What is Social Work?

Social Work is concerned with both individual people and with wider society.


According to the Association of Schools of Social Work and International Federation of Social Workers:


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.


Social Work is also a balance between supporting and advocating on behalf of the (marginalised) individual(s), whilst being employed by the social, economic and political environment that may have contributed to their marginalisation.


Social Workers work in a variety of environments, both in the public and private sectors. They can work for a Local Authority, a Charity, or a NHS Trust, providing services for children or adults, and their families. A more recent development is the creation of social enterprises, whereby Social Workers set up their own company, or work with others, to contract for work.