What Is Social Work?
— Social work is a profession that focuses on helping individuals, groups, and communities to improve their wellbeing through access to certain facilities, care, and assistance.
— To be a successful social worker one requires a degree in social work as well as a variety of interpersonal skills and attributes.
— Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing.
Where To Study Social Work In South Africa?
The following universities offer bachelor, master or doctorate of social worker in South Africa;
What is a Bachelor of Social Work?
A bachelor’s of social work degree provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare for a professional career as a social worker. Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Bachelor of Art in Social Work (BASW) programs generally offer students a broad foundation for generalist social work practice.
What are the admission requirements to study Social work in South Africa?
Like most Bachelor degrees a National Senior Certificate is required preferably with English as a first language, as well as a second South African language and mathematics (at least standard grade). Keep in mind that a degree can only teach you the skills, your natural aptitudes and passion will make up for the rest. To be a successful social worker it is vital that you tick the following boxes:
You enjoy working with different kinds of people from various cultures and walks of life
You have both a good IQ and a good EQ
You have a desire to serve others and help them to live their best lives
You are sympathetic, but also objective
You are reliable and resourceful
You inspire confidence in others
You have good communication skills
You’re tolerant and even tempered
You have a good understanding of human nature
You experience empathy easily
How Do Social Workers Go About Their Work?
Social workers often interact with the most vulnerable members of society, working hard to improve their lives and ultimately their futures. Depending on a person’s area of interest and experience the role of a social worker and the field in which they focus can vary greatly from one position to another.
Areas Where Social Workers Are Needed
Generally, however, social workers practice in one of the following areas:
- Child and family welfare
- Marriage and divorce counseling
- Care of the elderly
- Medical social work
- Psychiatric social work – Masters degree only
- Social work with the mentally or physically disabled
- Addictions focussed
- Criminal offenders
- Social work in the workplace or school
What do social workers do in school?
Overall School Social Workers help parents, students, and school staff identify needs that interfere with learning and work with students to get the services they need. Social Workers work with general and special education students and their families to resolve social, emotional and behavioral problems.
How long does it take to become a school social worker?
Answer: Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) programs generally take four years to complete. If you attend a full-time Master of Social Work (MSW) program, it should take two years. Part-time programs are available for undergrads and graduate students. Expect these programs to take longer
How do you become a social worker In South Africa?
In order to practise as a social worker in South Africa one needs to register with The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP). The SACSSP is a statutory body under which falls the Professional Board for Social Work and the Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work. The Council, in conjunction with its Professional Boards, works to protect both the integrity of the social service professionals and the public at large.
The most direct route to becoming a social worker would be to enrol for a Bachelor of Social Work. During their degree students are required to register for specific courses within the Faculty of Humanities with majors in social work, psychology and sociology. In order to qualify students also have to register for an internship, which requires them to complete a number of hours of field instruction at an approved welfare organisation in the social service sector.