What is the importance of social work

What is social work? A definition.

As with some other professions or activities, there are many incorrect ideas or prejudices about social work and social workers in society. Many parents believe that social workers take their children away from parents. Others think that all we do all day long is drink coffee, stroke hair and feel sorry for the kids. And still others find that social workers should do everything that others don't come to because time is so short and life is so stressful.

Therefore, today I would like to refer to the international definition of social work that school social workers use.



Social work as a profession promotes social change and the solution of problems in interpersonal relationships, and it enables people to shape their lives better in free decision-making. Based on scientific knowledge about human behavior and social systems, social work intervenes where people interact with their environment. Social work is based on the principles of human rights and social justice.



Professional social work in its various forms addresses the diverse and complex relationships between people and their environment. The task is to empower people to develop all their possibilities, to enrich their lives and to prevent dysfunctions. Professional social work focuses on problem solving and change. Therefore, social workers are advocates for change who make an offer to this end. Professional social work is a network of values, theories and practice.



Social work is based on humanitarian and democratic ideals, and these values ​​result from respect for the equality and dignity of all people. Since its inception a century ago, professional social work has focused on human needs and primarily supported the development of people's strengths. Human rights and social justice serve as motivation for social work. Professional social work strives to alleviate poverty, free injured, outcast and oppressed people, as well as to recognize people's strengths and to promote integration. The values ​​of social work are contained in the “Codes of Ethics” around the world.



The way professional social work works is based on systemic knowledge derived from research and practice. The complexity of the relationships between people and their environment is recognized, as is the ability of people to be affected by it, and the possibility of changing the diverse influences on them. Professional social work uses the sciences of human development, behavior and sociology to analyze difficult situations and to facilitate individual, organizational, social and cultural changes.



Professional social work identifies the limits, inequality and injustice that exist in society. It responds to crises and dangers as well as to everyday personal and social problems. Professional social work has a variety of methods and techniques as well as options for action that focus on both the individual and the environment. The intervention of professional social work ranges from purely personal psychosocial processes to participation in social legislation, planning and development. This includes counseling, clinical social work, group work, socio-educational work, family counseling and therapy. Furthermore, people are to be supported in making use of social services. Administrative activities, as well as social actions, involve interference in order to closely link social legislation and economic development. The focus of professional social work will vary from country to country, from time to time, depending on the cultural, historical and socio-economic conditions.

Professional social work in the 21st century is understood to be dynamic and evolving, so no definition should be taken as final.

* Definition of the International Federation of Social Workers, adopted in July 2000 in Montréal, Canada.