Scope/Fields of Social Work Practice

Scope/Fields of Social Work Practice


Scope of social work implies to what extent we can intervene social work. It may also imply to the areas or fields where social work can be applied by using its methods, tools and techniques. Social work as professional practice extends from a single individual to the largest body like UNO.

The scope of social work can be broadly classified into
1) The agencies-non-governmental, semi-governmental or governmental which render social work services;
2) The ways (methods) through which they render services such as Case Work, Group Work, Community Organization, Social Action, Social Research, Social Welfare Administration etc and
3) The various types of services (fields of social work) that they render to diff individuals, groups and communities keeping in mind the objectives, philosophy and values of social work.



The scope of social work has been changing with the changes in its objectives and with the changing social situation. The profession is increasingly recognized for its unique services to the people and being asked to perform new and varied tasks. The principal aim of social work is to solve psycho-social problems which obstruct the social advancement of an individual. Social work as one of the youngest branches of knowledge, is gradually embracing every aspect of human life. Consequently, its scope is gradually expanding. It has now started to become international and inter-racial in scope. It deals with almost all the groups of the society in the following ways:

1.Public Assistance :
 It is a kind of help provided in accordance to the economic and social needs of the applicants. It depends upon the certain conditions and legalities. Therefore public assistance is granted on the basis of ‘means test’. Through means test ways and means of living like income source, livelihood and others of individual are identified and measured before providing public assistance by the state or government. In some countries including India such services include the assistance given to old, blind, disabled and destitute.

2.Social Insurance :
Like public assistance social insurance also covers certain contingencies of life like old age, unemployment, industrial accidents and occupational diseases etc. It doesn’t insist upon any means test Under this scheme of service, benefits are provided only to those persons who pay a certain amount of contribution. It is partly financed by the state. Practically, social insurance covers some risks such as medical care in time of illness, medical care and cash allowances during employment injuries, pension during inability, and pension during old age after retirement, cash allowances to wife and other dependants in case of death. Here, the benefits of the applicants are pre-determined.

3.Family Welfare Services:
Family is both an institution as well as an association. It is the oldest and enduring among all social institutions. It is the first and most important of all forms of associations in the context of human development. Social work renders a significant role in the sphere of family organization. It provides for some material assistance and counseling service to the family relating to marriage, health, economic problems and bringing up siblings. Having the knowledge on human relationship the social worker bears the responsibility of establishing harmonious relationship between the individual and his family. Thus, social worker has to play a crucial role in the field of family organization.




4.Child Welfare Service :
Social workers also provide many welfare services for the children. Those include residential institutions for their care and protection, education and rehabilitation of socially handicapped children viz, orphans destitute fondling children of unmarried mothers. Child Welfare service also includes temporary homes for children, daycare centers, recreational and cultural facilities, holiday homes for the children of low income families.

5.Community Welfare :
Service Community is another important unit for social work practice. The community welfare service includes the establishment of urban community development centers dealing with the welfare aspects of slum improvement such as slum clearance, sanitation, health education and care, seeking employment for women, dormitories and night shelters for migrant homeless people, holiday home for children and community welfare service in rural areas etc.

6.Women Welfare Service :
Women are the driving forces of a nation. Long before the dawn of Indian freedom it was realized that social reform with emancipation of women was the ‘sine-qua-non’ of political independence of the country. Pioneering in this regard was done by Raja Rammohan Roy, Keshav Chandra Sen, MG Ranade etc. Gandhiji also gave a new impetus to the cause of emancipation of Indian womanhood. With the independence it was also realized that women welfare was essential to build a strong nation. The benefits of general welfare reached the women but it was inadequate to meet their requirement. Therefore women specific programmes have been initiated for the welfare of the same. The programme of women welfare in India includes safe motherhood, women protection, family counseling, marriage counseling, income generation programme for women etc.

7.Labor Welfare Service :
The term labor welfare is very comprehensive in the sense of its understanding. It involves different interpretations due to different social customs and degrees of industrialization.
According to the report of the ILO worker’s welfare should mean to such services, facilities and amenities which may be established in on the vicinity of the undertakings to enable the persons employed in them to perform their work in a healthy, congenial surrounding and provided with amenities conducive to good health and high morals. Social work has a wide field of application for labor welfare which includes the activities such as family management counseling, counseling on safety maintenance, advocacy for labor rights, health education, value education etc.

8.Welfare Service for the Handicapped :
Handicapped people or the disable are another needy section of the Bangladeshi population. Hence, social work or social welfare has a formidable role in working for them.
The welfare service for disabled includes institution for the care and rehabilitation of physically and mentally retired, hostels for the working handicapped, small production units for the differently able, special schools for mentally retire children and orthopaedically challenged and counseling service for mentally depressed etc.



9.Welfare Services for the Aged and Infirm:
People in the twilight of their age require numerous supports from the society. Social work in this regard has a greater role in understanding their needs and working for their satisfied and comfortable life for a happy ending. The activities of social work for the aged and infirm include running old age home, recreational facilities, physical support, psychological support etc.

10.School Social Work:
At times there are instances of problems due to impaired relationship between students and their social environment and teachers and their social environment. There are also many other problems in the school environment which are responsible for educational malfunctioning in the schools. Social work as profession steps in to such environment and attempts modify the situation in favour of the learners and teachers where required. The activities of social work intervention in schools include counseling service to the children and their parents, counseling to the teacher on the perspectives of the emerged problems, etc.

11.Correctional service:
Correctional Setting refers to the institutions like jail, probation home, parole home, juvenile shelters etc. where people (including children) with unusual behaviour and reaction are placed to bring correction to their attitude and behaviour. Social work has vast scope for intervention in this field of service. It includes recreational activities, counseling, vocational training for the unemployed criminals, after care service, rehabilitation etc.

12.Youth Welfare Service :
Youth is the stage of life in which through training nd development human being can contribute the best for the betterment of the society and for the betterment of their own. The life of youth should have the opportunity to for self-expression, companionship, community life and national service.

For the welfare of the youth in the country, there are various types of youth welfare organizations in the country such as Scouts and Guides organization, NCC, NSS, Students’ Union, Sports and Athelitic Associations, Dramatic Clubs etc. which cater the multifarious needs of the youth. Nehru Yuva Kendra is trying to bolster the youth network in the country. Youth are designed as the most important instrument of National Integration programme. Attempts are made to unite youth through observation of youth festivals. Youth counseling service, Youth health service, National Fitness Corps, Services for poor students, National Physical efficacy Drive, National Employment Scheme etc. are the various programmes undertaken for the welfare of the youth in the country. Social work has recognized the youths as important human resource of the nation. Through all these programmes the welfare agencies where social work is the guiding spirit are on move to serve youths in our country.

13.Welfare for the Weaker sections:
Social work as a profession is increasingly being recognized for its unique service to the people and being asked to perform new and varied tasks.

The concern of social work for prevention as well as treatment of individual and social problems gives the profession an ever increasing number of important responsibilities to assume in helping to social policy in addition to improving services to the people. In meeting these multiple responsibility to the society, social work has achieved its best results not through its working alone, but in cooperation with the other professions and groups whose common concern is welfare of the people.

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