What is social work?

What is social work?
Writer: Fatemeh Ja’fari, PhD in social work

The social work was formed when the voluntarily efforts started in Europe and North America since late 19th century and while the economy was developing the poverty and other social problems was addressed as a paradox .

What is social work?

These efforts gradually become scientific and professional so that it could find its professional position in 1930s.
The social work is an action-based and academic major using the theories of social science and Humanities. The knowledge borders of social work can be developed by practice-informed research and research-informed practice so that Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) has introduced skill on research as one of the professional competence for social workers which means they should know not only about any recent research but also do research practices in their specialized fields.

The most important aspect of distinction in social work compared to other professions is the concept of the individual in environment which means the social worker focuses on the components of individual, economy, society, politics and culture and pursues of any individual and social change to access a satisfactory balance and an effective change, so the scope of their activities contains family, other social groups and society.

The social workers can assess their actions as a good and professional practice when act based on knowledge, skills, morality, social values and emotional-cognitive processes. This procedure causes their activities basically gain professional validity; for example, one of the important base of social work is human rights so the strengths approach has a competent position in this profession; the clients have been known as tactful, flexible with a good capacity and principles like respect to human dignity, social justice and individualization matter.

The main goal using social determinants is promotion of social health and welfare, reduction of social poverty and deprivation, efforts to eliminate the oppression for groups at risk; so this profession addresses social issues, solving interpersonal conflicts, human needs and other stuff. The social workers engage community so that they can respond to life challenges and traumatic events and become resilience. They cooperate with other entities to create opportunities for improvement of conditions and development in the society.

The social workers work in a public and psychological hospitals, children and family welfare entities, schools, judicial systems (including prisons, courts,penitentiary centers), private sections, organizations welfare (banks, oil companies).

This profession taught in three academic levels (BA, MA, PhD) passes one of its transition era in order to form its professional and scientific identity and the social workers need to contemplate tactfully about effective procedures on professional development.

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