Social work is a discipline involving the application of social theory and research methods to study and improve the lives of people, groups, and societies. Social theory is an essential tool used by scholars in the analysis of society through the use of theoretical frameworks social structures and phenomena are analyzed and placed in context It incorporates and uses other social sciences as a means to improve the human condition and positively change society's response to chronic problems. The social sciences comprise academic disciplines concerned with the study of the social life of human groups and individuals including Anthropology, Communication studies The human condition encompasses all of the Experience of being Human. Social work is the profession committed to the pursuit of social justice, to the enhancement of the quality of life, and to the development of the full potential of each individual, group and community in society. Social justice, sometimes called civil justice, refers to the concept of a Society in which Justice is achieved in every aspect of society rather than Quality of life is the degree of well-being felt by an individual or group of people It seeks to simultaneously address and resolve social issues at every level of society and economic status, but especially among the poor and sick. Social workers are concerned with social problems, their causes, their solutions and their human impacts. They work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. As commonly used, individual refers to a Person or to any specific object in a collection Family denotes a group of People affiliated by consanguinity affinity or co-residence In Sociology, a group can be defined as two or more Humans that interact with one another accept expectations and obligations as members of the group and share a An organization (or organisation &mdash see spelling differences) is a social arrangement which pursues collective goals which controls its own performance and In biological terms a community is a group of interacting Organisms sharing an environment.
Social work as a defined pursuit and profession began in the 19th century. This was in response to societal problems that resulted from the Industrial Revolution and an increased interest in applying scientific theory to various aspects of study. The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of Knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion. Eventually an increasing number of educational institutions began to offer social work programs. The settlement movement's emphasis on advocacy and case work became part of social work practice. For the organisations for kibbutzim and moshavim see Settlement movement (Israel The settlement movement was involved in the creation of "settlement Advocacy Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes –including public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political economic and social systems During the 20th century, the profession began to rely more on research and evidenced-based practice as it attempted to improve its professionalism. Today social workers are employed in a myriad of pursuits and settings. Professional social workers are generally considered those who hold a professional degree in social work and often also have a license or are professionally registered. The verb license or grant license means to give permission The noun license is the document demonstrating that permission Social workers have organized themselves into local, national, and international professional bodies to further the aims of the profession.
Social work, as a profession or pursuit, originated in the 19th century. The movement began primarily in the United States and England. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Social work has its roots in the struggle of society to deal with poverty and the resultant problems. A society is a Population of Humans characterized by patterns of relationships between individuals that share a distinctive Culture and Institutions Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life including food clothing shelter and safe Drinking water, and Therefore, social work is intricately linked with the idea of charity work. The concept of charity goes back to ancient times, and the practice of providing for the poor has roots in all major world religions. The world's principal Religions and spiritual traditions may be classified into a small number of major groups or world religions'.  However, the practice and profession of social work has a relatively modern (19th century) and scientific origin.  During the Middle Ages, the Christian church had vast influence on European society and charity was considered to be a responsibility and a sign of one’s piety. A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth This charity was in the form of direct relief (for example, giving money, food, or other material goods to alleviate a particular need), as opposed to trying to change the root causes of poverty. After the end of feudalism, the poor were seen as a more direct threat to the social order, and so the state formed an organized system to care for them. Feudalism, a term first used in the early modern period (17th century in its most classic sense refers to a Medieval Europe Political system composed In England, the Poor Law served this purpose. This article deals chiefly with the English Poor Laws covering England and Wales This system of laws sorted the poor into different categories, such as the able bodied poor, the impotent poor, and the idle poor. Impotent poor was a classification of Poverty used in Britain during the 1600s It referred to those poor who were unable to support themselves either through The idle poor was a classification of the poor used under the Poor Law system in the United Kingdom. This system developed different responses to these different groups.
The 19th century ushered in the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the There was a great leap in technological and scientific achievement, but there was also a great migration to urban areas throughout the Western world. The term Western world, the West or the Occident ( Latin: occidens -sunset -west as distinct from the Orient) can have multiple meanings This led to many social problems, which in turn led to an increase in social activism.  Also with the dawn of the 19th century came a great "missionary" push from many Protestant denominations. A missionary is a member of a Religion who works to convert those who do not share the missionary's faith someone who proselytizes. Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Some of these mission efforts (urban missions), attempted to resolve the problems inherent in large cities like poverty, prostitution, disease, and other afflictions. Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life including food clothing shelter and safe Drinking water, and Prostitution is the act of performing Sexual activity in exchange for Money. A disease is an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs bodily functions and can be deadly In the United States workers known as "friendly visitors", stipended by church and other charitable bodies, worked through direct relief, prayer, and evangelism to alleviate these problems. A stipend is a form of Monetary payment or salary such as for an Internship or Apprenticeship. Prayer is the act of attempting to communicate with a Deity or spirit Evangelism is the Christian practice of proselytisation. The intention of most evangelism is to effect Eternal salvation to those who do not follow the  In Europe, chaplains or almoners were appointed to administrate the church's mission to the poor. A chaplain is typically a Priest, Pastor, ordained Deacon, Rabbi, Imam or other member of the Clergy serving a group of Almoner (from the Greek ελεημοσύνη westernized as eleemosyna 'alms' via Latin Almosunartius and French known in English since circa 1300 is a chaplain or church
During this time, rescue societies were initiated to find more appropriate means of self-support for women involved in prostitution. Prostitution is the act of performing Sexual activity in exchange for Money. Mental asylums grew to assist in taking care of the mentally ill. A psychiatric hospital (previously called insane asylum, mental hospital; or derogatorily looney bin, nut house or Funny Farm) is Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as A new philosophy of "scientific charity" emerged, which stated charity should be "secular, rational and empirical as opposed to sectarian, sentimental, and dogmatic. " In the late 1880s, a new system to provide aid for social ills came in to being, which became known as the settlement movement. For the organisations for kibbutzim and moshavim see Settlement movement (Israel The settlement movement was involved in the creation of "settlement  The settlement movement focused on the causes of poverty through the "three Rs" - Research, Reform, and Residence. They provided a variety of services including educational, legal, and health services. These programs also advocated changes in social policy. Workers in the settlement movement immersed themselves in the culture of those they were helping.
In America, the various approaches to social work led to a fundamental question – is social work a profession? This debate can be traced back to the early 20th century debate between Mary Richmond's Charity Organization Society (COS) and Jane Addams's Settlement House Movement. The Charity Organization Societies also called the Associated Charities was a private charity that existed in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a clearing house for information Laura Jane Addams (September 6 1860 &ndash May 21 1935 was a founder of the U For the organisations for kibbutzim and moshavim see Settlement movement (Israel The settlement movement was involved in the creation of "settlement The essence of this debate was whether the problem should be approached from COS' traditional, scientific method focused on efficiency and prevention or the Settlement House Movement's immersion into the problem, blurring the lines of practitioner and client. Scientific method refers to bodies of Techniques for investigating phenomena 
Even as many schools of social work opened and formalized processes for social work began to be developed, the question lingered. In 1915, at the National Conference of Charities and Corrections, Dr. Abraham Flexner spoke on the topic "Is Social Work a Profession?" He contended that it was not because it lacked specialized knowledge and specific application of theoretical and intellectual knowledge to solve human and social problems. Abraham Flexner ( November 13 1866, Louisville Kentucky - September 21 1959) was an American educator  This led to the professionalization of social work, concentrating on case work and the scientific method.
The International Federation of Social Workers states, of social work today,
"social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence-based knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation, including local and indigenous knowledge specific to its context. The International Federation of Social Workers states of social work today "social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence-based knowledge derived The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW is an International Professional organization for social workers. It recognizes the complexity of interactions between human beings and their environment, and the capacity of people both to be affected by and to alter the multiple influences upon them including bio-psychosocial factors. The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex situations and to facilitate individual, organizational, social and cultural changes. "
The current state of social work professional development is characterized by two realities. There is a great deal of traditional social and psychological research (both qualitative and quantitative) being carried out primarily by university-based researchers and by researchers based in institutes, foundations, or social service agencies. A quantitative attribute is one that exists in a range of magnitudes and can therefore be measured. Meanwhile, many social work practitioners continue to look to their own experience for knowledge. This is a continuation of the debate that has persisted since the outset of the profession in the first decade of the twentieth century.  One reason for the gap between information obtained through practice, opposed to through research, is that practitioners deal with situations that are unique and idiosyncratic, while research concentrates on similarities. Idiosyncrasy, from Greek ιδιοσυγκρασία idiosunkrasia, "a peculiar temperament" "habit of body" ( idios "one's own" The combining of these two types of knowledge is often imperfect. A hopeful development for bridging this gap is the compilation, in many practice fields, of collections of "best practices" which attempt to distill research findings and the experience of respected practitioners into effective practice techniques. Although social work has roots in the informatics revolution, an important contemporary development in the profession is overcoming suspicion of technology and taking advantage of the potential of information technology to empower clients. 
Professional social workers are generally considered those who hold a professional degree in Social Work. Professional Social Workers are generally considered those who hold a professional degree in Social Work A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of Higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing Often these practitioners must also obtain a license or be professionally registered. The verb license or grant license means to give permission The noun license is the document demonstrating that permission Licensure refers to the granting of a License, which gives a 'permission to practice In many areas of the Western world, social workers start with a Bachelor of Social Work (BA, BSc or BSW) degree. The term Western world, the West or the Occident ( Latin: occidens -sunset -west as distinct from the Orient) can have multiple meanings A bachelor's degree is usually an Undergraduate Academic degree awarded for a course or major that generally lasts for three four or in some cases and Some countries, such as the United States, also offer post-graduate degrees like the master's degree (MA, MSc or MSW) or the doctoral degree (Ph.D or DSW). The United States of America —commonly referred to as the See also Postgraduate Training in Education Postgraduate education (synonymous in North America with graduate education, and sometimes described The Master of Social Work ( MSW) is a Master's degree in Social work received from a Graduate school that has been approved by the Council A doctorate is an Academic degree that indicates the highest level of academic achievement The Doctor of Social Work (DSW is a professional social work specific Academic degree for experienced social work practitioners who wish to further their careers by gaining
In the United Kingdom, often referred to as social services assistants or care workers, are social workers that are not professionally registered and often do not hold any formal social work qualification. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Within the mental health sector in the UK, an additional qualification can be gained: an "Approved Social Worker". This enables the practitioner to assess and make an application to hospital for admission under the Mental Health Act 1983. A hospital is an institution for Health care providing treatment by specialised staff and equipment and often but not always providing for The Mental Health Act 1983 (1983 c 20 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom but applies only to people in England and Wales.
In a number of countries and jurisdictions, registration or licensure of people working as social workers is required and there are mandated qualifications. Licensure refers to the granting of a License, which gives a 'permission to practice Licensure refers to the granting of a License, which gives a 'permission to practice  In other places, a professional association sets academic and experiential requirements for admission to membership. The success of these professional bodies' efforts are demonstrated in the fact that these same requirements are recognized by employers as necessary for employment. 
There are a number of professional associations for social workers. The purpose of these associations is to provide advocacy, ethical guidance, and other forms of support for their members and social workers in general. Advocacy Advocacy is the pursuit of influencing outcomes –including public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political economic and social systems Ethics is a major branch of Philosophy, encompassing right conduct and good life There are a number of international regulatory bodies for professional social workers. Two of these are the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). The International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW is an International Professional organization for social workers. The International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW is the international association of schools of social work and other institutions of learning The Iowa School Social Workers Association (ISSWA) is made up of masters level social workers employed by area education agencies and local school districts in Iowa.
On a national level there are organizations regulating the profession, as well. Some of these are the National Association of Social Workers (United States), the British Association of Social Workers (United Kingdom), the Australian Association of Social Workers (Australia), and the Professional Social Workers' Association (India). The National Association of Social Workers (NASW is a professional organization of Social workers in the United States. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The British Association of Social Workers (BASW is the largest professional association of Social workers in the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW is the professional representative body of social workers in Australia. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. The Professional Social Workers' Association (PSWA is an association of Indian / Tamil Nadu social work professionals headquartered at Chennai. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country
Professional social workers have a strong tradition of working for social justice and of refusing to recreate unequal social structures. Professional social workers have a strong tradition of working for social justice and of refusing to recreate unequal social structures Social justice, sometimes called civil justice, refers to the concept of a Society in which Justice is achieved in every aspect of society rather than The main tasks of professional social workers can include a variety of services such as case management (linking clients with agencies and programs that will meet their psychosocial needs), medical social work, counseling (psychotherapy), human services management, social welfare policy analysis, community organizing, advocacy, teaching (in schools of social work), and social science research. Medical Social Work is a sub-discipline of Social work. Medical social workers typically work in a hospital skilled nursing facility or hospice, have a graduate degree Psychotherapy is an Interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living In economics a social welfare function can be defined as a real-valued function that ranks conceivable social states (alternative complete descriptions of the society Professional social workers work in a variety of settings, including: non-profit or public social service agencies, grassroots advocacy organizations, hospitals, hospices, community health agencies, schools, faith-based organizations, and even the military. This article is about people called professionals For the Movie, see The Professional or Leon. For other meanings see Grass roots (disambiguation. A grassroots movement (often referenced in the context of a Political movement A hospital is an institution for Health care providing treatment by specialised staff and equipment and often but not always providing for Palliative care (from Latin palliare to cloak is any form of medical care or treatment that concentrates on reducing the severity of Disease Symptoms A military is an Organization authorized by its Nation to use force usually including use of Weapons in defending its Country (or by attacking Some social workers work as psychotherapists, counselors, or mental health practitioners, often working in collaboration with psychiatrists, psychologists, or other medical professionals. Psychotherapy is an Interpersonal, relational intervention used by trained psychotherapists to aid clients in problems of living Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or Emotional wellbeing or an absence of a Mental disorder. A psychiatrist (also archaically called an alienist) is a Physician who specializes in Psychiatry and is certified in treating Mental disorders Mental health professional A psychologist is a practitioner of Psychology, the systematic investigation of the mind including Behavior, Cognition, Social workers may also work independently as private practice psychotherapists in the United States and are able to bill most third party payers such as insurance companies. Additionally, some social workers focus their efforts on social policy or conduct academic research into the practice or ethics of social work. Social policy relates to guidelines for the changing maintenance or creation of living conditions that are conducive to human welfare. The emphasis has varied among these task areas by historical era and country. Some of these areas have been the subject of controversy as to whether they are properly part of social work's mission.
A variety of settings employ social workers, including governmental departments (especially in the areas of child and family welfare, mental health, correctional services, and education departments), hospitals, non-government welfare agencies and private practice - working independently as counsellors, family therapists or researchers. Mental health is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or Emotional wellbeing or an absence of a Mental disorder. A prison, penitentiary, or correctional facility is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned and usually deprived of a range of
There are three general categories or levels of intervention. The first is "Macro" social work which involves society or communities as a whole. This type of social work practice would include policy forming and advocacy on a national or international scale. The second level of intervention is described as "Mezzo" social work practice. This level would involve work with agencies, small organizations, and other small groups. This practice would include policy making within a social work agency or developing programs for a particular neighborhood. The final level is the "Micro" level that involves service to individuals and families.
There are a wide variety of activities that can be considered social work and professional social workers are employed in many different types of environments. In general, social workers employed in clinical or direct practice work on a micro level. Social workers who serve in community practice are occupied in the mezzo or macro levels of social work. The following lists detail some of the types of jobs that social workers may do.