Assignment on Asian Model of Social Work Education
“Asian Model of Social Work Education and Practice with Special Reference to Bangladesh.”
Dr. Golam Rabbani
Course No: 2002
Course Name: Social Welfare Policy and Program Planning
Institute of Social Welfare and Research
University of Dhaka
Mohammad Shahadat Hossen
MSS in Social Welfare (Evening Final)
Date of Submission: July 19, 2017
Institute of Social Welfare and Research
University of Dhaka
Starting from zero ground to becoming a fast-expanding academic subject, social work education has been a growing, as well as a confused, field in Mainland China in the last two decades. A turning point took place in 2006 as the Central Government decided to boost its support to developing social work as a listed vocation in the staffing establishment of the civil service structure. The reason for such a move was due to the increasing recognition of the value of the social work profession in solving some of the social problems arising from the rapid social and economic development of Chinese society. The Open Door policy of China implemented since 1978 had brought about enormous changes to all sectors of the society. Higher education has been one of them. The mentality of “getting started first” urged decision-makers to take swift actions even without the necessary prior preparatory conditions. The drive for change somehow reflected the pressing need to make up for time lost in the Cultural Revolution era. In the absence of trained social work personnel, staff transferred from other academic disciplines to teaching social work courses were required to learn and to teach brand new subjects along the way. It poses great challenges to teaching and learning for both staff and students while the central government, local authorities, community organizations, trainers and students hold different views in their interpretations of social work intervention. The present paper gives an overview of the current trend of social work education in Mainland China and discusses some of the issues encountered in the course of development.
Social Work Education in China:
Rapid expansion of social work programs in China
Social work education has a unique path of development in China. In the absence of trained social work academics, there was rapid growth of social work programs at all levels of training institutions, including universities under the ambit of the Ministry of Education, provincial and district level universities, and local vocational and technical training institutes. There were approximately 30 social work programs established in 1999, mostly under the auspices of the sociology departments of respective universities and nine of them formed an independent Social Work Department. But, in 2006, there were more than 200 institutions across the country providing social work training of various levels. The number is expected to rise. Without explicit government policy acknowledging social work as an accredited vocation, the rationale for universities to add social work to their teaching subjects is a pragmatic one (i.e. fulfilling the government’s requirement of expanding higher education by increasing the intake of undergraduate students despite the lack of relevant teaching staff and job opportunities for graduates). As a result, social work graduates found themselves having to compete with other college graduates for social work-related jobs in the civil affairs stream, other social service units or simply taking on any jobs in the labor market. With the shortage of university places, parents and young people who aspire for upward social mobility are willing to take on any offer by the tertiary institutions.
Issues of concern
In the process of development, there are many imminent issues causing concern. Confusion and difficulties are inevitable. The fundamental issue is the endorsement of an appropriate theoretical basis of social work training and practices suitable for China. Second, is the standardization of curriculum design, teaching and learning? The third likely issue is how to link the accreditation examination with the career structure of social workers and, finally, how to create a working environment conducive to the professionalization of social work in terms of motivating and retaining competent social work graduates and help them become dedicated trainers and practitioners.
Value base of social work training
It took almost two decades for social work to gain an official recognition of its usefulness in building a harmonious society. Such an impression, however, is rather confined to seeing social workers as having the technical competence to handle relational problems of client groups. As described by Wang Sibin (2006), there are two types of social work personnel. One category consists of people who are already working in welfare organizations and hoping for career advancement from general administrative grade to technical grade. The other category are those who studied social work in university and are wanting a job. It has been spelt out by CASWE that social work is a profession of “helping people to help themselves” through methods of casework, group work and community work. However, there has been no in-depth discussion on how the theories and practice models of social work can be applied to the social and political context of a China with wide regional disparities. The value base of social work in terms of being client-centered, respecting individual rights and differences, equality and social justice, and so on has yet to be tested if indigenous practices are to be established in the local context.
Teaching and learning
As mentioned above, the majority of the social work programs in the training institutes emerged from the departments of sociology or philosophy. This has resulted in a wide range of interpretations of what the social work curriculum should be and how courses should be taught. One rather common perception of non-social work trained academics is that theoretical learning is superior to training in practical skills. Although CASWA has stipulated the requirement of 400-hour fieldwork, in reality (Liu, 2006), there is no standard requirement of how fieldwork should be conducted. Tertiary education, as argued by some academics, should be “quality” oriented; that is, focus on theoretical training, rather than on “vocational training” (i.e. skill-based training). The debate has ignored the fact that social work requires the integration of theory and practice. Even some academics may agree that training of theories and practical skills are not mutually exclusive, and the lack of trained personnel with practical experience is a realistic constraint for the practicum training of students. The inadequate understanding of social work requirements of most of the service organizations also makes it difficult for social work trainers and students to try out various social work ideas and to demonstrate the possible effects of social work intervention with service recipients.
Motivation of social work students
A common practice of universities is to assign study areas to students according to their entrance examination scores. Only students with high scores will be assigned the course of their choice. It is also not easy for a student, once enrolled, to change a study major. Because of uncertain career prospects, many students are reluctant to choose social work as their major. For example, among the first batch of social work graduates of Sun Yat-sen University, in 2005, only six out of 43 graduates received social work-related jobs or continued to pursue a social work Master’s degree program. For the class that graduated in 2006, only five out of 46 received social work-related jobs. Graduates of other social work training institutions in the Guangdong Province and elsewhere faced similar problems. Despite the large number of community work posts recruited by the civil service stream in each district, they are not attractive to social work graduates because of low pay and low social status. The mismatch of students’ interests and curriculum requirements inevitably leads to a waste of resources, and hampers the morale of students, being discouraged by classmates who are forced to study social work and have no interest in taking up social work as their future career.
Social Work Education in Japan:
1) Origin and development
Formal social welfare/work education has been developed as a field of higher education since the 1920s. The Japanese educational system was reformed after World War II, and a modern higher educational system was formed. The Japan Association of Schools of Social Work was founded as a voluntary organization in 1955 by 17 schools. In response to the aging society, the Laws for Social Workers and Care Workers became effective in 1987, and the Association became larger and larger. As of March 2010, it included 148 four-year universities, 13 two-year colleges, and 8 vocational schools. Other organizations, Japanese Association of Certified Social Workers included 271 membership schools. As the outcome of all these education courses, there were 134,000 certified social workers as of 2010.
2) Becoming a certified social worker
A certified social worker is a person who provides consultation, advice, guidance and other forms of support for those who have difficulties in living due to any types of disability and environmental barriers. In order to be a certified social worker, applicants must study the subjects related to social welfare designated by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in colleges and other institutions. And they have to pass the National Examination for Certified Social Workers. The examination includes 19 subjects as follows:
- The structure and function of the human body and disease
- Psychological theory and psychological support
- Social system and social theory
- Society and welfare
- Basics of social research
- Assistance and professional foundation of consultation
- Theory and methods of counseling assistance
- Theory and methods of community welfare
- Plans for welfare and welfare administration and finance
- Organization and management of welfare services
- The social security
- System support and long-term care insurance for the elderly
- System and Supports for Persons with Disabilities and support for people with disabilities
- System and child welfare and family support for children and families
- System and welfare assistance for low-income earners
- Healthcare services
- Services employment support
- Adult guardianship and advocacy
- Offenders rehabilitation
The curriculum of social welfare/ work education has been influenced by this national examination, and the subjects of the examination became standard subjects within the curriculum of those educational institutions. Applicants are also required to complete 24 days/180 hours of internship at designated social work field.
Overview of Social Work Education and Research in Japan
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
・Certified Social Worker 165,684
・Certified Care Worker 1,185,261
・Certified Psychiatric Social Worker 60,946
Schools for Certification
Japanese Association of Schools of Certified
4years University 193
2years College 10
Vocational School 18
Graduate/Specialized School 1
Japanese Association of Schools of Social Work
Master Course (MSW) 88（correspondence course 4）
Doctoral Course (DSW) 48 （correspondence course 1）
Specialized Course 1
・Specialized Professional Practitioners Training
・Marginal Study with Medical/Nursing Field
・4years University 139
・2years College 11
・Vocational School 5
・Personal membership 15
Current Issues about social welfare studies in Japan:
1) Ill-treatment of children and the elderly
In order to protect children from ill-treatment, the Child Abuse Prevention Law was enacted in 2000. The number of victims dealt with by the Child Consultation Center has expanded four-fold in the last decade. The law defines the patterns of child abuse as: 1) physical abuse, 2) sexual abuse, 3) neglect, 4) psychological abuse. Since the law has been enforced, the cooperation of ordinary citizens in the early detection of ill-treatment became a duty, as well as specialists close to the abused children, such as doctors, teachers and staffs in child welfare facilities.
The Elderly Abuse Prevention Law became operative in 2006. This law also defines abuses of elders as: 1) physical abuse, 2) abandonment and neglect of nursing care and looking after elders, 3) psychological abuse, 4) sexual abuse, 5) extraction of elders’ estates. On a legal basis, social workers are requested: 1) to prevent elders from ill-treatment and to support them continuously until their lives are stabilized; 2) to respect and pay serious attention to their will; 3) to make approaches to society to keep ill-treatment from occurring; 4) to detect and cope with ill-treatment swiftly; 5) to support not only elders but their protectors; and 6) to correspond as a team in cooperation with other institutions concerned.
2) Domestic violence
According to the increase in the number of domestic violence (DV) cases, The Act on the Prevention of Spousal Violence and the Protection of Victims was put into operation in 2001. In the law, Women’s Consultation Offices (established in each prefecture) are stipulated as Spousal Violence Counseling and Support Centers, and are required to offer consultation, assistance and provide temporary care.
For the improvement of services for victims, those institutes execute: 1) consultation on holidays and at night; 2) making network with other institutions concerned; 3) training for the staff members; 4) placement of a staff in charge of psychotherapy; 5) employing night guards; 6) taking victims into temporary protective custody as the Livelihood Support Facilities for Mothers and Children, the Private Shelters for Domestic Violence Victims; 7) placement of a childcare official for the accompanied children to temporary care center; 8) taking legal advice and support by lawyers; and 9) furnishing personal reference when the victims need to exchange written contracts for finding jobs or houses for rent.
3) Solitary death
Lack of mingling with neighbors is becoming more and more serious in Japan, and one typical consequence of this trend is incidence of solitary death. The number of cases of dying alone is increasing especially in urban districts. This situation has prompted the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to implement its government undertakings to promote solitary death prevention. Also several local governments, as prefectures and ordinance-designated cities, are attempting activities for promotion and enlightenment, model enterprises etc.
4) Emerging new patterns of poverty because of the disparate society
We have a definite worldwide tide of economic recession, which brought serious stratifies caused by the income gap. Even the labor policies, which include the deregulation of employment, could widen the gap. While the rates of job availability are slightly decreasing in the past few decades, the unemployment rates are increasing.
As a result of social stratification, specific patterns of poverty, which could be characterized differently from conventional homeless or low-income earners,
Social Work Education in Japan: Future Challenges:
Japanese social work/welfare education has been developing since the 1920s and has already reached a relatively high educational standard. It has also been helping to produce successful certified social workers through the state certification system since 1987. It finds itself facing a number of challenges. Fewer social workers are graduating, turnover rates are higher than those of other professions, and there is still an insufficient social recognition of the value of social work as a profession. The author briefly reviews the history of Japanese social work/welfare education, examines the current issues in the discipline, and indicates future challenges. The quality of Japanese social work/welfare education has improved, which has helped its promotion as a profession in the traditional welfare fields, but it must also foster new types of social workers who can work with globalization issues and assure the quality of life of marginalized people in Japan. Educators, researchers, and scholars have to address social changes in cooperation with people in various areas of responsibility, rather than focusing entirely on improving the quality of education. Our priority should be to build a working environment for social workers who have enjoyed a high-quality education that allows them to make the most of what they have, and make them united in their commitment to social changes.
Social Work Education in South Korea:
Several Korean universities partner with the College of Social work to offer this degree program, including Kangnam University, Hallym University, Sookmyung Women’s University, Sungkyunkwan University, Namseoul University, and Korea Christian University.
The Korea-based program has consistently been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education as part of the reaffirmation process of the College’s regular MSW degree program. The Korea-based program is also evaluated by the Southern Association of Colleges (SACS) as part of its accreditation of the University of South Carolina. From 1992 to the present, there have been five required independent evaluations of the program as well as two on-site visits from the CSWE’s former Director of the Division of Standards and Accreditation.
- Sungkyunkwan University:
Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU) offers 6 Social Work courses
- Doctoral of Social Science Major in Business Administration
- Doctoral of Social Science Major in Consumer and Family Science
- Doctoral of Social Science Major in Social Welfare
- Master and Doctoral of Social Science Major in Business
- Master of Social Science Major in Business Administration
- Master of Social Science Major in Social Welfare
- Korea University Offers 8 Social Work courses
- Doctoral of Family Medicine
- D. in Home Economics Major in Child Studies
- D. in Social Policy
- D. in Social Welfare
- Master in Social Policy
- Master in Social Welfare
- Master of Family Medicine
- Master of Home Economics Major in Child Studies
- McGill University:
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Work
- University of Utah Asia Campus
- Bachelor of Social Welfare
There are some other institute provide social work training and short courses in South Korea.
Social work education in Bangladesh
Social work education has its journey in Bangladesh during the period of Pakistan through a short time training course by the help of the UN in1953 and social work education and training was extended afterwards. College of social welfare and research was established in 1958 and being included under Dhaka University. The college started its educations programs in the sessions of 1958-59 with 55 students. Afterwards in 19973 it is renamed as
the institute of social welfare and research under Dhaka University. In 1974 social work included in the curriculum of graduations (pass) and higher secondary level as a secondary course. Shahjalal University of science and technology started this subject as a B S S (Hons) course in the session of 1993-94. at present this university teaching this subject honors and masters classes in semester system. On the other hand National University was established in 1992 and from the starting of its establishment it is teaching this subject by the colleges under it. According to the data of 2001 masters course is being taught by 17 colleges and honors courses in 32 colleges under National University.(Islam 2002, 319)
Institute of Social Welfare and Research:
Institute of Social Welfare and Research is one of the oldest institutes of the University of Dhaka. It is the apex institution for the Social Work education in Bangladesh. It offers Graduation, Post-Graduation, M.Phil and PhD degrees to students in social welfare/Social Work.
The institute is situated in New Market area in the capital, adjacent to the gate-3 of Border Guard Bangladesh headquarters. It is situated in the same premises of two female dormitories of the University of Dhaka, Begum Fajilatunnessa Mujib Hall and Bangladesh- Kuwait Maitree Hall and detached from the main campus of the University of Dhaka.
The College of Social Welfare and Research Centre was established in 1958 as a constituent college of the University of Dhaka.
Later in 1973, the college was made an institute of the University of Dhaka and renamed as the Institute of Social Welfare and Research. A separate premises was allocated to the Institute, where the Academic Building with one Men’s and one Girls’ hostel for the institutes’ students were constructed by the end of 1974, where after the Academic activity of the Institute commenced in the said premises.
Regular Programs of Institute of Social Welfare and Research:
MSS in Social Welfare
One Year Evening Masters Program
Two Years Evening Masters Program
Specialized Masters Programs of ISWR:
Clinical Social Work
Gerontology and Geriatric Welfare
Industrial Relation and Labor Studies
Victimology and Restorative Justice
National University of Bangladesh:
Department of Social Work are giving 4 years BSS in Social Work.
Department of Social Work at Jagannath University is a center of significant number of students who come with a vision to contribute in building a just society capable of meeting every need of its member and providing them with a meaningful life. This is a place for inquisitive students, faculty members, and scholars who wish to study and investigate socio-economic factors and situations affecting individual, group and community life. Students and researchers of this Department also engage themselves in studying, analyzing, and researching policy issues in relation to development practice. This Department aims at developing a capable human resource for the country, and for the Globe at large. Graduates of this Department have the potentials of dealing with issues causing difficulties in the life of the people at all levels—individual to community, micro to macro, local to supra-national.
This Department offers four programmers—
Undergraduate, Graduate, M. Phil and Ph.D
University of Rajshahi :
The Department of Social Work, University of Rajshahi is a dynamic academic discipline to prepare professionals for enhancing human dignity, rights and social justice in Bangladesh.
The department was initially started as a College of Social Work under the affiliation of University of Rajshahi in 1964. From the beginning the Department of Social Work has been dedicated to achieve academic excellence in professional social work education both and undergraduate and postgraduate levels. All academic programs of the department are student-centered and committed to enhance active community engagement in the pursuit of social and economic justice. Therefore, the central mission of the department is to prepare competent social work professionals for serving with vulnerable individuals, families, groups, and communities in Bangladesh.
Social work is an inter-disciplinary field that includes the study of the lives and experiences of socially vulnerable people. We also study the causes and consequences of social problems, which are investigated at the micro, maso and macro levels. Students generally receive a professional social work education that is characterized by a commitment to human dignity, rights and social justice. Dedicated instructors, who draw from a strong contemporary curriculum and their own practical experiences, afford students the opportunity to acquire their social work competencies.
We promote civil rights and pursue social justice for oppressed and marginalized people regardless of their gender, ethnicity and religious orientations. We strive to improve the lives of citizens through our pedagogy, field instruction, community-based research, and through the leadership of our students, alumni, and faculty.
Department of Social work offers
4 years Honors, Masters, M. phil and Phd programs
Asian University of Bangladesh:
Social Work is an internationally recognized profession. Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives and prevent dysfunction. The department of social work is a well-established department in AUB and successfully run under the dynamic leadership of the honorable vice chancellor Prof. Dr. Abulhasan M. Sadeq.
The Department of Social Work was established under the School of Social Sciences with an objective to acquaint students with the basic concepts and ideas of the Social Work profession with a view to equip them with a sound foundation and knowledge, which will prepare them to adjust to the reality of the multidimensional issues of the contemporary world. From the very initial days of its establishment, it has been able to attract the meritorious students of the country.
At present, the department offers two programs: B.S.S. (Hons.) in Social Work and M.S.S. in Social Work.
The Peoples University of Bangladesh:
The Peoples University of Bangladesh also offers BSS and MSS programs in Social work for Bangladeshi students.
The present paper summarizes the current development of social work education in Mainland China and highlights some of the challenges confronting the social work sector: gaps in curriculum design, uncertain career prospects for students, confusion of the accreditation system, shortage of resources of teaching and fieldwork supervision, potential value conflicts among social workers, welfare organizations and government bureaucracy, and the inactive NGO sector and strong government presence. However, there is also strong optimism about the future development. With the new government policy initiatives in expanding social work powers and social services development, there is high hope that additional resources will be introduced to create more jobs and services. What lies ahead is very much dependent on the outcome of government actions in steering the path and the degree of professionalization. The concept of partnership and collaboration carries a special meaning to the social work field in the Mainland, as it has drawn substantial external support from outside of China to help lay the foundation of social work development in the past as well as in future. With stronger government support and increasing participation of local and external NGOs, there is high hope that indigenous practice and training approaches suitable for the social context of China will be developed more quickly. As social work education is still in an embryonic state, discussion about its development in this paper is raising many more open-ended questions than giving ready answers. The only conclusion to be drawn at this point is that speedy changes are forthcoming, and the social work sector on the Mainland has to be more proactive to the continuous changing social, economic and political situation of China.
- Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. (2009). Distribution of undergraduate
professionals. Beijing, China: Author. [in Chinese]
- Organization Department of the Communist Party of China of Central Committee. (2007,
June 28). Research report on discipline of social work and social work training system.
Beijing, China: Author. [in Chinese]
- Sheng, R. (2010, May 24). Providing talents to support construction of harmonious society.
People’s Daily. [in Chinese]
- Japanese Society for the Study of Social Welfare, http://www.jssw.jp/english/academic.html
- com, Social Work Graduate Programs in South Korea.
- Korean Social Work/KU Study Abroad Information: http://spiritualdiversity.ku.edu/resources/practice/koreansocial-welfare
- The Journal of Social Development, Institute of Social Work and Research, University of Dhaka, http://iswr.du.ac.bd/home/#1457412149494-0c0d397a-9013