What do we understand by Social Work?

Social work is a composite form of those activities, plans, agendas and practical implications that are executed for the welfare of the people of the society, development of its various sectors (social, political, economic) and for empowering the lives of its people. It is we who make the society and in return the society stands for us and working to improve the conditions of the society, bringing innovation in its functions, system and infrastructure, policies, is known as the practice of social work. Social work can also be understood by the practice of helping the deprived, supporting marginalized people of the society, working against the social issues, community development, rehabilitation of the disadvantaged groups, working against social injustice, seeking improvement for the disabled individuals, poor families, groups and underdeveloped communities. In precise; social work is a huge model that includes different areas having the society and the welfare of its people as a central focus; such as sociology, psychology, anthropology, politics, ecology, criminology, health, education and counselling ; these all are the vivid areas being included in the framework of social work. And, the person who practices in these areas with the focus to bring change and improvement in the society as a whole is known as the social worker.

  Social Work; an integral part of the social system

Social work in the society is not only the demand of the present time but it is an integral part of the functioning of the same. Whenever there is a system or a structure, there always exists a need for advancement, improvement into it. And when we are talking about the complex system of society, there are many of the areas, issues and aspects which need to be revised, improved and even eradicated. Focussing upon the things that need to be changed or modified or simply need to be looked after in the society is nothing but pursuing the social work.

 Social working cannot be separated from the society if there is a society there will always be the people who will pursue the social work in order to maintain the integrity of its elements and functional factors. And that is why social work has been developed as a separate field of interest, research and study in order to formulate and demonstrate its established theories, innate knowledge, practice and principles; to the people who want to explore this field of work. In the recent times many young individuals or we can call them the youth, are taking keen interest in the felid of social work, they are becoming active not only in the practical implementation of the same but also perceiving it as their practice-based profession.

 They are engaging themselves as the social workers in the various areas of the society such as community development, rehabilitation, counselling and psychotherapy, human service management, social welfare policies, promoting social justice, advocacy, teaching and organizing.  There are a good number of the young individuals who are participating in the social developmental tasks and activities with high spirit and enthusiasm they are volunteering in many of the campaigns and programs which are running against many of the current social and political issues. If not at the professional level then at a personal level also the youth is realizing the need to contribute its potential in the process of social change and this spirit and zeal of theirs should be continued and motivated.

How the youth should be motivated for Social Work?

The youth can participate in the social work at two levels

  1. Practice-based Professional level.
  2. Personal level/Volunteering.

Practice-based professional level: it is quite remarkable on the part of the young individual if he/she chooses social work as the discipline of study/research and practical engagement because in such a case that person would directly be involved in the practices related to social work and would be acknowledged as the social services provider and supporter. Being a social work researcher the person can directly focus on the planning, strategy planning, analysis, diagnosis of the issues and aspects precisely associated with the development of the society and the welfare of its people. social workers  work as the intermediators who provide services to the agencies and groups whose focus is on the individual well-being in the social context then there are some social workers whose work includes a number of services like social and community organizing, case management, providing counselling, psychotherapy, rehabilitation to the people with disabilities, developing communication between national and international agencies, promoting social justice, creating campaigns and programs for human rights, running environmental programs and etc.

Personal level or Volunteering: doing social work as a personal choice or as volunteering is completely a genuine and a humble act. Being a citizen of the society we all should participate in the process of its growth and improvement and if even a single humble act is done willingly for the welfare of the people, then nothing can substitute that. And this is where the actual work starts; doing social work as a professional activity is very obvious but doing the same with the intention of bringing a change at large and without thinking of the return, is a precious decision.

Society needs innovation and growth and it wishes that the young generation should come forward to contribute and participate in this way thus the youth needs to be encouraged at the foundation level where they have to deal with the people in a very realistic way, at their home front, school, college, peer group, communities, locality; they should be made aware about the very basic and fundamental issues by their parents, elders and educators. And they themselves also should look at the issues that the people are facing at the local level. Youth has got a lot of stamina, intelligence and courage and they can very easily understand, sympathize and implement some solutions and can also provide voluntary help and support to the people and the society. At schools and colleges it should become mandatory for the students to get involved in at least one social working program or to get associated with any of the NGO, same goes with the parents that they should encourage their children to volunteer in the social and community development programs.

 Social work is not an alien phenomena it is something that should become a part of our basic lives, as we earn and work to acquire a good livelihood same way we all should contribute in social working in order to attain a good social life in the community and the society. Society is never able to work for itself because it is from us and for us thus we have to work for it within it.




  1. A country like India where more than a billion people co-exist, it is practically not feasible for the government to ensure smooth functioning by itself. This is where we need certain volunteers, preferably youth to join hands with the existing agencies. We all have seen what happened in recent Chennai Floods! A commendable job was done by our youngsters in the rescue operations and set an example for rest of the nation. We all must make it a public movement and establish social work volunteering as an integral parts of our life.


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