Social work

Academic discipline and profession / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession concerned with meeting the basic needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society as a whole to enhance their individual and collective well-being.[1][2] Social work practice draws from areas, such as psychology, sociology, health, political science, community development, law, and economics to engage with systems and policies, conduct assessments, develop interventions, and enhance social functioning and responsibility. The ultimate goal of social work is the improvement of people's lives and the achievement of social justice.

Quick facts: Occupation, Names, Activity sectors, Descript...
Social work
A social worker communicating with a woman.
Occupation
NamesLicensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Master Social Worker, Licensed Advanced Practicing Social Worker, Registered Social Worker
Activity sectors
Social welfare, social services, government, health, public health, mental health, occupational safety and health, community organization, non-profit, law, corporate social responsibility, human rights
Description
CompetenciesImproving the social environment and well-being of people by facilitating, and developing resources
Education required
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Work, Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSc) or a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work (PGDipSW) for general practice; Master of Social Work (MSW), Master of Science in Social Work (MSSW) for clinical practice; Doctorate of Social Work (DSW) or Professional Doctorate (ProfD or DProf) for or specialized practice; Accredited educational institution; Registration and licensing differs depending on state
Fields of
employment
Child and women protection services, non-profit organizations, government agencies, disadvantaged groups centers, hospitals, schools, churches, shelters, community agencies, social planning services, think tanks, correctional services, labor and industry services
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Social work practice is often divided into three levels. Micro-work involves working directly with individuals and families, such as providing individual counseling/therapy or assisting a family in accessing services. Mezzo-work involves working with groups and communities, such as conducting group therapy or providing services for community agencies. Macro-work involves fostering change on a larger scale through advocacy, social policy, research development, non-profit and public service administration, or working with government agencies.[3] Starting in the 1980s, a few universities began social work management programmes, to prepare students for the management of social and human service organizations, in addition to classical social work education.[4]

The social work profession[5] developed in the 19th century, with some of its roots in voluntary philanthropy and in grassroots organizing.[6] However, responses to social needs had existed long before then, primarily from public almshouses, private charities and religious organizations. The effects of the Industrial Revolution and of the Great Depression of the 1930s placed pressure on social work to become a more defined discipline as social workers responded to the child welfare concerns related to widespread poverty and reliance on child labor in industrial settings.[7][need quotation to verify][8][9]