Social Work Essay

History of societal work influences current professional pattern In this essay I will sketch the historical beginnings of societal work in Ireland. I will analyze how the profession emerged from charity work in the nineteenth century to germinate into the profession it is today. To get down with it is of import to specify the term societal work. The Oxford English Dictionary ( 1989 ) defines societal work as ‘work of benefit to those in demand of aid. particularly professional or voluntary service of a specialized nature concerned with community public assistance and household or societal jobs originating chiefly from poorness. mental or physical disability. maladjustment. delinquency etc. ’ Harmonizing to Skehill ( 1999 ) societal work in Ireland has evolved over for stages all of which will be discussed in this essay. The first of these was the outgrowth of societal work in the nineteenth century through voluntary work carried out by assorted administrations. followed by the early twentieth century when professional societal work in Ireland began. the 3rd stage as described by Skehill ( 1999 ) saw the growing in societal work employment and preparation in Ireland.

The concluding stage in the history of societal work brings us from the 1950’s up to the present twenty-four hours which has seen the development of societal work into the profession it is today. Harmonizing to Skehill ( 1999 ) societal work in most instances around the universe has emerged from voluntary philanthropic gift. This is true for the instance of societal work in Ireland. The history of societal work in Ireland begins in the late nineteenth century. in which faith and charity played of import functions. The beginning of societal work can be related to charity work. In England work similar to that of societal work today was carried out by the Charitable Organisation Society. In Ireland in 1902 G. W. Williams developed a registry for all charities runing in Dublin. He found that there were four hundred and one charities in Dublin at that clip. All of these charities were runing individually. Charity work and philanthropic gift during the nineteenth century in Ireland was organised by assorted charities. establishments and persons. each of these worked separately to assist the hapless and those in demand. Their work was in countries such as supplying material resources. rearing accomplishments and instruction.

The rational for this philanthropic gift included a human-centered concern. a desire to modulate the hapless and in peculiar to modulate adult females and a concern for keeping societal order and morality. This philanthropic gift work that was carried out in the nineteenth century can now be identified as assorted professions such as learning. nursing and societal work. Along with this work and in add-on to it Catholic and Protestant spiritual orders were transporting out charity work such as place visits to the hapless. sing prisons. workhouses. puting up orphanhoods and schools and supplying places for single female parents. The competition between the faiths meant that in add-on to supplying for the hapless they were besides seeking to advance their faith. As stated in Luddy ( 1995 ) the differences between the Catholic and Protestant charities was the manner in which they carried out their work.


Catholic tally charities tended to concentrate on supplying a scope of services. whereas Protestant charities tended to supply services on a specialist footing. Religious orders at the clip were opposed to State intercession in relation to educational and residential services and besides more loosely within the country of philanthropic gift in the community. This was based on the belief that charity could be best provided by voluntary services. who could separate between the ‘deserving’ and ‘undeserving’ hapless. Catholicism remained really strong and influential in Ireland and so Catholic values and rules became a cardinal facet to societal work in Ireland up to the 1960’s ( Skehill. 1999 ) . The early twentieth century brought alteration to societal work in Ireland. In the early decennaries of the century. peculiarly until the 1930’s societal work continued to be dominated by voluntary charity work and spiritual orders. who focused on supplying alleviation for the hapless and supplying institutional attention for kids. adult females. the handicapped. mentally sick and others in demand. Much of the charity work carried out at this clip was focused on supplying aid for the ‘deserving’ hapless ( Skehill. 1999 ) .

The Catholic Church continued to be influential in the bringing of societal work and it saw societal work as a agency of supplying religious aid to the hapless. Those who were deemed ‘undeserving’ could avail of charity services if they would prosecute with the Catholic Church. As stated in Skehill ( 1999 ) An Annual Report in 1922 by the National Council of the Society of St Vincent de Paul explains how one adult male who was seen as being ‘undeserving’ was given charitable aid when he agreed to return to his faith. However the twentieth century was besides the clip when societal work began to go more professionalised and emerged in Ireland as an business. In 1912 the first college class in Civic and Social Work was established in Alexandra College in Dublin. Harmonizing to Skehill ( 1999 ) In 1919 the first societal worker was employed in Ireland by the Adelaide Hospital. Dublin. Miss Alcock was employed to work with persons and households.

Following the employed of the first societal worker. during the 1930’s and the 1940’s a important figure of societal workers were employed in infirmaries. In these early old ages of societal work instruction. there was a scope of positions on what was the best sort of societal work learning. Despite classs being offered by the Civic Institute of Ireland. most aspirant Irish societal workers travelled to England or America for professional societal work preparation. The twentieth century saw the growing and development of societal work in Ireland both in footings of a turning figure of trained and employed societal workers and besides the enlargement of the voluntary and charity societal work. really small difference existed between voluntary and professional societal workers at this clip ( Skehill. 1999 ) . The 3rd stage in the history of societal work in Ireland harmonizing to Skehill ( 1999 ) included the traditional charity work carried out by the Catholic Church but besides saw the development of societal work as an business. The Catholic Church exerted much power over the Irish State and society. this meant that societal services developed in such a manner as so the Church and its voluntary administrations could keep power and control over societal services such as child care. instruction. household support and working with single female parents in order to implement their thoughts in relation to the household and morality.

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From the mid 1960’s the Irish State began to develop a comprehensive public assistance programme which saw much of the duty for societal services displacement from the Catholic Church to the State. The profession of societal work began to do important advancement following the States creative activity of places in the public service. Yet the enlargement in societal work occurred in an ad hoc nature based on the bing demands in countries such as wellness and probation with really small hereafter planning. The major development in societal work during the 1950’s and 1960’s was the enlargement of preparation in Ireland. The first societal scientific discipline grade in Ireland was introduced in 1954 in University College Dublin. Following this Trinity College. Dublin introduced a societal scientific discipline grade in 1962. followed three old ages subsequently by University College Cork. These societal scientific discipline grades covered many societal work subjects and allowed alumnuss to work as societal workers without being professional qualified. Although the figure of societal workers was still comparatively low by the 1950’s the profession had expanded and societal workers were now working in countries such as psychopathology. acceptance and fosterage ( Skehill. 1999 ) .

As already discussed the figure of professional societal workers in Ireland began to turn organize the 1950’s. nevertheless the figure of societal workers in employment in the 1970’s remained significantly low. A study by the Irish Association of Social Workers in 1971 provinces that there were 90 seven societal workers with station alumnus preparation working in Ireland. The bulk of these societal workers were employed as medical societal workers. In add-on to this societal workers were employed by voluntary administrations. in industrial services and as psychiatric societal workers. Merely one societal worker. who had a station alumnus making. was employed working with kids ( Skehill. 1999 ) . Phase four in the history of societal work in Ireland harmonizing to Skehill ( 1999 ) is defined by the enlargement of the profession and increased preparation of societal workers. From the 1990’s onwards there were increased employment chances. Much of this increased employment for societal workers came from statutory bureaus such as the Department of Health. Probation and Welfare services and Local Authorities. As stated in Christie ( 2005 ) by the terminal of the decennary there were 1. 390 societal workers in Ireland. this figure increased to merely fewer than 2. 000 by 2001. By 2001. the bulk of societal workers were working with kids.

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Much of this addition in societal work with kids can be attributed to the increased consciousness of kid maltreatment and the rise in reported kid maltreatment instances ( Ferguson and O’Reilly. 2001 ) . From a legislative footing The Child Care Act 1991. The Children Act 1997 and the Children Act 2001 have all included for the employment of extra societal workers ( Irish Statute Book. 2013 ) . As have studies such as The Ryan Report ( Ireland. Department of Health and Children. 2009 ) . In 1995 The National Validation Board on Social Work Qualifications and Training was set up. The purpose of this administration was to present the National Qualification of Social Work ( NQSW ) to professionally accredited societal workers. The administration has done much work to raise the profile of societal work in Ireland and to spread out the cognition and information in relation to societal work. From 2013 societal workers who wish to work in Ireland must be registered with CORU. CORU was set up to advance high criterions of behavior. instruction. preparation and competency for societal workers and other wellness and societal attention professionals ( CORU. 2013 ) . In decision societal work in Ireland has had an interesting history from its initial development as charity work by spiritual and secular administrations. through its educational development to its professional development. Social work has developed as a profession from its historical beginnings. where in 1919 there was merely one employed societal worker in the state. to today where there is over 2. 000 societal workers employed in Ireland ( Trinity College Dublin. 2014 ) .