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Presentation - What is Social Work?

Presentation by Trish Kane to the Disability Working Group at the NGO Resource Centre, March 25th, 2010.

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Presentation - What is Social Work?

  1. 1. Trish Kane (VSO) Social Work Advisor Department of Social Work & Centre for Social Work Development University of Social Sciences and Humanities 336 Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuan, Ha Noi
  2. 2. This Session will provide ........ An overview of social work internationally (brief history, definition, development) Briefly examine the values necessary to do it Identify the core competencies and skills relevant to social work Explore the history & current development of social work in Vietnam Highlight the recommendations for Social Work development in Vietnam
  3. 3. Definition (IASSW/IFSW) ‘The social work profession promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the point where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work’
  4. 4. Background Developing since late 1800’s in industrial countries Originally based on Charity model Family & community usually managed issues Recognition of complex social problems Moved to more systematic approach Formal education & professional associations created Often the ‘Social Work’ title is legally
  5. 5. Social work....... Bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence based knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation....... The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex social systems and to facilitate individual, organisational, social and cultural change (IASSW/IFSW 2000)
  6. 6. Social Work Education The international recognised standard is now an Undergraduate University Degree Variations often require MASW In many countries professionals often require a licence and registration to practice Practice is monitored by National Associations (80 countries) Associations – provide code of ethics to practice, monitor and sanction unacceptable practice Social Workers are expected to acquire the knowledge skills and values that relate to the vision of SW
  7. 7. What do you learn as a social worker? Values and principles of social work Some skills and knowledge needed to practice Reflective practice (about yourself as a practitioner) KNOWLEDGE (examples) Child development Youth studies Law Counselling Social policy Art/Drama Psychology Case management Sociology Disability studies
  8. 8. SKILLS (examples) Communications (all – verbal, non-verbal, observation, listening, interaction, presentation etc.,) Facilitation Interpersonal Mediation & conflict resolution Planning/Organisation/Time management Analysis & assessment Specific specialist skills e.g. Techniques for working with special groups/individuals Counselling Social research NB skills happen at 3 levels; basic, intermediate & advanced. You must gain experience to progress
  9. 9. Some values underpinning Social Work Rights based approach Anti-oppressive Partnership model Empowerment principles Equality, respect and dignity Participation Networking Collaboration Honesty Trust/integrity
  10. 10. What do professional Social Workers Do? Social workers do many things! SW is a complex activity that often has no absolute solutions. Each case that you deal with is unique to a given situation in time. It is often connected to a set of circumstances that you may not have dealt with previously. Managing a case can be like a ‘drama’ in which the key characters and all factors related to a situation and the environment must be identified before the story continues to a solution. The drama can take a long time to unfold! And indeed, sometimes it may never reach conclusion. It may require you to increase your knowledge & skills to be effective in a particular situation
  11. 11. Who do Social Workers work for/with? Social Workers generally work with people who are; Vulnerable in some way (e.g. street children, older people, PWD) Excluded from all that society generally offers (e.g. isolated, marginalised, minority people) Cannot participate fully in aspects of society (e.g. some women, people living in poverty) Suffer from Stigma & Discrimination (e.g. HIV/AIDS, sex workers, drug addicts) Social Workers often work in the complex social political environment/system that placed people in their situations
  12. 12. Direct work can involve working with Individuals Groups Organisations Communities Families NGO’s Government departments SW’s often work on capacity building, advocacy, community development, training, counselling, lobbying, research, policy development....etc.,
  13. 13. Some Core competencies necessary Solid communication & interpersonal skills Sound theoretical knowledge for stage of professional development Assess needs and circumstances Plan, carry out and review SW practice Support, lobby and advocate Competent case management Manage risk and risk assessments Be accountable and engage in effective supervision and CPD Demonstrate professional practice Critical self reflective practice
  14. 14. Social Work in Vietnam “The development of social work plays an important role in the current context of Viet Nam. With the development of social work Viet Nam is able to alleviate poverty, address social problems effectively, promote greater social justice and equality, and respond to other complicated problems that Viet Nam faces. There is an urgent need to develop social work as a profession.” (Minister of MOLISA, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Da Nang November 2009)
  15. 15. Context of Social Work in Vietnam 1997 early discussions to develop SW in Vietnam Progress a little slow! Led somewhat by the international concerns & commitments to child protection issues 2004 MOET approved a curriculum for university MOET, MOLISA & UNICEF commissioned a research study in 2005 the Human Resource and Training Needs for the Development of Social Work in Vietnam (2005) Recommend establishment of Social Work
  16. 16. Background In the last decade, Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth. While new opportunities and economic benefits have improved the lives of many Vietnamese people, there are ever-increasing gaps between the rich and the poor, and between rural and urban populations. A significant proportion of of the economic benefits go to the richest 20% (UNICEF 2005). Many Vietnamese people continue to live in hardship, and a quarter of children under five are malnourished. This has placed unprecedented pressure on families, and thus children. Consequently, social problems such as family breakdown, homelessness, drug use, sexual and economic exploitation, trafficking and violence are on the rise.
  17. 17. This in turn has contributed to an increased number of abandoned, neglected, abused and exploited children. It is estimated that 9 percent of the total child population, or 2.6 million children are in need of special protection. Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (2008) Economic Growth = new social problems emerge in tandem with economic growth Change in working patterns, family support, urbanisation etc., have led to a decrease in ability to ‘support socially’
  18. 18. Lack of capacity to care for elderly, sick and/or children Often increase in drug & alcohol abuse – leading to increase in domestic violence Children, women and PWD often most vulnerable to poverty Migration to cities can create a multitude of problems Health issues associated with this include increase in mental health problems i.e. Due to isolation, loneliness and demands of industrial society In Vietnam – increase of HIV/AIDS, assoc with men using prostitutes/sex workers and drug misuse
  19. 19. The Reality is that ......... .......many functions of social work have existed in Vietnamese society for years, if not centuries. These functions mainly took the shape of social activities, social mobilization and direct care by volunteers rather than of a professional service with the capacity to respond adequately and systematically to the needs of vulnerable people for prevention, support and protection.
  20. 20. Until now, social work and child protection services have largely been provided by people (often community volunteers), who are either untrained or trained in disciplines other than social work. The services they provide, whether in the community or in institutions, are rarely inspected and monitored and there is little to no supervision and support given to these workers.
  21. 21. Recent Developments Da Nang Conference In an effort to advocate for the recognition of social work as a profession and to improve the quality of social work education MOLISA, supported by UNICEF, Atlantic Philanthropies, Save the Children Alliance and the Irish Embassy, organised a National Conference on Social Work Development in Da Nang on 3/4 November 2009. A team of international experts in social work were invited to provide technical assistance during the process of preparation and organization of the conference.
  22. 22. Outcomes There were many recommendations and commitments from the conference but a key one was given by MOLISA (& partners) to support the development of a National Proposal on Social Work and the integration of social work functions in crucial legal and policy documents, including in the field of social protection and, in particular, child protection. In these efforts MOLISA will continue to cooperate with other Ministries that have an important role to play in social work. A cooperative agreement was also signed
  23. 23. Key Conference Recommendations Enhance the understanding and commitment of policy makers, academics, service providers, and other stakeholders for the development of social work in Viet Nam; Facilitate exchange of knowledge, experience and practice among local, national, and international social work professionals; Establish high quality social work education programmes for graduate, post-graduate and vocational levels Strengthen the capacity of universities and training institutions to effectively implement high quality social work education programmes;
  24. 24. Strengthen the capacity of existing untrained social work “para-professionals” within community and institutional settings, in order for them to provide more professional and effective social work services (on the job training); Develop specific job codes and designated social work positions in a number of agencies and organizations, and develop a comprehensive and effective system of social work services; Increase multi-directional partnerships between international, national, regional, and local efforts in order to further develop and improve social work education, structures and services; Improve professional social work services and social assistance for vulnerable people, by establishing integrated education and cross-sectoral delivery across
  25. 25. Challenges Qualifying Social Workers need a job code & professional recognition (failure will impede development) Recognition and employment of qualified social workers The Social Work model needs to reflect a Vietnamese context Recognise and address the training needs of the ‘para-professional’ level (unqualified but doing it anyway) Collaborate in a partnership approach to SW development in Vietnam Raise the public profile of Social Work in Vietnam (job
  26. 26. Challenges Develop a good model of tertiary social work education Develop a model of social work training for those who are currently doing it Ensure participation ot those relevant to social work development on the consultation process for the Strategic plan
  27. 27. UNICEF Viet Nam website (2009) Country Overview at Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (2008) Report from MOLISA to the Culture and Education Committee for Children and Young People dated October 2008 . Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, Canadian International Development Agency and UNICEF Viet Nam (2005) Situation Analysis of Institutional and Alternative Care Programmes in Viet Nam . UNICEF Vietnam (2005) the Human Resource and Training Needs for the Development of Social Work in Vietnam (2005)