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Social Case Work

Definition of Social Work




Social Work

Social Work-
- is a Science – a systematized knowledge ascertained by observation and
- is an Art – guided by principles; and practical skills and their application
• Case work is one of the direct methods of social work which uses the
case-by-case approach for dealing with individuals and families as
regards their problems of social functioning.

• Case work is a mode of helping people on the basis of a person-to-

person relationship.
Mary Richmond’s book ‘Social
Diagnosis’, published in 1917, may be
considered as the first book in case
work. It sets forth a methodology of
helping clients through systematic
ways of assessing their problems and
handling them.
The book introduced the principles of
individualization and also
acknowledged the client’s right of self-
Social case work (which is both a tool and an area of work) consists of
those processes which develop personality through adjustment
consciously affected, individual by individual between man and his
social environment.
• Social case work is a process used by certain
human welfare agencies to help individuals to cope more effectively with
their problems in social functioning
H.H Pearlman

Individuals differ from one another. For example

Male/Female: React differently – one may be
aggressive while the other is withdrawn.
Men and women react differently to stresses, and
social problems like alcoholism, drug abuse - crimes
are not equally prevalent amongst men and women.

Male and female children are taken care of differently

by parents.
Social class

The factors which people commonly use to

define social class, include – the way people
speak, their job, their educational background,
the amount of money people have or the way people
spend money, the dress they wear and the
vehicle/car they drive.
Social work itself has a class-dimension, with
many social workers having a middle class
background, while majority of the clients are
Rich or Poor family

Money cannot solve all problems but it does make many

problems easier to deal with.
Poverty brings about its own problems in the form of feeling
of hopelessness and
What sort of environment does the person come from?

- Home environment
- Locality
Is the person employed?
Is the head of the family employed?

There is a stigma attached to unemployment.

The person has a feeling that he is some how
inadequate and a failure
How old is the person?

A general understanding of the needs of

children, the demands made upon adolescents,
the problems faced by people as they get older
is required.
Every individual reacts differently to his social,
economic and physical environment and such
problems/issues/situations of one individual are
different from those of another.

Case work, therefore, aims at individualized service

in the field of social work in order to help the client
to adjust with the environment.

Social case work does not concentrate only on social

factors, it also takes into cognizance of the needs and
aspirations of the individual.

) Psychological
b) Sociological - Interpersonal
- Familial
- Economic
- Occupational
c) A combination of both
Individuals differ from one another because of ……
- genetic inheritance
- exposure to different social and
environmental issues - type of family and family
The basic objective of social case work is
social welfare, with fundamental focus on
the individual.
Philosophical Assumptions

There are certain assumptions which constitute

the fundamental structure of social work in
general, and case work in particular. They are the
basic values and solid pillars of social work
profession. They are philosophical in their
The word assumption implies that they are
concepts, which cannot be verified through
scientific methods, which, nonetheless are basic
and vital to social work.

1) Every human being has to be considered as a

person with dignity and worth.
2) Human beings are interdependent
3) There are common human needs that need to be met for growth and
development of individuals. Every individual is like all other human beings in
some aspects, like some other human beings in some other aspects and like no
other individual in certain respects.
4) Every problem has solution. No one’s life is full of happiness.
Problems are bound to occur.
5) Every individual has within him, the potential for growth and
development. People have the capacity to change.
6) Society has an obligation to help those who do not have the
means for the realization of their potentials. Society has a
duty towards those who could not help themselves.
The philosophical values constitute the core
beliefs for social work. Among those who go
for social work training there are some who
want to do social work mainly because of
these values.
There are some others who go for social
work training prompted by their desire for a
post-graduate degree rather than by a desire to
help people. They are not particularly
concerned about human needs and problems,
and they may find to their dismay, that they
are unable to accept these assumptions as core
Non-acceptance of these values in untenable
in social work practice and a social work
career is not meant for those people who
reject them.

Catharsis: Discharge of emotional tensions associated

with repressed traumatic material. Eg by talking it out

Confidentiality: Commitment on the part of

professional person to keep information he obtains
from a client confidential

Crisis: Stress situation which approaches or exceeds

adaptive capacities of individual or group.
Empathy: Ability to understand and to some
extent share the state of mind of another
Family Therapy: It is a form of interpersonal
therapy focusing on relationships within the
Marital Therapy: Therapy directed toward
improving communication and interaction
between marital partners.
Play Therapy: Use of play activities in
psychotherapy with children.

Prognosis: Prediction as to the probable cause

and outcome of a disorder.
•Thank You