Social work

academic discipline and profession

Social work is work done for the welfare of the society. A social worker is a trained person who is paid to manage problems in society.

Social workers are employed to organise welfare and social care for people who cannot help themselves.

Training includes anthropology, economics, education, law, medicine, philosophy, politics, psychology, sociology and science.[1]

Over time, social work has changed. It was mostly a religious and charitable practice. Now it is more professional. It is less a private and volunteer activity and more a publicly funded, paid occupation.

Work of a social worker


Social workers may do any of these things:

  • Assessing strength of a person, their family, and their social support systems to help them within the community.
  • Educating a family on the physical and social needs of its members and how they can get help,
  • Counselling for individuals and families
  • Managing the risk of self harm or danger to others.
  • Managing money — finding people who need financial assistance.
  • Helping people to come in or out of hospitals and other institutions
  • Showing people how to find help



Social workers often have a lot of work and pressure to solve problems. It is a demanding job where people have occupational burnout. Social workers will have cases of homelessness, chronic unemployment, lack of income, lack of health insurance coverage, prison history, and substance abuse problems. Any of these problems, separately and together, can cause difficulty.



  1. Jessica, Ritter (2014). 101 Careers in Social Work, p. 04, p. 27-265. Springer Publishing, NYC. ISBN 9780826129055.