Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Social Work and the need of trained professionals

The government has totally failed to revise the eligibility criteria for jobs related to social work.

The present eligibility criteria for various social work related jobs is a Master’s degree in any discipline. It also gives weightage to candidates not having any particular experience in the relevant field.

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 well being. The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels.

In a recent advertisement by JKSSB, the prescribed criteria for the post of medical social work is MA in social work or in sociology.

Nancy Mengi, Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work, Central University of Jammu said, “Social worker in a hospital setting is a specialized field of Social work profession. It is important to understand that the job of a social worker requires more than the desire to help needy patients. A professional social worker is trained to coordinate the various aspects related to the patients’ health, taking within its ambit the patient, his/her family and community; within the larger framework of the hospital as well as policy and provisions related to the health sector. The challenges of hospital social worker commensurate well with rigorous training of MSW students. The government should take serious note of this, after all, it is in the best interest of the patients.”

Jaspreet Singh who has a Master’s degree in social work said that government is playing with the future of students like him and he is facing injustice for many years. He also added, “We are trained to work in this field but when it comes to jobs, the government prefers other disciplines like sociology or psychology.”

Bhat Iqbal Majeed, Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Work, Central University mentioned that not framing the proper service rules is impacting the future of postgraduates in social work. He further added that Social work education comprises of a theoretical component taught in the classroom and field-based education involving an integration of the academic aspect and practice.

Amir Shamim who is pursuing a degree in social work said that there is a need for inclusion of the Master’s Degree in social work as eligibility criteria for various government jobs where the professional social worker is needed.

Written by a social worker with a post-graduate degree in Social Work.

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