Introduction to Social work
Social Work defines as a profession which promotes Social change in human Relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well- being. Utilizing theories of Human behavior and social systems, social work intervenes at the point where people interact with their environments. Principles of Human and Social Justice are fundamental to social work.
The National Association of Social Workers’ define Social Work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups or communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. Social work practice consists of the professional application of Social Work values, principles and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy and individuals, families and groups helping communities or groups provide or improve processes. The practice of Social Work requires knowledge of Human development and behavior, social, economic, and cultural institutions, and of the interactions of all these factors.
Social work as a profession is a product of this century. Although its roots are well established in history from the time when people 1st began to take responsibility for their neighbors through activities which were called charity, poor relief, philanthropy and social reform.
Methods in Social Work
All social work activities are classified into six major categories.
1) Social case work.
2) Social group work
3) Community organization
4) Social action
5) Social welfare research
6) Social welfare administration
1. Social case work
Social case work is a method which helps by counseling the individual client to effect better social relationships & a social adjustment that makes it possible him to lead a satisfying & useful life. Gordon Hamilton points out that, “The objective of case work is to administer practical services & offer counseling in such a way as to arouse & conserve psychological energies of the client activity to involve him in the use of the service towards the solution of her/his dilemma.”
2. Social Group work
Social group work is an activity, which helps to participate in the activities of a group for their intellectual, emotional, & physical growth and for the attainment of desirable goals of the groups. Group work as such as a method by which the group worker enables various types of groups to function in such a manner that both group interaction & programme activities contribute to the growth of the individual & the programme activities contribute to the growth of the individual & the achievement of desirable social goals.
3. Community Organization
Community organization is the process of planning & developing social services in order to meet the health & welfare needs of a community or larger unit. Mildred Barry says,” Community organization in social work is the process of creating & maintaining a progressively more effective adjustment between community resources & community welfare needs.”
4. Social Action
It s an organized group process solving general social problems & furthering social welfare objectives by legislative, social, health or economic progress. The term social action refers to organized & legally permitted activities designed to mobiles public opinion, legislation & public administration in favor of objectives believed to be socially desirable.
5. Social welfare research
Social welfare research systematic critically investigation of questions in the social welfare field with the purpose of yielding answers to problems of social work & of extending generally social work concept. The methods applied in social work research have been to a large extent derived grooming those used in sociology & social psychology as well as in history and Anthropology.
6. Social welfare administration
Social welfare administration process is to organize & to direct a social agency. The administrative aspects of social work have to do with the organization & management of social agencies public & private, including in those terms general administrative relationships among units of the same organization, personal problems, questions of finance & so on.
History of Social Work in India
Professional social work in India was started by The Tata Institute of Social Sciences which was established I 1936, as the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work. In 1944, the Sir Dorabji Tata Graduate School of Social Work was renamed as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
In 1964 which was an important landmark in the history of the institute, when it was recognized as a Deemed University by the Government of India. Since then the TISS has expanding continuously in terms of educational programmes and infrastructure. While responding to the changing needs of the social and educational system in the country, the institute has gone far beyond the initial concern of social work education. Since its inception in 1936, the TISS has consistently worked for the promotion of sustainable, equitable and participatory development, social welfare and social justice through value-based professional education in social work. Institute also has collaborated with Universities in USA and other Universities in Europe as well as Universities in other countries.
To be an institution of excellence in Higher education that continually responds to the changing social realities through the development and application of knowledge, towards creating a people-centered and ecologically sustainable society that promotes and also protects the Dignity, Equality, Social Justice and Human Rights for all with special emphasis on Marginalize and vulnerable groups.
In pursuance of its vision and guiding principles, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences organizes teaching programmes to facilitate the development of competent and committed professionals for practice, research and teaching; undertakes research; develops and disseminates knowledge; and reaches out to the larger community through extension, at the local, national, regional and international levels.
Tata institute of Social Sciences has evolved in last so many years from compartmentalization or departmentalization to separate coursers and concentrations and whole institutes reformation with the introduction of lot of new courses and separate schools like, Social of Social Work, School of Social Sciences, School of Labor Studies, School of Management Studies, School of Health Studies, and in different schools different concentrations and centers like Centre for Social Justice and Governance.
Dalit and Tribe centered Social Work
The struggle of making this concentration a light of days is not confined to the struggle of faculties in TISS but few faculties those who are driven by commitment towards Dalit and Tribal issues. Concentrations were started in 2005 in TISS when a renewal plan took place for all the concentrations across the courses. Dr. Rammaiah introduced the concept for the establishment of the concentrations. The effort of Dr. Amrita Desai, Dr. M.S Gore and other faculties observe the appreciation for developing concentrations that has the new innovative and thought provoking this was happen within the tenure of Dr. Parasuraman currently the Director of Tata Institute of Social Sciences.
Introduction of DTSW
Dalit and Tribal Social Work is to develop an understanding and approach towards working with dalits and tribes issues and understanding of the Social Work which we can apply while dealing with issues of Caste which is an inherent problem right now in Indian Society. Also to develop methods of working in partnership where there are differences in partnership where discrimination is differences of power, caste, class, gender, culture, ethnicity and other differences in status. Also to develop the ability to recognizes and value the potential with in Human beings specifically communities belongs to Dalit and Tribe groups developing awareness amongst them of the communities belongs to Dalit and Tribe groups developing strategies that challenges oppression, discrimination, exclusion disadvantaged and other forms of inequality and injustice based on caste backgrounds.
Dalit and Tribe Social Work help the students to understand the issues of Dalits and Tribes and attempts to engage the students in these issues and help develop a subaltern perspective. It helps to relate social theories to the existing social realities and develop an understanding of the existing social realities and develop an understanding of the existing social structures.
DTSW provides a platform to the students to engage in various strategic tools and techniques to address the issues of Dalits and Tribals, it’s a study of perspective in which students engage themselves with the theoretical paradigms which has developed a strong base on which our course has given us.
DTSW teaches Anti-oppressive social work related theories like, general system theory, structural theory, order and conflict theories. DTSW develops an understanding about Indian as well as International the International philosophers and thinkers and also their perspectives and about social realities.
Five principles on which DTSW concentration operates:-
1) Total commitment to issues concerning to Dalit and Tribes
2) Seriousness of purpose in class and high degree of commitment to self learning.
3) Disciplined and p0rofessional in completing all task assigned.
4) Great degree of trust and self respect for self, batch mates, others and the social work profession
Students are critical active participants and faculties are social work educators.
DTSW as a perspective
There are total six subjects in DTSW
1) Dalit and Tribal social work perspective and concepts
2) Political economy of dalit development
3) Political economy of tribal development
4) Seminar on Dalit and Tribal
5) Advance dalit and Tribal social work practice skills
6) Innovative intervention in Dalit and Tribal empowerment
This course talks about the theoretical formulation and structural formulation of the concentration. The understanding of Caste and its practice is another area which is covered in the study. The various aspects of untouchability and international expansion of this oppressive and exploitative dehumanize practice is also comes in course content. Tribal word view and system theory, various concepts related to tribe and relation of dalit and tribal social work with other conventional method of social work is part of the course.
The economic history of India from caste perspective, the development of dalits and national politics, globalization and dalits are some of the contents in this course. International non-governmental organization and participation of dalits, discrimination under the UN commission on human right and Labor market discrimination are other area covered in the course. This linkage of international and dalit has given much required voice to dalit concerns in India and outside as well.
Perspective is a standpoint, point of view or position which an individual takes on various issues in life. A perspective in social work becomes much more important as it guides ones practice and the perspective one take has implications on the field one works in. A perspective can be in the form of an ideology (s) or paradigm or school of thought one adheres to. A perspective is a combination of lenses through which one looks at the society and the happenings and events and various phenomenon.
Though DTSW focuses on two of the most marginalized groups in India- dalits and tribes; it doesn’t restrict practice to only these communities. It is a course which teaches you to look at the society more critically and question normally accepted paradigms. DTSW is a concentration that basically challenges structures of the society which are problematic. DTSW is thus a perspective which guides practice. It makes use of all the methods mentioned above, the application of which is backed by the theories, values and principles learned in class. It cannot be a method as it doesn’t have a fixed structure to it. It has to continually evolve to accept the emerging field realities and mould practice accordingly. It entails working with the most marginalized sections of the society. And while working with such individuals, groups or communities, one has to take a stand. One cannot be a fence sitter an neutral. One has to adhere to a point of view. And this point of view will depend on the understanding of the society from the perspectives learnt in class. While working with Dalits, one cannot accept the caste system or the Brahminical world view- one has to reject it and then only can work with the dalits for their empowerment. DTSW in a way helps to deconstruct the realities and look at the world from a subaltern viewpoint. It shapes the understanding of exploitation based on the historical and cultural marginalization of two of the most oppressed communities in India – Dalit and Tribes.
Thus the practice will involve working with groups, communities, individuals and families. The worker from DTSW has to have a grip over all these skills and mould himself accordingly. DTSW belonging to the structural social work school leans towards being radical in today’s conventional and traditional social work. As such the methods which are used more frequently are advocacy and networking, research and social action.
The major theories which shape the perspective under DTSW are: Anti-Oppressive Social Work, General System Theory, Structural Social Work, Conflict & Order Theories, Conservatism, Liberalism, Social Democracy, Evolutionary & Revolutionary Political Marxism, Ambedkarite etc. These have been explained in brief below followed by how it was connected to the field and how it helped the student in the field.
Structural Social Work
DTSW is premised on structural social work which talks about practice which will bring about a change in the very foundation of society (like caste, patriarchy, capitalist society) which are problematic and which states that traditional social work perpetuates the existing social order. The ultimate goal of structural social work is to contribute to the transformation of society.
The Five Paradigms
DTSW teaches all the political paradigms- from conservatives to liberals, from social democrats to the Marxists and locates social work practice in each of them. This is beneficial in formulating one’s own ideology.
Anti oppressive social work
Anti – oppressive social work, of which structural social work is a part, it gives importance to a society based on liberty Equality fraternity and Social Justice anti- caste which empowers people to fight their own battle. It has a people centered approach the basic premises on which the course is established is that caste is the root cause of all the problems so those who are anti-caste, the major tools or techniques under the anti-oppressive social work are advocacy, mobilization, and initiating social movements based on the value of equity, inclusion empowerment and community.
Field Work Perspective
The motive behind the first block field work placement of Dalit and Tribal social work is to develop an understanding of the social work practice which we can apply while dealing with the issues of caste which is an inherent problem right now in Indian society. Also to develop methods of working in partnership where there are differences in partnership where discrimination is differences of power, caste, class, gender, culture, ethnicity and other differences in status. Also to develop the ability to recognizes and value the potential within human beings specifically communities belongs to Dalit and Tribe groups developing awareness among them of the oppression and developing strategies that challenges oppression, discrimination, exclusion of disadvantaged and other forms of inequality and injustice based on caste background.
Student was constantly engaged in one month theoretical paradigms of dalit and tribal social work and structural social work and all the critical discourses which has developed a strong base on which our block field work is rested upon. The block field work can be connected to all the theories mentioned above, organization in which student was placed was working on the issue of Dalit and Tribes, class room teachings has given student a perspective of seeing this country from new angel.
Student can easily identified and come to understand the root causes of the problem organization was working on Advocacy on Dalit issues like SCP special component plan and SC/ST (PoA) Act 1989. These are the remedial measures for Dalits to come out of their current condition.