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13 thFebruary201619 February2016,i.e.No.45

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CAREERGUIDE
CURRENTPROSPECTSOFSOCIALWORKININDIA
By

AnupamHazra
Socialworkgrewoutofhumanitariananddemocraticideals,anditsvaluesarebasedonrespectforthe
equality,worth,anddignityofallpeople.Sinceitsbeginningsoveracenturyago,socialworkpracticehas
focusedonmeetinghumanneedsanddevelopinghumanpotential.Humanrightsandsocialjusticeserveas
themotivationandjustificationforsocialworkaction.Insolidaritywiththosewhoaredisadvantaged,the
professionstrivestoalleviatepovertyandtoliberatevulnerableandoppressedpeopleinordertopromotesocial
inclusion.Socialworkprofessionaddressesthebarriers,inequitiesandinjusticesthatexistinsociety.Its
missionistohelppeopletodeveloptheirfullpotential,enrichtheirlives,andpreventdysfunction.Professional
socialworkisfocusedonproblemsolvingandchange.Assuch,socialworkersarechangeagentsinsocietyandinthelivesofthe
individuals,familiesandcommunitiestheyserve.Itrespondstocrisesandemergenciesaswellastoeverydaypersonalandsocial
problems.Socialworkutilizesavarietyofskills,techniques,andactivitiesconsistentwithitsholisticfocusonpersonsandtheir
environments.Socialworkinterventionsrangefromprimarilypersonfocusedpsychosocialprocessestoinvolvementinsocialpolicy,
planninganddevelopment.Theseincludecounseling,clinicalsocial,socialwork,groupwork,socialpedagogicalwork,andfamily
treatmentandtherapyaswellaseffortstohelppeopleobtainservicesandresourcesinthecommunity.Interventionsalsoinclude
agencyadministration,communityorganizationandengaginginsocialandpoliticalactiontoimpactsocialpolicyandeconomic
development.Theholisticfocusofsocialworkisuniversal,buttheprioritiesofsocialworkpracticewillvaryfromcountrytocountry
andfromtimetotimedependingoncultural,historical,andsocioeconomicconditions.
Socialworkersattempttorelieveandpreventhardshipandsuffering.Theyhavearesponsibilitytohelpindividuals,
families,groupsandcommunitiesthroughtheprovisionandoperationofappropriateservicesandbycontributingto
socialplanning.Theyworkwith,onbehalfof,orintheinterestsofpeopletoenablethemtodealwithpersonaland
socialdifficultiesandobtainessentialresourcesandservices.Theirworkmayinclude,butisnotlimitedto,
interpersonalpractice,groupwork,communitywork,socialdevelopment,socialaction,policydevelopment,research,
socialworkeducationandsupervisoryandmanagerialfunctionsinthesefields.Thefieldofpracticeforprofessional
SocialWorkerisexpandingdaybyday.

FieldofPracticeforProfessionalSocialWorkers
Addiction/SubstanceAbuse
ChildWelfare
Clinical/MentalHealth
CorrectionalInstitutions/Prisons
ChildProtectionServices
Counseling&Therapy
ConsultancyServices
CommunityDevelopment
ElderlyCare
Environment
FamilyWelfareandPlanning
HumanResourceManagement
IndustrialDevelopment
MedicalSocialWork
MentalHealth
MentalRetardation
ManagementofSocialServices
Mother&ChildHealth
Policy&PlanningServices
Povertyeradication
PeoplewithSpecialNeeds
RehabilitationofOffenders
Rural&UrbanDevelopment
RelationshipProblems
SchoolSocialWork
SocialResearch&ProgramEvaluationService
SocialWorkAdministration&Policy
SocialWorkEducation&Research
Socialdevelopment
WorkingwithPeoplewithDisabilities
YouthWorketc.
SocialWorkasprofessioninIndiahasalreadypasseditsinfancylongbackandinthelastfewdecadesithasemergedasoneofthe
mostdemandingprofessioninIndia.InIndiaapersonholdingaBachelor(BSW)orMaster(M.AinSocialWork/MSW)degreeinSocial
Workisgenerallyconsideredaprofessionalsocialworker.AsfarasIndianscenarioisconcernedprofessionalsocialworkerscanbe
foundindirectpracticeinadministrative,managementand
policyplanningpositionsinvariousGovernmentandNonGovernmentalOrganizations(NGOs)aswellasingovernmentministries.
BothGovernmentalandNonGovernmentalOrganizations(NGOs)havealottooffer,ifyouarewillingtoworkhardandinanygiven
conditions.Internationalorganizationstooaresociallyawareandhenceanumberofopportunitiesareavailableininternationalsocial
work.Industrialandcommercialunitstooarelookingtohiresocialworkers.AdegreeordiplomainSocialWorkiscreatingalarge
numberopportunitiesforthemillionsofIndianyouthinvarioussectors.

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DesignationsenjoyedbySocialWorkProfessionalsindifferentemploymentsectors
GovernmentalSector
Lecturer/Professor
Director
ResearchOfficer/Researcher
Welfare/DevelopmentOfficer(likeChild/Youth/Women/Labouretc.)
CommunityDevelopmentOfficer
JailProbationary/WelfareOfficer
UrbanPlannersetc.
NonGovernmentalSector
ProjectDirector
ProgramDirector
ProgramOfficer
ProgramCoordinator
AssistantCoordinator
ProgramAssistant
ProjectOfficer
CommunityMobilizer
ProgramManager
Block/District/State/Zonal/RegionalCoordinator
Counselor
SocialScientist
MonitoringandEvaluationOfficer
ResearchOfficer/Researcher
MISCoordinator
AreaManager
FundRaiser
SocialWorker
Supervisor
ResourceMobiliser
TrainingCoordinator
DevelopmentProfessional
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Consultant
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ProbationOfficer
PsychiatricSocialWorker
SchoolSocialWorker
Sociologist
VocationalRehabilitation
Counseloretc.
Industry
Manager
(HR/Personnel/Welfareetc.)
ExecutiveTrainee
LaborWelfareOfficer
PersonnelOfficeretc.
CorporateSector
Manager
ExecutiveTrainee
CommunityDevelopmentOfficer
SocialDevelopmentOfficer
RuralDevelopmentOfficer
SocialWelfareOfficeretc.
TherearethreegeneralcategoriesorlevelsofinterventionforSocialWorkprofessionals.ThefirstisMacrosocialworkwhich
involvessocietyorcommunitiesasawhole.Thistypeofsocialworkpracticewouldincludepolicyformingandadvocacyonanational
orinternationalscale.ThesecondlevelofinterventionisdescribedasMezzosocialworkpractice.Thislevelwouldinvolveworkwith
agencies,smallorganizations,andothersmallgroups.Thispracticewouldincludepolicymakingwithinasocialworkagencyor
developingprogramsforaparticularneighbourhood.ThefinallevelistheMicrolevelthatinvolvesservicetoindividualsandfamilies.
Socialworkershelppeopletoovercomesomeoflifesmostdifficultchallenges:poverty,discrimination,abuse,addiction,physical
illness,divorce,loss,unemployment,educationalproblems,disability,andmentalillness.Theyhelppreventcrisesandcounsel
individuals,families,andcommunitiestocopemoreeffectivelywiththestressesofeverydaylife.SocialWorkisaprofessionthat
servesindividuals,families,andcommunitieswhoseekpreventativeandrehabilitativeinterventionsforanimprovedqualityoflife.
Focusedonsocialandemotionaldevelopmentwithinthesocialenvironment,thescopeofsocialworkisnationalandinternational.The
professionissocialjusticeandactionoriented.
Adoptingaholisticapproachandforgingtherapeuticrelationshipsarenotuniquetosocialwork.Whatmakestheroleofthesocial
workerdistinctisthatitcombinesboth.Thesocialworkerseekstounderstandthepersonsentiresituation(theholisticapproach)and
toworkwiththis.Developinganeffectivehelpingrelationshipwithpeoplewhouseservicesiscentraltotheroleofthesocialworkerin
ordertoensurebetteroutcomes.Socialworkersneedsufficienttimetocombineknowledgeofskillsandvaluesanddemonstratethe
effectivelistening,respectandsensitiveengagementwhichthisinvolves.Theabilitytoformandmaintainsuchrelationshipscanbe
erodedbyaworkloadwhichexceedsresources,byovermanagementofrisksandbyincreasingexpectationsfrompeoplewhouse
servicesofthesocialworkerscapacitytomeettheirneeds.
Prospectforprofessionalsocialworkersindevelopmentsectors:
AtpresentthedevelopmentsectorislargelycontrolledandmanagedbythewelfareorNonGovernmentalOrganizations(NGOs)
whoaredoingthepioneerworktowardstheoveralldevelopmentofthesociety.Apersonwithadegree(preferablyaMasterdegree)in
SocialWorkishighlypreferredindevelopmentalagenciesandNGOs.Inotherwords,itcanbesaidthatNGOsectorsaswellasthe
developmentsectorsarebeingdominatedbytheprofessionalsocialworkers.Asfarasthesalaryofaprofessionalsocialworkerin
developmentsector(inIndia)isconcerneditvariesfromorganizationtoorganization.Generallyitisnegotiatedatthetimeof
interview.Assalaryisnegotiableindevelopmentsector,likewiseflexibilityalsoexistsintherecruitmentprocess.Sometimesitisalso
observedthatapersongetsrecruitmentinaparticularpositionthoughhe/shehasnotfulfilledtheminimumrequirements.
PercentageofmarksinM.S.Whardlymattersinrecruitmentprocessofdevelopmentsector50%to55%marksinM.S.Wisenough
togetagoodjobinareputedorganization.Whatdoesmatterisrelevantworkingexperiences,possessionofsuitabletechnicalskills
ofprojectmanagement,soundknowledgemanagingNGOadministration(seetable3)etcsometimesthereputationoftheacademic
institutionfromwheretheapplicantobtainedthedegreeinSocialWorkistakenintoconsiderationbytherecruitingorganizations.
StudentscompletingM.S.WfrominstituteslikeTISS,XISS,DelhiUniversityaregenerallypreferredandgethighersalaryatthe
beginning.
SkillsRequiredforaProfessionalSocialWorker
PreparingProjectProposal
PreparingManagementInformationSystem(MIS)
PreparingProjectImplementationPlan(PIP)
Managingandcoordinatingprojectatdistrict/state/nationallevel
Programmonitoring&evaluation
Reportwritingandpresentation
Preparationofmonthlyplanandbudget
Coordinatingandliasioningwithdistrictandstateadministration,otherstakeholderandpartnerorganizations
Organizingtraining,workshops,seminarsetc.

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DevelopingInformationEducationCommunication(I.E.C)materials
Documentationandcasestudies
Teammanagement
Facilitationandpeoplemobilization
Doinglonghourfieldworkandextensivetravelling
Managingandcoordinatingprojectsatstateanddistrictlevel
Positiveworkattitude
Integrityandhonesty
Doinglonghourfieldworkinadversesituation
Haveinterpersonalcommunicationskills
Haveproficiencyonthecomputer
Knowledgeofcommunityresourcesetc.
MostofInternationalNGOshaveaspecifiedpaystructurefordifferentpositionsForenteringintotheseorganizationsatleast
threetofiveyearspriorworkingexperiencesinareputeddevelopmentalorganizationisnecessary.
SomeofthePremierUniversities/InstitutesConductingSocialWorkCourses
AssamUniversity,Silchar(Assam)
AgraUniversity(U.P)
AmravatiUniversity(Amravati)
AndhraUniversity,Waltair(AP)
AligarhMuslimUniversity,Aligarh(UP)
BharathiarUniversity(Coimbatore)
BanarasHinduUniversity,Banaras(UP)
BundelkhandUniversity,Jhansi(UP)
ChristUniversity(Bangalore)
ChaudhryCharanSinghUniversity,Meerut(UP)
CollegeofSocialWork,NirmalaNiketan(Mumbai)
DeviAhilyaVishwavidyalaya(Indore)
DelhiSchoolofSocialWork,UniversityofDelhi(Delhi)
Dr.R.M.LAvadhUniversity,Faizabad(UP)
GuruGhasidasUniversity(Chhattisgarh)
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GujaratVidyapeth,Ahmedabad(Gujarat)
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IndianInstituteofSocialWelfareandBusinessManagement,CalcuttaUniversity(W.B)
InstituteofSocialSciences,DrB.RAmbedkarUniversity,Agra(UP)
IndiraGandhiNationalOpenUniversity(IGNOU)
JamiaMilliaIslamiaUniversity,JamiaNagar(NewDelhi)
JainVishvaBhartiInstitute,Ladnoon(Rajasthan)
KashiVidyapith,Varanasi(U.P)
KurukshetraUniversity,Kurukshetra(Haryana)
KanpurUniversity,Kanpur(UP)
MaduraiKamarajUniversity
MSUniversity,Baroda
MadrasSchoolofSocialWork,UniversityofMadras(Chennai)
M.S.SCollege,Nagpur(Maharashtra)
MangaloreUniversity(Mangalore)
MarathwadaUniversity,Aurangabad
NagpurUniversity(Nagpur)
PunjabUniversity,Patiala(Punjab)
RajagiriCollegeofSocialSciences(Kerala)
RajasthanVidyapeth,Udaipur(Rajasthan)
SriVenkateshwaraUniversity(Tirupati)
SriPadmavatiMahilaVisvaVidhyalay(Tirupati)
SriHariSinghGaurUniversity(MP)
ShivajiUniversity,Vidyanagar,Kolhapur
SriPadmavathiMahila,Vishavidyalayam,Tirupathi
TataInstituteofSocialSciences,Mumbai(Maharashtra)
UniversityofLucknow,Lucknow(U.P)
UniversityofBombay(Maharastra)
UniversityofPuna(Maharastra)
UtkalUniversity(Orissa)
VikramUniversity,Ujjain(MP)
VidyaSagarUniversity(W.B)
VisvaBharatiUnversity(W.B)etc.
(Thelistisindicativeonly)
Conclusion
Professionalsocialworkersarefoundineveryfacetofcommunitylifeinoldagehomes,orphanages,schools,hospitals,mental
healthclinics,prisons,corporationsandinnumerouspublicandprivateagenciesthatserveindividualsandfamiliesinneed.Social
workisnotjustaboutdoinggooddeedsandhelpingtheunderprivileged.Overaperiodoftime,ithasevolvedintoaprofession.
Correctlyitisnotaconventionalcareer.Butwithissuesofdisability,drugmisuse,poverty,mentalillhealth,problemsassociatedwith
agingetc.risingconstantly,socialworkhasbecomeavitalneedofoursocietytoday.Ifyouarewillingtotakeupaprofessionfor
emotionalfulfillmentandifyourpurposeofworkingisnotjustfinancial,thiswouldbetheidealcareerforyou.
TheAuthorisAssistantProfessorinDepartmentofSocialWorkatAssam(Central)University,Silchar788011,Assam.
email:anupam688@yahoo.co.in

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