Social Work in India Today?

Topics: Social work, Sociology, Master of Social Work Pages: 3 (880 words) Published: November 17, 2012
Social Work in India..??


Starting with one institute offering a programme in Social Work in 1946, we have today a hoard of such institutes functioning from all across the country. The earliest graduates in Social Work migrated to the United States of America or Europe because Social Work is a recognised profession there. A degree in Social Work offered good employment opportunities as well as scope for private practice.

In India Social Work never got established as an independent profession. The government social welfare departments, hospitals largely employed trained social workers against lower middle rung posts. When Indian labour laws made it compulsory to appoint welfare officers in the factories, Social Work degree became a passport to appointment against these posts. With time, welfare officers saw themselves becoming personnel officers and later human resource development (HRD) managers. People with Social Work background thus got higher status in society.

When management education came to India (also from the USA), HRD became a preferred area of specialisation and management graduates soon replaced Social Work graduates from HRD jobs. A new attractive field opened for the Social Work graduates when some non-government organisations (NGOs) adopted corporate culture under the influence of its foreign donors. But these employment opportunities were limited in numbers because how many NGOs in India would find foreign funds? High profile jobs for Social Work graduates were therefore ruled out.

The scope for practicing Social Work as private profession in India is next to nil. Petty political party workers who also call themselves social workers appear to be doing better. The image of a social worker amongst the general public is such that if a trained social worker were to introduce himself/herself the response coming from the opposite person most likely is to be: I am a social...
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