes in the development of self-reliance and self-reliance in people. Problems are solved systematically through appropriate analyzes of the factors causing several problems. Therefore, it is visualized that social work is a scientific process. Individuals are unique, having different sets of strengths and weaknesses. The social worker applies different methods to different people in order to help them. It is therefore also an art. The discipline of social work is broad and takes many forms. Social work encompasses diverse procedures and methodologies that fall under its huge umbrella.
Have you never thought about various areas in the field of social work?
Well! Prepare to dive into deep learning; to raise awareness, refine your knowledge, unlock several possibilities, demystify certain myths and much more. Discover your area of interest and start your new journey as a social worker!
Family and Child Welfare-
We have often heard people say: Children are the future. It is only after the proper growth and development of children that any country can truly prosper. However, the development of the child can only occur in the true sense if his family is developed. Family development is essential for the development of the child.
Rural and urban well-being (rural and urban development)
Community development is the main motto of rural and urban wellness programs. So, first of all, we have to understand what is community development? The United Nations defines it as “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems”. The main goal of community development is to bring about positive changes in different populations. Moreover, when we talk about community, we are also talking about the need for active participation on their part. A plethora of services are provided to be successful at this currency. He understands; education, health, housing, social development, etc.
Industrial social work (Labor protection activities)
The social worker is constantly working to improve the lives of workers. They play the role of a labor social protection officer and are responsible for welfare in the industry.
The social worker, acting as a labor protection officer, advises and assists the management in providing welfare facilities to workers, for example, canteen, nursery, rest rooms, recreation room, etc. They also interact with government agencies on worker health and safety.
Social medico-social work (hospital or health environment)
In a hospital or healthcare setting, social workers assess the patient’s strengths and weaknesses and take appropriate action. They also coordinate the use of medical, social, educational and vocational measures, in order to help the individual achieve the highest level of functional capacity.
Psychiatric social work (mental health)
A psychiatric social worker prepares case files for diagnosis and assists in the rehabilitation of people with mental illness. They strengthen the ego and educate the sick to adapt properly
School social work (pedagogical framework)
The social worker uses case work and group work methods to solve problems in schools. The social worker provides counseling to students and parents, organizes various health programs, gives sex education to students, provides educational motivation to students, looks after “problem” students, gives career advice to students and provides behavior modification techniques.
Various options are available for pursuing a career in social work. You can choose BSW (Bachelors in Social Work), MSW (Masters in Social Work), M.Phil. in social work and doctorate in social work. Various diploma and certificate courses are available to enhance and enrich your experience as a professional social worker.
Some of the best institutes to graduate from are-
TISS (Tata Institute of Social Sciences), Mumbai
Department of Social Work (University of Delhi), Delhi
Madras School of Social Work (University of Madras), Chennai
Loyola College of Social Sciences (University of Kerala), Thiruvananthapuram
Department of Social Work (Christ University), Bangalore
Faculty of Social Work (Maharaja Sayajirao de Baroda University), Gujarat
Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work (Autonomous), Mumbai
Karve Institute of Social Service (University of Pune), Maharashtra
Department of Social Work, (Jamia Millia Islamia), Delhi
As we have discussed all areas of social work and the respective roles of social workers in each area. It is extremely important to know what attributes one must possess and develop in order to become a social worker in the true sense of the term. Would you like to test yourself a bit? I know, it’s a YES. Let’s start by delving into some attributes and learn exactly what it takes to emerge as a responsible social worker.
Patience – Have we talked about the fact that social work cases can span months or even years? Otherwise, well you know it now! It can be very stressful for the social worker if the patient takes that long to show their progress. Sometimes the problem just keeps getting more complex. Social workers need to be extremely patient to really tackle the root cause of a person’s problems in order to help them.
Empathy – I know, this has to be the most anticipated! It is also the most important. Social workers need to work with vulnerable and emotionally stressed people. Social workers need to empathize with people, regardless of the differences that exist. Knowing what exactly people are going through is essential to the work of the social worker. The ability to do this effectively will make anyone an exceptional social worker.
Organized – Yes, you read that right! Social workers deal with a lot of things. While working on a complex case, the mind is bound to be heavily occupied. Well, social workers can’t afford it. They have to keep a fresh mind in order to absorb the new findings on the client. Social workers need to stay organized in order to focus on the facts that are important.
Persistent – Social work is not child’s play, and social workers know it. They don’t easily give up on their customers because they know they could be their customers’ last resort. They don’t give up, but rather learn from their failures. Social workers must work with perseverance to grasp the thread that connects them to their clients
Flexible- Looking for a 9-5 job! You might want to reconsider social work then. Social workers may be needed to help their clients immediately when needed. To be successful as a social worker, of course, you need to step out of your comfort zone and be flexible.
There is not even an iota of doubt in saying that social work in India still has a long way to go. People don’t even know about social work as a curriculum. There are also a lot of myths about social work that we need to debunk, like; Not everyone who helps the poor or the needy is social workers. Social workers are trained professionals. They are skilled enough to help people solve their problems. Just like other professions, social work also deals with different fields of study, which we have already discussed before.
So, have you decided to be a social worker? If so, congratulations! A multitude of opportunities await you. Be the agent of change and make the changes you’ve always dreamed of.