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Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based
profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from re ...

profession
that concerns itself with individuals,
families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...

families
,
group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represented in language with ...
s,
communities A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, wor ...

communities
, and society as a whole in an effort to meet basic needs and enhance social functioning, self-determination, collective responsibility, optimal health, and overall well-being. Social functioning is defined as the ability of an individual to perform their
social role A role (also rôle or social role) is a set of connected behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the Eng ...
s within their own self, their immediate social environment, and the society at large. Social work applies areas, such as
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly ...
,
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known ...

psychology
,
human biology Human biology is an interdisciplinary area of academic study that examines humans through the influences and interplay of many diverse fields such as human genetics, genetics, human evolution, evolution, human physiology, physiology, anatomy, epidem ...
,
political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of ...
,
health Health, according to the , is "a state of complete physical, and social and not merely the absence of and ".. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Organization''– ''Basic Documents'', Forty-fifth edition, Supplement, October 2006. A var ...

health
,
community development The United Nations defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems." It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, ...
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, and
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was fo ...

economics
, to work with individuals across the lifespan, engage with client
system A system is a group of interacting Interaction is a kind of action that occurs as two or more objects have an effect upon one another. The idea of a two-way effect is essential in the concept of interaction, as opposed to a one-way causal e ...

system
s, conduct assessments, and develop interventions to solve social problems, personal problems, and bring about
social change Social change involves alteration of the social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntingt ...
. Social work practice is often divided into micro-work, which involves working directly with individuals or small groups; and macro-work, which involves working with communities, and fostering change on a larger scale through social policy. Starting in the 1980s, a few universities began social work management programmes, to prepare students for the management of social and human service organisations, in addition to classical social work education. The social work professiondeveloped in the 19th century, with some of its roots in voluntary
philanthropy Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a list of specialized agencies of the ...

philanthropy
and in
grassroots organizing A grassroots movement is one that uses the people in a given district, region, or community as the basis for a political or economic movement. Grassroots movements and organizations use collective action from the local level to effect change at t ...
. However, responses to social needs had existed long before then, primarily from public almshouses, private
charities A charitable organization or charity is an organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being (e.g. educational, religious Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, b ...
and
religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain v ...

religious
organizations. The effects of the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
and of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning . The timing of the Great Depression varied around the world; in most countries, it started in 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s. It was the l ...
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.


Definition

Social work is a broad profession that intersects with several disciplines. 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 knowledge, social work'' ''engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance well-being." –
International Federation of Social WorkersThe International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is the worldwide body for professional social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based professional learning, practice-based profession that concerns itself with individual ...
"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 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 The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) is the national association for the social work profession in Canada. Introduction CASW was founded in 1926 to establish standards of practice for social workers. It has individual members, and 10 p ...
Social work practice consists of the professional application of social 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 the interaction of all these factors." –
National Association of Social Workers The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is a professional organization of social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession that concerns itself with individuals, Family, families, social group, groups, c ...
"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 The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is the largest professional association of registered social workers and qualified care managers in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known ...


History

The practice and profession of social work has a relatively modern and scientific origin, and is generally considered to have developed out of three strands. The first was individual casework, a strategy pioneered by the
Charity Organization Society The Charity Organization Societies were founded in England in 1869 following the ' Goschen Minute' (Poor Law Board; 22nd Annual Report (1869–70), Appendix A No.4. Relief to the Poor in the Metropolis. PP XXXI, 1871) that sought to severely restri ...
in the mid-19th century, which was founded by
Helen Bosanquet Helen Bosanquet (''née'' Dendy; 10 February 1860 – 7 April 1925) was an English social theorist, social reformer, and economist. Helen was the wife of English philosopher Bernard Bosanquet (philosopher), Bernard Bosanquet. Biography Early li ...
and
Octavia Hill Octavia Hill (3 December 1838 – 13 August 1912) was an English social reformer A reform movement is a type of social movement Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered so ...

Octavia Hill
in London, England. Most historians identify COS as the pioneering organization of the
social theory Social theories are analytical frameworks, or paradigms, that are used to study and interpret social phenomenon, social phenomena.Seidman, S., 2016. Contested knowledge: Social theory today. John Wiley & Sons. A tool used by social scientists, soc ...
that led to the emergence of social work as a professional occupation. COS had its main focus on individual casework. The second was social administration, which included various forms of poverty relief – 'relief of paupers'. Statewide poverty relief could be said to have its roots in the English
Poor Laws In English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World langu ...
of the 17th century but was first systematized through the efforts of the Charity Organization Society. The third consisted of social action – rather than engaging in the resolution of immediate individual requirements, the emphasis was placed on political action working through the community and the group to improve their social conditions and thereby alleviate poverty. This approach was developed originally by the Settlement House Movement. This was accompanied by a less easily defined movement; the development of institutions to deal with the entire range of social problems. All had their most rapid growth during the nineteenth century, and laid the foundation basis for modern social work, both in theory and in practice.Popple, Philip R. and Leighninger, Leslie. Social Work, Social Welfare, American Society. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2011. Print. Professional social work originated in 19th century England, and had its roots in the social and economic upheaval wrought by the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
, in particular, the societal struggle to deal with the resultant mass urban-based
poverty Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expresse ...

poverty
and its related problems. Because poverty was the main focus of early social work, it was intricately linked with the idea of
charity Charity may refer to: Giving * Charitable organization or charity, a non-profit organization whose primary objectives are philanthropy and social well-being * Charity (practice), the practice of being benevolent, giving and sharing * Charity (virtu ...
work. Other important historical figures that shaped the growth of the social work profession are
Jane Addams Laura Jane Addams (September 6, 1860 May 21, 1935) was an American Settlement movement, settlement activist, Social reform, reformer, social worker, sociologist, public administrator and author. She was an important leader in the history of so ...

Jane Addams
, who founded the
Hull House Hull House was a settlement house The settlement movement was a reformist social movement that began in the 1880s and peaked around the 1920s in England and the United States. Its goal was to bring the rich and the poor of society together ...
in Chicago and won the
Nobel Peace Prize The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 Decemb ...
in 1931; Mary Ellen Richmond, who wrote ''Social Diagnosis'', one of the first social workbooks to incorporate law, medicine, psychiatry, psychology, and history; and
William Beveridge William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron Beveridge, (5 March 1879 – 16 March 1963) was a British economist and Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by c ...
, who created the social welfare state, framing the debate on social work within the context of social welfare provision.


United States

During the 1840s,
Dorothea Lynde Dix Dorothea Lynde Dix (April 4, 1802July 17, 1887) was an American advocate on behalf of the indigent insane, mentally ill who, through a vigorous and sustained program of lobbying state legislatures and the United States Congress, created the fi ...
, a retired Boston teacher who is considered the founder of the Mental Health Movement, began a crusade that would change the way people with mental disorders were viewed and treated. Dix was not a social worker; the profession was not established until after she died in 1887. However, her life and work were embraced by early psychiatric social workers, and she is considered one of the pioneers of psychiatric social work along with Elizabeth Horton, who in 1907 was the first psychiatric social worker in the New York hospital system, and others. The early twentieth century was a time of progressive change in attitudes towards mental illness. The Community Mental Health Centers Act was passed in 1963. This policy encouraged the
deinstitutionalisation Deinstitutionalisation (or deinstitutionalization) is the process of replacing long-stay psychiatric hospital Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental health units or behavioral health units, are hospital A hospital is a health care ins ...
of people with mental illness. Later, the mental health consumer movement came by 1980s. A consumer was defined as a person who has received or is currently receiving services for a psychiatric condition. People with mental disorders and their families became advocates for better care. Building public understanding and awareness through consumer advocacy helped bring mental illness and its treatment into mainstream medicine and social services. The 2000s saw the managed care movement, which aimed at a health care delivery system to eliminate unnecessary and inappropriate care to reduce costs, and the recovery movement, which by principle acknowledges that many people with serious mental illness spontaneously recover and others recover and improve with proper treatment. Social workers made an impact with
2003 invasion of Iraq The 2003 invasion of Iraq was the first stage of the Iraq War The Iraq WarThe conflict is also known as the Second Gulf War or the Third Gulf War by those who consider the Iran–Iraq War the first Gulf War. The war was also called the ...
and
War in Afghanistan (2001–present) War in Afghanistan, Afghan war, or Afghan civil war may refer to: * Conquest of Afghanistan by Alexander the Great (330 BC – 327 BC) *Muslim conquests of Afghanistan The Muslim conquests of Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto/Dari languag ...
; social workers worked out of
NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance A military alliance is a formal agreement betwe ...
hospitals in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
and bases. They made visits to provide counseling services at forward operating bases. Twenty-two percent of the clients were diagnosed with
posttraumatic stress disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental Mental may refer to: * of or relating to the mind Films * Mental (2012 film), ''Mental'' (2012 film), an Australian comedy-drama * Mental (2016 film), ''Mental'' (2016 film), a Bangladeshi ...
, 17 percent with depression, and 7 percent with
alcohol use disorder Alcoholism is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol (drug), alcohol that results in significant Mental health, mental or physical health problems. Alcoholism is not a recognized diagnostic entity. Predominant diagnostic classifications are alcoho ...
. In 2009, there was a high level of
suicide Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition t ...

suicide
s among active-duty soldiers: 160 confirmed or suspected Army suicides. In 2008, the Marine Corps had a record 52 suicides. The stress of long and repeated deployments to war zones, the dangerous and confusing nature of both wars, wavering public support for the wars, and reduced troop morale all contributed to escalating mental health issues. Military and civilian social workers served a critical role in the veterans' health care system. Mental health services, is a loose network of services ranging from highly structured
inpatient A patient is any recipient of health care Health care, health-care, or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the preventive healthcare, prevention, diagnosis, therapy, treatment, recovery, or cure of disease, illness, injur ...
psychiatric units to informal support groups, where psychiatric social workers indulges in the diverse approaches in multiple settings along with other
paraprofessional Paraprofessional is a title given to individuals in various occupational fields, such as education, healthcare, engineering, and law. Historically, paraprofessionals assisted the master professional of their field. In more recent times, paraprofessi ...
workers.


Canada

A role for psychiatric social workers was established early in Canada's history of service delivery in the field of population health. Native North Americans understood mental trouble as an indication of an individual who had lost their equilibrium with the sense of place and belonging in general, and with the rest of the group in particular. In native healing beliefs, health and mental health were inseparable, so similar combinations of natural and spiritual remedies were often employed to relieve both mental and physical illness. These communities and families greatly valued holistic approaches for preventive health care. Indigenous peoples in Canada have faced cultural oppression and social marginalization through the actions of European colonizers and their institutions since the earliest periods of contact. Culture contact brought with it many forms of depredation. Economic, political, and religious institutions of the European settlers all contributed to the displacement and
oppression Oppression is malicious or unjust Injustice is a quality relating to unfairness or undeserved outcomes. The term may be applied in reference to a particular event or situation, or to a larger status quo or is a Latin phrase meaning the ex ...

oppression
of
indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
people. The first officially recorded treatment practices were in 1714, when
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
opened wards for the mentally ill. In the 1830s social services were active through charity organizations and church parishes (
Social Gospel The Social Gospel is a social movement A social movement is a loosely organized effort by a large group of people to achieve a particular goal, typically a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. ...
Movement). Asylums for the insane were opened in 1835 in Saint John and New Brunswick. In 1841 in
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

Toronto
care for the mentally ill became institutionally based. Canada became a self-governing dominion in 1867, retaining its ties to the British crown. During this period, age of
industrial capitalism Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership Private property is a legal designation for the ownership of property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to or with ...
began and it led to social and economic dislocation in many forms. By 1887 asylums were converted to hospitals, and nurses and attendants were employed for the care of the mentally ill. The first social work training began at the University of Toronto in 1914. In 1918 Dr. Clarence Hincks and Clifford Beers founded the Canadian National Committee for Mental Hygiene, which later became the Canadian Mental Health Association. In the 1930s Hincks promoted prevention and of treating sufferers of mental illness before they were incapacitated (early detection).
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
profoundly affected attitudes towards mental health. The medical examinations of recruits revealed that thousands of apparently healthy adults suffered mental difficulties. This knowledge changed public attitudes towards mental health, and stimulated research into preventive measures and methods of treatment. In 1951 Mental Health Week was introduced across Canada. For the first half of the twentieth century, with a period of
deinstitutionalisation Deinstitutionalisation (or deinstitutionalization) is the process of replacing long-stay psychiatric hospital Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental health units or behavioral health units, are hospital A hospital is a health care ins ...
beginning in the late 1960s psychiatric social work succeeded to the current emphasis on community-based care, psychiatric social work focused beyond the medical model's aspects on individual diagnosis to identify and address social inequities and structural issues. In the 1980s Mental Health Act was amended to give consumers the right to choose treatment alternatives. Later the focus shifted to workforce mental health issues and environmental root causes. In Ontario, the regulator, the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW) regulates two professions, registered social workers (RSW) and registered social service workers (RSSW). The Ontario Association of Social Workers (OASW) is the professional body of social workers, while the Ontario Social Service Worker Association (OSSWA) is the professional body of social service workers.


India

The earliest citing of mental disorders in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
are from Vedic Era (2000 BC – AD 600). Charaka Samhita, an ayurvedic textbook believed to be from 400 to 200 BC describes various factors of mental stability. It also has instructions regarding how to set up a care delivery system. In the same era, Siddha was a medical system in south India. The great sage
Agastya Agastya (Sanskrit: अगस्त्य) was a revered Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South As ...

Agastya
was one of the 18 siddhas contributing to a system of medicine. This system has included the Agastiyar Kirigai Nool, a compendium of psychiatric disorders and their recommended treatments. In Atharva Veda too there are descriptions and resolutions about mental health afflictions. In the Mughal period Unani system of medicine was introduced by an Indian physician Unhammad in 1222. The existing form of psychotherapy was known then as ilaj-i-nafsani in
Unani medicine Unani or Yunani medicine ( Urdu: ''tibb yūnānī'') is Perso-Arabic traditional medicine as practiced in Muslim culture in South Asia and modern day Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the w ...
. The 18th century was a very unstable period in Indian history, which contributed to psychological and social chaos in the Indian subcontinent. In 1745, lunatic asylums were developed in Bombay (Mumbai) followed by Calcutta (Kolkata) in 1784, and Madras (Chennai) in 1794. The need to establish hospitals became more acute, first to treat and manage Englishmen and Indian 'sepoys' (military men) employed by the British East India Company. The First Lunacy Act (also called Act No. 36) that came into effect in 1858 was later modified by a committee appointed in Bengal in 1888. Later, the Indian Lunacy Act, 1912 was brought under this legislation. A rehabilitation programme was initiated between 1870s and 1890s for persons with mental illness at the Mysore Lunatic Asylum, and then an occupational therapy department was established during this period in almost each of the lunatic asylums. The programme in the asylum was called 'work therapy'. In this programme, persons with mental illness were involved in the field of agriculture for all activities. This programme is considered as the seed of origin of psychosocial rehabilitation in India. Berkeley-Hill, superintendent of the European Hospital (now known as the
Central Institute of Psychiatry Central institute of Psychiatry is an institute that is directly governed by the Government of India. It is situated in Kanke, Ranchi Ranchi (, ) is the capital of the India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ) ...
(CIP), established in 1918), was deeply concerned about the improvement of mental hospitals in those days. The sustained efforts of Berkeley-Hill helped to raise the standard of treatment and care and he also persuaded the government to change the term 'asylum' to 'hospital' in 1920. Techniques similar to the current token-economy were first started in 1920 and called by the name 'habit formation chart' at the CIP, Ranchi. In 1937, the first post of psychiatric social worker was created in the child guidance clinic run by the Dhorabji Tata School of Social Work (established in 1936). It is considered as the first documented evidence of social work practice in Indian mental health field. After Independence in 1947, general hospital psychiatry units (GHPUs) were established to improve conditions in existing hospitals, while at the same time encouraging outpatient care through these units. In Amritsar Dr. Vidyasagar instituted active involvement of families in the care of persons with mental illness. This was advanced practice ahead of its times regarding treatment and care. This methodology had a greater impact on social work practice in the mental health field especially in reducing the stigmatisation. In 1948 Gauri Rani Banerjee, trained in the United States, started a master's course in medical and psychiatric social work at the Dhorabji Tata School of Social Work (now TISS). Later the first trained psychiatric social worker was appointed in 1949 at the adult psychiatry unit of Yerwada Mental Hospital, Pune. In various parts of the country, in mental health service settings, social workers were employed—in 1956 at a mental hospital in Amritsar, in 1958 at a child guidance clinic of the college of nursing, and in Delhi in 1960 at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and in 1962 at the
Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (formerly known as Willingdon Hospital) is a government hospital in New Delhi, India. The hospital was founded, with 54 beds, in 1932 by the British Raj for their own government staff. In 1954, in the newly indep ...
. In 1960, the Madras Mental Hospital (now Institute of Mental Health) employed social workers to bridge the gap between doctors and patients. In 1961 the social work post was created at the NIMHANS. In these settings they took care of the psychosocial aspect of treatment. This system enabled social service practices to have a stronger long-term impact on mental health care. In 1966 by the recommendation Mental Health Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health, Government of India, NIMHANS commenced Department of Psychiatric Social Work started and a two-year Postgraduate Diploma in Psychiatric Social Work was introduced in 1968. In 1978, the nomenclature of the course was changed to MPhil in Psychiatric Social Work. Subsequently, a PhD Programme was introduced. By the recommendations Mudaliar committee in 1962, Diploma in Psychiatric Social Work was started in 1970 at the European Mental Hospital at Ranchi (now CIP). The program was upgraded and other higher training courses were added subsequently. A new initiative to integrate mental health with general health services started in 1975 in India. The Ministry of Health,
Government of India The Government of India (ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requiremen ...
formulated the National Mental Health Programme (NMHP) and launched it in 1982. The same was reviewed in 1995 and based on that, the District Mental Health Program (DMHP) was launched in 1996 which sought to integrate mental health care with public health care. This model has been implemented in all the states and currently there are 125 DMHP sites in India.
National Human Rights Commission A human rights commission, also known as a human relations commission, is a body set up to investigate, promote or protect human rights Human rights are moral principles or normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, ...

National Human Rights Commission
(NHRC) in 1998 and 2008 carried out systematic, intensive and critical examinations of mental hospitals in India. This resulted in recognition of the human rights of the persons with mental illness by the NHRC. From the NHRC's report as part of the NMHP, funds were provided for upgrading the facilities of mental hospitals. As a result of the study, it was revealed that there were more positive changes in the decade until the joint report of NHRC and NIMHANS in 2008 compared to the last 50 years until 1998. In 2016 Mental Health Care Bill was passed which ensures and legally access to treatments with coverage from insurance, safeguarding dignity of the afflicted person, improving legal and healthcare access and allows for free medications. In December 2016, Disabilities Act 1995 was repealed with Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act (RPWD), 2016 from the 2014 Bill which ensures benefits for a wider population with disabilities. The Bill before becoming an Act was pushed for amendments by stakeholders mainly against alarming clauses in the "Equality and Non discrimination" section that diminishes the power of the act and allows establishments to overlook or discriminate against persons with disabilities and against the general lack of directives that requires to ensure the proper implementation of the Act. Mental health in India is in its developing stages. There are not enough professionals to support the demand. According to the
Indian Psychiatric Society Indian Psychiatric Society (IPS) is the largest association of Indian Psychiatrists. It was founded in 1929 under the banner of Royal Medico Psychological Association. Its current president is Dr P.K. Dalal Founding The organisation holds its ...
, there are around 9000 psychiatrists only in the country as of January 2019. Going by this figure, India has 0.75 psychiatrists per 100,000 population, while the desirable number is at least 3 psychiatrists per 100,000. While the number of psychiatrists has increased since 2010, it is still far from a healthy ratio. Lack of any universally accepted single licensing authority compared to foreign countries puts social workers at general in risk. But general bodies/councils accepts automatically a university-qualified social worker as a professional licensed to practice or as a qualified clinician. Lack of a centralized council in tie-up with Schools of Social Work also makes a decline in promotion for the scope of social workers as mental health professionals. Though in this midst the service of social workers has given a facelift to the mental health sector in the country with other allied professionals.


Transtheoretical models

Social work is an interdisciplinary profession, meaning it draws from a number of areas, such as (but not limited to)
psychology Psychology is the scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known ...

psychology
,
sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly ...
,
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...

politics
,
criminology Criminology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to b ...
,
economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the Branches of science, branch of science devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was fo ...

economics
,
ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
,
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
,
health Health, according to the , is "a state of complete physical, and social and not merely the absence of and ".. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Organization''– ''Basic Documents'', Forty-fifth edition, Supplement, October 2006. A var ...

health
,
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
anthropology Anthropology is the scientific study of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, ...
, and
counseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. This is a list of co ...
, including
psychotherapy Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of Psychology, psychological methods, particularly when based on regular Conversation, personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase happiness, and ove ...
. Field work is a distinctive attribution to social work
pedagogy Pedagogy (), most commonly understood as the approach to teaching, is the theory and practice of learning Learning is the process of acquiring new , , s, s, , attitudes, and s. The ability to learn is possessed by s, s, and some ; there is ...
. This equips the trainee in understanding the theories and models within the field of work. Professional practitioners from multicultural aspects have their roots in this social work immersion engagements from the early 19th century in the western countries. As an example, here are some of the models and theories used within social work practice: *
Empathy Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another's position. Definitions of empathy encompass a broad range of emotional s ...

Empathy
* Social case work * Social group work *
Community organizationCommunity organization or Community Based Organization refers to organizing aimed at making desired improvements to a community's social health, well-being, and overall functioning. Community organization occurs in geographically, psychosocially, cul ...
*
Behavioral Behavior (American English) or behaviour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences) is the Action (philosophy), actions and mannerisms made by individuals, organisms, systems or Arti ...
* School social worker *
Leadership Leadership, both as a research area and as a practical skill, encompasses the ability of an individual, group or organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English; American and B ...

Leadership
and
management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization An organization, or organisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spok ...

management
* Crisis intervention *
Mental health Mental health is "a state of well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to'' someone. So the well-being of a person is what is ultimatel ...

Mental health
*
Cognitive Cognition () refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses". It encompasses many aspects of intellectual function Intellectual functioning refers to the "general men ...
-
behavior Behavior (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Cur ...
al *
Critical Critical or Critically may refer to: *Critical, or critical but stable, medical state Medical state is a term used to describe a hospital A hospital is a health care institution providing patient treatment with specialized medical and nursing s ...
*
Radical Radical may refer to: Arts and entertainment Music *Radical (mixtape), ''Radical'' (mixtape), by Odd Future, 2010 *Radical (Smack album), ''Radical'' (Smack album), 1988 *"Radicals", a song by Tyler, The Creator from the 2011 album ''Goblin (album ...
*
Social insurance Social insurance is a concept where the government intervenes in the insurance market to ensure that a group of individuals are insured or protected against the risk of any emergencies that lead to financial problems. This is done through a proc ...
*
Ecological Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biology ...
*
Equity theory Equity theory focuses on determining whether the distribution of resources is fair to both relational partners. Equity is measured by comparing the ratio of contributions (or costs) and benefits (or rewards) for each person. Considered one of the j ...

Equity theory
* Financial social work *
Motivational interviewing Motivational interviewing (MI) is a counseling approach developed in part by clinical psychologists William R. Miller (psychologist), William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick. It is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavio ...
*
Medical social work Medical social work is a sub-discipline of social work. Medical social workers typically work in a hospital, outpatient clinic, community health agency, skilled nursing facility, long-term care facility or Hospice care, hospice. They work with patie ...
*
Person-centered therapy Person-centered therapy, also known as person-centered psychotherapy, person-centered counseling, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy, is a form of psychotherapy Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) i ...
*
Psychoanalytic Psychoanalysis (from Greek: + ) is a set of theories and therapeutic techniques"What is psychoanalysis? Of course, one is supposed to answer that it is many things — a theory, a research method, a therapy, a body of knowledge. In what might ...
*
Psychodynamic Psychodynamics, also known as psychodynamic psychology, in its broadest sense, is an approach to psychology that emphasizes systematic study of the psychological forces that underlie human behavior, feelings, and emotions and how they might relate ...
*
Existential Existentialism ( or ) is a form of philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centers on the lived experience of the thinking, feeling, acting individual. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting ...
*
Humanistic Humanism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the ...
*
SociotherapySociotherapy is a social science and form of social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession that concerns itself with individuals, Family, families, social group, groups, communities and society as a whole in an ...
*
Brief psychotherapy Brief psychotherapy (also brief therapy, planned short-term therapy) is an umbrella term for a variety of approaches to short-term, solution-oriented psychotherapy Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of p ...
or solution-focused approach *
Recovery approachThe recovery model, recovery approach or psychological recovery is an approach to mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or imp ...
* Reflexivity *
Social exchange Social exchange theory is a sociological Sociology is the study of society A society is a Social group, group of individuals involved in persistent Social relation, social interaction, or a large social group sharing the same spatial or ...
*
Welfare economics Welfare economics is a branch of economics that uses microeconomics, microeconomic techniques to evaluate well-being (welfare) at the aggregate (economy-wide) level. Attempting to apply the principles of welfare economics gives rise to the fiel ...
* Anti-oppressive practice *
Psychosocial rehabilitation Psychiatric rehabilitation, also known as psych social rehabilitation, and sometimes simplified to psych rehab by providers, is the process of restoration of community functioning and well-being of an individual diagnosed in mental health or emotion ...
*
Cognitive behavioral therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psycho-social intervention that aims to reduce symptoms of various mental health conditions, primarily depression and anxiety disorders. CBT focuses on challenging and changing cognitive distortions (e.g ...
*
Dialectical behavior therapy Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of psychological methods, particularly when based on regular personal interaction with adults, t ...
*
Systems theory Systems theory is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several other fields ...
* Strength-based practice * Task-centered *
Family therapy Family therapy (also referred to as family counseling, family systems therapy, marriage and family therapy, couple and family therapy) is a branch of psychology that works with family, families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture cha ...
*
Advocacy Advocacy is an activity Activity may refer to: * Action (philosophy), in general * Human activity: human behavior, in sociology behavior may refer to all basic human actions, economics may study human economic activities and along with cyber ...

Advocacy
*
Prevention science Prevention science is the application of a scientific methodology Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spok ...
*
Project management Project management is the process of leading the work of a team A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal A goal is an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (f ...
*
Program evaluation Program evaluation is a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency. In both the public and private sectors, Pr ...
and
performance measurementPerformance measurement is the process of collecting, analyzing and/or reporting information regarding the performance A performance is an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment. It is also defined as the actio ...
*
Systems thinking Systems thinking is a way of making sense of the complexity of the world by looking at it in terms of wholes and relationships rather than by splitting it down into its parts. It has been used as a way of exploring and developing effective actio ...
*
Community development The United Nations defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems." It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, ...
and *
Positive psychology Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being. It studies "positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions...it aims t ...
*
Social actions In sociology, social action, also known as Weberian social action, is Action (philosophy), an act which takes into account the actions and reactions of individuals (or 'agency (sociology), agents'). According to Max Weber, "Action is "social" inso ...


Profession

American educator
Abraham Flexner Abraham Flexner (November 13, 1866 – September 21, 1959) was an American educator, best known for his role in the 20th century reform of medical Medicine is the science and Praxis (process) , practice of caring for a patient, managing the d ...
in a 1915 lecture, "Is Social Work a Profession?", delivered at the National Conference on Charities and Corrections, examined the characteristics of a profession concerning social work. It is not a 'single model', such as that of health, followed by medical professions such as nurses and doctors, but an integrated profession, and the likeness with medical profession is that social work requires a continued study for professional development to retain knowledge and skills that are evidence-based by practice standards. A social work professional's services lead toward the aim of providing beneficial services to individuals, dyads, families, groups, organizations, and communities to achieve optimum psychosocial functioning. Its seven core functions are described by Popple and Leighninger as: # Engagement — the social worker must first engage the client in early meetings to promote a collaborative relationship # Assessment — data must be gathered that will guide and direct a plan of action to help the client # Planning — negotiate and formulate an action plan # Implementation — promote resource acquisition and enhance role performance # Monitoring/Evaluation — on-going documentation through short-term goal attainment of the extent to which client is following through # Supportive Counseling — affirming, challenging, encouraging, informing, and exploring options # Graduated Disengagement — seeking to replace the social worker with a naturally occurring resource Six other core values identified by the National Association of Social Workers' (NASW) Code of Ethics are: # Service — help people in need and address social problems # Social Justice — challenge social injustices # Dignity and worth of the person # Importance of human relationships # Integrity — behave in a trustworthy manner # Competence — practice within the areas of one's areas of expertise and develop and enhance professional skill A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession's focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Social workers promote
social justice Social justice is justice in terms of the distribution of wealth Wealth is the abundance of valuable financial asset A financial asset is a non-physical asset whose value is derived from a contractual claim, such as deposit (finance), ban ...
and
social change Social change involves alteration of the social order The term social order can be used in two senses: In the first sense, it refers to a particular system of social structures and institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntingt ...
with and on behalf of clients. A "client" can be an individual, family, group, organization, or community. In the broadening scope of the modern social worker's role, some practitioners have in recent years traveled to war-torn countries to provide psychosocial assistance to families and survivors. Newer areas of social work practice involve management science. The growth of "social work administration" for transforming social policies into services and directing activities of an organization toward achievement of goals is a related field. Helping clients with accessing benefits such as unemployment insurance and disability benefits, to assist individuals and families in building savings and acquiring assets to improve their financial security over the long-term, to manage large operations, etc. requires social workers to know financial management skills to help clients and organization's to be financially self-sufficient. Financial social work also helps clients with low-income or low to middle-income, people who are either unbanked (do not have a banking account) or underbanked (individuals who have a bank account but tend to rely on high cost non-bank providers for their financial transactions), with better mediation with financial institutions and induction of money management skills. Another area that social workers are focusing is risk management, risk in social work is taken as Knight in 1921 defined "If you don't even know for sure what will happen, but you know the odds, that is risk and If you don't even know the odds, that is uncertainty." Risk management in social work means minimizing the risks while increasing potential benefits for clients by analyzing the risks and benefits in the duty of care or decisions. In the United States, according to the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA; pronounced ) is a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is charged with improving the quality and availability of treatment and rehabilitative services ...
(SAMHSA), a branch of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), also known as the Health Department, is a cabinet-level executive branch The executive is the branch of government exercising authority in and holding Moral responsibility, r ...
, professional social workers are the largest group of mental health services providers. There are more clinically trained social workers—over 200,000—than psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses combined. Federal law and the National Institutes of Health recognize social work as one of five core mental health professions. Examples of fields a social worker may be employed in are poverty relief, life skills education,
community organizing Community organizing is a process where people who live in proximity to each other come together into an organization that acts in their shared self-interest. Unlike those who promote more-consensual community building, community organizers gen ...
,
community organizationCommunity organization or Community Based Organization refers to organizing aimed at making desired improvements to a community's social health, well-being, and overall functioning. Community organization occurs in geographically, psychosocially, cul ...
,
community development The United Nations defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems." It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, ...
,
rural developmentRural development is the process of improving the quality of life and economic well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to'' someone. So th ...
,
forensics Forensic science, also known as criminalistics, is the application of to and , mainly—on the criminal side—during , as governed by the legal standards of and . Forensic scientists collect, preserve, and analyze scientific during the c ...

forensics
and
corrections In criminal justice 350px, United States criminal justice system flowchart. Criminal justice is the delivery of justice Justice, one of the four cardinal virtues, by Vitruvio Alberi, 1589–1590. Fresco, corner of the vault, studiolo o ...
,
legislation Legislation is the process or product of enrolled bill, enrolling, enactment of a bill, enacting, or promulgation, promulgating law by a legislature, parliament, or analogous Government, governing body. Before an item of legislation becomes law ...
, industrial relations,
project management Project management is the process of leading the work of a team A team is a group of individuals (human or non-human) working together to achieve their goal A goal is an idea In common usage and in philosophy Philosophy (f ...
,
child protection Child protection is the safeguarding of child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human being between the stages of childbirth, birth and puberty, or between the Development of the human body, developmental period of infancy an ...
, elder protection,
women's rights Women's rights are the and s claimed for and s worldwide. They formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the 19th century and the s during the 20th and 21st centuries. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supp ...
,
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
, systems optimization,
finance Finance is a term for the management, creation, and study of money In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corn ...
, addictions rehabilitation,
child development Child development involves the biological Biology is the natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, b ...
, cross-cultural mediation,
occupational safety and health Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or occupational safety, is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety Safety is the state of being "safe ...
,
disaster management Emergency management is the organization and management of the resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian Humanitarianism is an active belief in the value of human life, whereby human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are ...
,
mental health Mental health is "a state of well-being Well-being, also known as ''wellness'', ''prudential value'' or ''quality of life'', refers to what is intrinsically valuable relative ''to'' someone. So the well-being of a person is what is ultimatel ...

mental health
, psychosocial therapy,
disabilities A disability is any condition that makes it more difficult for a person to do certain activities or effectively interact with the world around them (socially or materially). These conditions, or impairments, may be cognitive Cognition () ...
, etc.


Roles and functions

Social workers play many roles in mental health settings, including those of case manager,
advocate An advocate is a professional in the field of law. Different countries' legal systems use the term with somewhat differing meanings. The broad equivalent in many English law English law is the common law List of national legal systems, lega ...

advocate
, administrator, and
therapist A therapy or medical treatment (often abbreviated tx, Tx, or Tx) is the attempted remediation of a problem, usually following a . As a rule, each therapy has and s. There are many different types of therapy. Not all therapies are . Many ...
. The major functions of a psychiatric social worker are promotion and
prevention Prevention may refer to: Health and medicine * Preventive healthcare Preventive healthcare, or prophylaxis, consists of measures taken for disease prevention.Hugh R. Leavell and E. Gurney Clark as "the science and art of preventing disease, ...
,
treatment Treatment may refer to: * Treatment (song), "Treatment" (song), a 2012 song by * Film treatment, a prose telling of a story intended to be turned into a screenplay * Medical treatment or therapy * Sewage treatment * Surface treatment or surface fi ...
, and
rehabilitation Rehabilitation or Rehab may refer to: Health * Rehabilitation (neuropsychology), therapy to regain or improve neurocognitive function that has been lost or diminished * Rehabilitation (wildlife), treatment of injured wildlife so they can be returne ...
. Social workers may also practice: *
Counseling Counseling is the professional guidance of the individual by utilizing psychological methods especially in collecting case history data, using various techniques of the personal interview, and testing interests and aptitudes. This is a list of co ...

Counseling
and
psychotherapy Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of Psychology, psychological methods, particularly when based on regular Conversation, personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase happiness, and ove ...
* Case management and support services * Crisis intervention *
Psychoeducation Psychoeducation is an evidence-based therapeutic intervention for patients and their loved ones that provides information and support to better understand and cope with illness. Psychoeducation is most often associated with serious mental illness, ...
*
Psychiatric rehabilitation Psychiatric rehabilitation, also known as psych social rehabilitation, and sometimes simplified to psych rehab by providers, is the process of restoration of community functioning and well-being of an individual diagnosed in mental health Mental ...
and recovery * Care coordination and
monitoring Monitoring may refer to: Science and technology Biology and healthcare * Monitoring (medicine) 250px, Display device of a medical monitor as used in anesthesia. In medicine, monitoring is the observation of a disease, condition or one or several m ...
* Program management/administration * Program, policy and resource development * Research and evaluation Psychiatric social workers conduct
psychosocial The psychosocial approach looks at individuals in the context of the combined influence that psychological factors and the surrounding social environment have on their physical and mental wellness and their ability to function. This approach is u ...
assessments of the patients and work to enhance patient and family communications with the medical team members and ensure the inter-professional cordiality in the team to secure patients with the best possible care and to be active partners in their care planning. Depending upon the requirement, social workers are often involved in illness education, counseling and
psychotherapy Psychotherapy (also psychological therapy or talking therapy) is the use of Psychology, psychological methods, particularly when based on regular Conversation, personal interaction, to help a person change behavior, increase happiness, and ove ...
. In all areas, they are pivotal to the aftercare process to facilitate a careful transition back to family and community.


Qualifications

The education of social workers begins with a bachelor's degree (BA, BSc, BSSW, BSW, etc.) or diploma in social work or a Bachelor of Social Services. Some countries offer postgraduate degrees in social work, such as a master's degree (MSW, MSSW, MSS, MSSA, MA, MSc, MRes, MPhil.) or doctoral studies (Ph.D. and DSW (Doctor of Social Work)). Increasingly, graduates of social work programs pursue post-masters and post-doctoral studies, including training in psychotherapy. In the United States, social work undergraduate and master's programs are accredited by the
Council on Social Work EducationThe Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a nonprofit national association in the United States representing more than 2,500 individual members, as well as graduate and undergraduate programs of professional social work education. Founded in 195 ...
. A CSWE-accredited degree is required for one to become a state-licensed social worker. The CSWE even accredits online master's in social work programs in traditional and advanced standing options. In 1898, the New York
Charity Organization Society The Charity Organization Societies were founded in England in 1869 following the ' Goschen Minute' (Poor Law Board; 22nd Annual Report (1869–70), Appendix A No.4. Relief to the Poor in the Metropolis. PP XXXI, 1871) that sought to severely restri ...
, which was the
Columbia University School of Social Work The Columbia University School of Social Work is affiliated with Columbia University Columbia University (also known as Columbia, and officially as Columbia University in the City of New York) is a Private university, private Ivy League res ...
's earliest entity, began offering formal "social philanthropy" courses, marking both the beginning date for social work education in the United States, as well as the launching of professional social work. Several countries and jurisdictions require
registration A register is an authoritative list of one kind of information. Register or registration may refer to: Arts entertainment, and media Music * Register (music), the relative "height" or range of a note, melody, part, instrument, etc. * ''Regist ...
or
licensure Licensure means a restricted practice or a restriction on the use of an occupational title, requiring a license. A license created under a "practice act" requires a license before performing a certain activity, such as driving a car on public road ...
of people working as social workers, and there are mandated
qualifications Qualification is either the process of qualifying for an achievement, or a credential attesting to that achievement, and may refer to: * Professional qualification, attributes developed by obtaining academic degrees or through professional experi ...
. In other places, a professional association sets academic requirements for admission to the profession. The success of these professional bodies' efforts is demonstrated in that these same requirements are recognized by employers as necessary for employment.


Professional associations

Social workers have several professional associations that provide ethical guidance and other forms of support for their members and social work in general. These associations may be international, continental, semi-continental, national, or regional. The main international associations are the
International Federation of Social WorkersThe International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) is the worldwide body for professional social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based professional learning, practice-based profession that concerns itself with individual ...
(IFSW) and the
International Association of Schools of Social Work The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) is the worldwide association of schools of social work, other tertiary level social work educational programs, and social work educators. The IASSW promotes the development of social wo ...
(IASSW). The largest professional social work association in the United States is the
National Association of Social Workers The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is a professional organization of social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession that concerns itself with individuals, Family, families, social group, groups, c ...
. There also exist organizations that represent
clinical social workClinical social work is a specialty within the broader profession of social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession that concerns itself with individuals, Family, families, social group, groups, communities and so ...
ers such as the American Association of Psychoanalysis in Clinical Social Work. AAPCSW is a national organization representing social workers who practice psychoanalytic social work and psychoanalysis. There are also several states with Clinical Social Work Societies which represent all social workers who conduct psychotherapy from a variety of theoretical frameworks with families, groups, and individuals. The Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA) is a professional organization for social workers who practice within the community organizing, policy, and political spheres. In the UK, the professional association is the
British Association of Social Workers The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is the largest professional association of registered social workers and qualified care managers in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known ...
(BASW) with just over 18,000 members (as of August 2015). The Code of Ethics of the US-based
National Association of Social Workers The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is a professional organization of social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession that concerns itself with individuals, Family, families, social group, groups, c ...
provides a code for daily conduct and a set of principles rooted in six core values: service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.


Trade unions representing social workers

In the United Kingdom, just over half of social workers are employed by local authorities, and many of these are represented by
UNISON Unison, stylised as UNISON, is the largest trade union A trade union (or a labor union in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varie ...
, the public sector employee union. Smaller numbers are members of the Unite the Union and the GMB. The British Union of Social Work Employees (BUSWE) has been a section of the trade union
Community A community is a social unit The term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the location, size, or scale of a research target. "Level of analysis" is distinct from the term "unit of observation" in that the former refer ...
since 2008. While at that stage, not a union, the
British Association of Social Workers The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) is the largest professional association of registered social workers and qualified care managers in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known ...
operated a professional advice and representation service from the early 1990s. Social Work qualified staff who are also experienced in employment law and industrial relations provide the kind of representation you would expect from a trade union in the event of a grievance, discipline or conduct matters specifically in respect of professional conduct or practice. However, this service depended on the goodwill of employers to allow the representatives to be present at these meetings, as only trade unions have the legal right and entitlement of representation in the workplace. By 2011 several councils had realized that they did not have to permit BASW access, and those that were challenged by the skilled professional representation of their staff were withdrawing permission. For this reason BASW once again took up trade union status by forming its arms-length trade union section, Social Workers Union (SWU). This gives the legal right to represent its members whether the employer or
Trades Union Congress The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is a national trade union center, national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing the majority of trade unions. There are 48 affiliated unions, with a total of about 5. ...
(TUC) recognizes SWU or not. In 2015 the TUC was still resisting SWU application for admission to congress membership and while most employers are not making formal statements of recognition until the TUC may change its policy, they are all legally required to permit SWU (BASW) representation at internal discipline hearings, etc.


Use of information technology in social work

Information technology is vital in social work, it transforms the documentation part of the work into electronic media. This makes the process transparent, accessible and provides data for analytics. Observation is a tool used in social work for developing solutions. Anabel Quan-Haase in Technology and Society defines the term surveillance as "watching over" (Quan-Haase. 2016. P 213), she continues to explain that the observation of others socially and behaviorally is natural, but it becomes more like surveillance when the purpose of the observation is to keep guard over someone (Quan-Haase. 2016. P 213). Often, at the surface level, the use of surveillance and surveillance technologies within the social work profession is seemingly an unethical invasion of privacy. When engaging with the social work code of ethics a little more deeply, it becomes obvious that the line between ethical and unethical becomes blurred. Within the social work code of ethics, there are multiple mentions of the use of technology within social work practice. The one that seems the most applicable to surveillance or artificial intelligence is 5.02 article f, "When using electronic technology to facilitate evaluation or research" and it goes on to explain that clients should be informed when technology is being used within the practice (Workers. 2008. Article 5.02).


Social workers in literature

In 2011, a critic stated that "novels about social work are rare", and as recently as 2004, another critic claimed to have difficulty finding novels featuring a main character holding a
Master of Social Work The Master of Social Work (MSW) is a master's degree A master's degree (from Latin ) is an academic degree awarded by University, universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a spec ...
degree. However, social workers have been the subject of many novels, including: * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The basis of the movie '' Precious''. * Smith, Ali (2011) ''
There But For The ''There But For The'' is a 2011 novel in Scotland, novel by Scottish author Ali Smith, first published in the UK by Hamish Hamilton and in the US by Pantheon Books, Pantheon, and set in 2009 and 2010 in Greenwich, London. It was cited by both ''T ...
'', Hamish Hamilton, Pantheon. * *


Fictional social workers in media

Yahya Rahman


See also

*
Addiction medicine Addiction medicine is a medical subspecialty that deals with the diagnosis, prevention, evaluation, treatment, and Drug rehabilitation, recovery of persons with Substance dependence, addiction, of those with Substance-related disorder, substance- ...
*
Approved mental health professional The role of approved mental health professional (AMHP) in the United Kingdom was created in the 2007 amendment of the Mental Health Act 1983 to replace the role of ''approved social worker'' (ASW). The role is broadly similar to the role of the app ...
*
Clinical social workClinical social work is a specialty within the broader profession of social work Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession that concerns itself with individuals, Family, families, social group, groups, communities and so ...
*
Child welfare Child protection is the safeguarding of children from violence, exploitation, abuse, and neglect. Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child provides for the protection of children in and out of the home. One of the ways to en ...
*
Community development The United Nations defines community development as "a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems." It is a broad concept, applied to the practices of civic leaders, activists, ...
* Critical social work *
Development studiesDevelopment studies is an interdisciplinary branch of social science. Development studies is offered as a specialized master's degree in a number of reputed universities across the world, such as the University of Cambridge, the London School of ...
* Education in social work * Forensic social work *
Gerontology Gerontology is the study of the social, cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, c ...
* Humanistic social work *
Human resource management Human resource management (HRM or HR) is the strategic approach to the effective and efficient management of people in a company or organization such that they help their business gain a competitive advantage In business, a competitive advantage ...
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Human services Human services is an interdisciplinary field of study with the objective of meeting human needs through an applied knowledge base, focusing on prevention as well as remediation of problems, and maintaining a commitment to improving the overall qual ...
* '' International Social Work'' * Jocelyn Hyslop *
Mental health professional#REDIRECT Mental health professional A mental health professional is a health care practitioner or social and human services provider who offers services for the purpose of improving an individual's mental health Mental health, defined by the ...
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Recreational therapy According to the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), recreational therapy or therapeutic recreation (TR) is a systematic process that utilizes recreation (leisure) and other activities as interventions to address the assessed needs ...
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Right to an adequate standard of living The right to an adequate standard of living is a fundamental human rights, human right. It is part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly, General Assembly of the United Nations on Dec ...
* Social development * Social planning *
Social psychology Social psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern scienc ...

Social psychology
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Social research Social research is a research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topi ...

Social research
* '' Social Scientist'' *
Social work with groups Social work with groups represents a broad domain of direct social work practice (Garvin, Gutierrez & Galinskey, 2004). Social workers work with a variety of groups in all settings in which social work is practiced. While some have proposed that so ...
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Urban development Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the culture of towns and cities Urban may also refer to: General * Urban (name), a list of people ...
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Welfare Welfare (or commonly, social welfare) is a type of government support intended to ensure that members of a society can meet basic human needs Maslow's hierarchy of needs is an idea in psychology Psychology is the science of mind and ...


References


Further reading

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External links


Social Work, WCIDWTM - The University of Tennessee

Social Work Evaluation and Research Resources
{{Authority control Mental health occupations Welfare agencies Welfare and service organizations Academic disciplines Health care occupations Caregiving Civil services