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What is SOCIAL WORK? What does SOCIAL WORK mean? SOCIAL WORK meaning - SOCIAL WORK definition - SOCIAL WORK explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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Social Work is both an academic discipline and profession that concerns itself with helping individuals, families, groups and communities enhance their social functioning and overall well-being. Social functioning refers to the way in which people perform their social roles, and the structural institutions that are provided to sustain them. Social work is underpinned by theories of social science and humanitites and guided by principles of social justice, rights, collective responsibility, and respect for diversity, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges, socioeconomic development, social cohesion and enhance well-being. Their engagement with client systems create changes and with communities they may bring about social change. Social work practice is often divided into micro-work, which involves working directly with individuals or small groups; and macro-work, which involves working communities, and within social policy, to create change on a larger scale.
Social work as such began in the 20th century, with roots in voluntary philanthropy and grassroots organizing, but the practice of responding to social needs existed long before then, as evidenced primarily by a long history of private charities and religious organizations. The effects of the Industrial Revolution and the Great Depression developed and clarified popular understanding of social work into a conception of the field that mostly resembles the one that prevails today.
Social work is a broad profession that intersects with several disciplines. However, although social work practice varies both through its various specialties and countries, these social work organizations offer the following definitions.
“Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing." - International Federation of Social Workers
"Social work is a profession concerned with helping individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems. Social work is concerned with individual and personal problems but also with broader social issues such as poverty, unemployment and domestic violence." - Canadian Association of Social Workers
Social work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in legislative processes. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social and economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of all these factors."- National Association of Social Workers
"Social workers work with individuals and families to help improve outcomes in their lives. This may be helping to protect vulnerable people from harm or abuse or supporting people to live independently. Social workers support people, act as advocates and direct people to the services they may require. Social workers often work in multi-disciplinary teams alongside health and education professionals." - British Association of Social Workers.