Application of Participatory Rural Appraisal (Pra) Methods by Trainee Social Workers for the Practice of Social Work Methods.

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Application of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Methods by Trainee Social Workers for the Practice of Social Work Methods.

Prof. Vijaykumar B. Waghmare
Faculty Member
PJN College of Social Work
Amalner, Dist. Jalgaon.(M.S.)

Though the concept of social work is old, yet its need was more felt and it got recognition after two world wars. Since then many new concepts, methods, tools and techniques have evolved in the field. Social Work is a form of professional service to needy people is very much youngest in India, its inception in the year 1936.

Social Work is mainly practical job. The Social Worker deals with the needs of people through the six methods.

(a) Case Work
(b)Group Work
(c) Community Organization
(d)Social Work Research
(e)Social Welfare Administration
(f)Social Action

These methods has been practices with the definition of Social Work education in July 2001 by International Association of schools of Social Work and adapted by International Federation of Social Workers.

The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behavior 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.

The objectives of Social Work education are imparting knowledge, skill and attitude in the Social Workers by its uniqueness of curriculum.

Place of Field Work in Social Work Education

Field work is a “heart” of Social Work education is widely accepted. Field Work training is an important element in Social Work Curriculum. Field Training is both problem and method oriented. In the Indian schools of Social Work, emphasis is given on method-oriented- training that is imparted at the under-graduate and post-graduate level. Most of the school field work training is oriented towards the Case work and Group Work.

Another basic methods namely Community Organization, Social Action and other auxiliary methods are also neglected. Training is placed in well established and highly structured organization for Case Work and Group Work Training.

My views are not to critic the importance of such practices but go beyond and extend our training and orientation of field work practice. These views also supported by and in NAAC, Manual for Self Study of Social Work Institutions, by stating following components of Field Work Practicum.

The Field Work Practicum Components

*Life Skill Workshop
*Organization Visits
*Concurrent Field Work
*Block Field Work
*Social Work Skill Workshops
*Rural / Tribal Camp
*Study Tour
These are field work practicum components to provide the training to students of Social Work. The Trainee Social Workers, faculty supervisors, agency supervisors actively participates in planning organization and direction of learning opportunities. All these intervention & are mainly for problem solving and development of clients and community.

In India during 1970-80, development intervention approaches started pursuing participatory approaches, and evolves the Participation Rural Appraisal (PRA) techniques and methodology with its unique philosophy and tools.

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)

It is an approach towards empowering the poor and marginalized communities through seeking their participation.
The PRA, can be defined as follows.
*PRA is methodology for interaction with Villagers or Community, understanding them and learning from them. *It includes a set of principles, process of communicating with them using a set of menu of methods for seeking community participation. *PRA is unique at its best of use of local graphic representations created by the community that ultimate local knowledge and promote empowerment....
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