Career in Social Work
Emerging Areas and Careers in Social Work in India
Social Work is a profession committed to the pursuit of social justice, to quality of life, and to the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in a society.
Professional social workers work in a variety of social settings including grassroots Advocacy Organizations, Personnel Management and Human Resources, Medical and Psychiatric Social Work, Criminology, Urban and Rural Community Development, Family and Child Welfare, Rehabilitation, Probation and Correctional Services, Social Development, Social Planning, Human Rights and Social Duties, Health Education including Sex Education, Consulting Firms and Funding Institutions etc.
Professional Social Workers are generally considered those who hold a professional degree in Social Work which starts with a Bachelor of Social Work (BA or BSW) degree.
However Post Graduate degrees courses like the master’s degree (MA or MSW) and the doctoral degree (PhD or DSW) have immense scope for rising in this field. However the upcoming and emerging areas for the careers in social work which include both government and private sectors jobs including World Bank, ADB, JICA, UNICEF, UNO, ILO etc besides teaching, research and construction and civil engineering consultancy companies.
What is Social Work?
There are a number of complex definitions of social work, but simply, it can be called a profession devoted to alleviate human sufferings and uplift the masses to bring them into the socio – economic fabric of society in respect of its development within their environment.
Social Workers do so by providing counseling and services to clients as well as by working for improved social conditions.
Social – Work tradition is rooted in efforts to meet the needs of the poor, neglected children, child labor, and exploited workers through the better organization of charities.
Today it is facing a great dilemma regarding its goals as well as means. Traditionally, social work has been concerned with solving the psycho – social problems faced by people in their effective social functioning and has been adopting the therapeutic model of providing the required help after conducting the required psychosocial study and making a diagnosis.
This therapeutic model was based on the assumption that the Individual facing psycho – social problems in effective social functioning was himself / herself basically responsible for them. In course of time, particularly because of developments in Sociology and Social Psychology, it became thoroughly clear that the root cause of the problems faced by people lied in the defective social structure and system characterized by uneven distribution of resources, varied kinds of injustices, abuses and exploitations and different types of curtailments imposed upon the freedom of people.
Consequently, today it is widely accepted that social work’s main function is to enhance human well – being and alleviate poverty, oppression and other forms of social injustice.
Social Work in different countries has been striving hard to attain professional status which, unfortunately, it has not been able to achieve till date and can at best be labeled as semi – profession.
As part of its endeavor to attain professional status it is being taught as a separate discipline in Colleges and Universities of different countries, including India, with a view to preparing trained manpower capable enough to help people, specially the underdogs, to lead a life generally lived by others and to cope up with problems in their effective social functioning by working at both the levels of problem affected people as well as various levels of social reality by bringing about the required changes in personality structure as well as social system.
Social Work Courses
Social Work has stopped being the prerogative of few great people who wanted to change the society for better or those who wanted to help the repressed and the underprivileged.
Social Work in today has become a full fledged profession with highly trained professionals. The casual attitude attached with social work has been replaced by a serious professional attitude.
People having compassion for the poor, the deprived and the disadvantaged usually opt for this career. There are institutions that offer full time social work course in India.
But the must – haves for aspirants are the capability of working really hard under precarious working conditions. Undergraduate and Post Graduate Courses on social work are offered by various institutions.
The various courses on offer in Social Work, their duration and qualifications required are as follows :