National Institute For Social Work

Founded in 1961 and following proposals featured in the Ministry of Health Working Party on Social Carers/ Workers in the Health & Welfare Services in 1959, the National Institute for Social Work has been operating throughout the United Kingdom and abroad, offering support to users, carers, practitioners, managers and policy makers and organisations.

The National History for Social Work provides a vast range of services that are aimed at achieving the highest standards in practice and management in social work and care.

History of the National Institute for Social Work

The history of the National Institute for Social Work can be traced back to Dame Eileen Louise Younghusband (1902-1981), a welfare worker and the daughter of diplomat explorer Sir. Francis Younghusband, who was a major influence on her actions. Dame Younghusband spent the majority of her childhood in Kashmir where her father was British Resident and upon her return to England in 1910 she was enrolled in private education before attending the London School of Economics, leading to her university diploma in sociology.

Younghusband became a half-time tutor at her university before being promoted to a full time post, where her interest in the poor and deprived grew. She spent large portions of her time volunteering as a social worker until she became involved in courses for refugee women returning home after the war in the 1930s. 1941 saw Younghusband becoming the National Association of Girls' Clubs' principal officer for training and employment for youth leaders.

After two years in employment she undertook a survey to understand the welfare needs of those in receipt of benefits, which led to the Ministry of Health inviting her to chair a working party, where the topic of the role of social workers in the health and welfare services was discussed in great depth. Through input on Younghusband's behalf, the report recommended training courses for social workers, which led to the beginning of the certificate for social work and the Council for Training in Social Work.

A further outcome of this report was the establishment of the National Institute for Social Work Training, where Younghusband pioneered in a generic course at LSE, which was the prototype of professional social work training. The institute ran for a number of years until 2003, when the institute was closed.

The History of Social Care

Social work itself can be traced back to the struggle society had in dealing with poverty and the resultant problems. Social work has been intricately linked with the concept of charity work and has only recently become an official job title.

Social work is an expert, academic branch of learning that is committed to pursuing social welfare and social change within a population. Social workers pride themselves on working towards research and practice that will improve the quality of life of citizens within the UK , as well as developing the potential of an individual, a group and a community.

Many social workers have the duty of working in research, practice or in higher education. For those researchers you will focus on areas including policies, public administration, evaluations and international community development, with the hope that this information will influence British society.

Social workers are generally organised into local, national, continental and international professional bodies, however a number of positions will overlap with other subjects such as education, politics, medicine, sociology, economics and psychology. It is interesting to note that the majority of social workers are female, thought to be due to their nurturing nature.

Social Workers

In the UK the title social worker is protected by law and as a result it can only be used by those with a recognised qualification, as well as being registered with the General Social Care Council. Most social workers will have a certificate that licenses them as reliable and authentic individuals suitably trained to work within the social work field with a high level of discretion and empathy. A lot of social workers also hold qualifications in sociology, economics, politics or another relative subject, so they are more than qualified to deal with social issues.

The main task a professional social worker will carry out a vast variety of services that include, but are not limited to, case management, where users/clients are linked with agencies/programs specially chosen to meet their psychosocial needs; counselling, or psychotherapy, human services management, social welfare policy analysis, policy and practice development, community organising, international, social and community development, advocacy, teaching and social research. It is hoped that providing these services to relevant individuals and groups will improve their quality of life, with the majority of these services going to those in poverty, deprived areas or from deprived backgrounds.

Most social workers are employed by the public sector and local authorities, making it a service provided by the government. The local government expenditure sees social services as a major component and spends a portion of the budget on social services departments. The direction of social work within the UK divided concerns into children's and adult's services. Social work tasks carried out in England and Wales for children/young people is under the remit of the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the adult side is under the Department of Health.

Social work provided for children includes the protection of children, which is perhaps the best-known service social workers provide. This is largely due to the controversy and criticism that social workers are faced with when they have to make decisions to remove children that are suspected of being abused or neglected from the care of their parents. Another role social workers are well-known for in the UK is mental health care and currently in the UK social workers can train to become Approved Mental Health Professionals.

The General Social Care Council and a number of other social care organisations launched a wide-ranging consultation in 2007 aiming to provide a clear, professional understanding of social work in the UK , as well as a balanced view into social work organisations. The efforts of social workers can be seen throughout many neighbourhoods across the UK , with events, venues, services and advertising.