Human or social services as a term has been a bit abstract and attracted a lot of misconceptions. Basically, misconceptions abide that the only individuals whose lives would be touched or affected by social services or workers are neglected or abused children and welfare recipients. As much as these are valuable and important aspects pertaining to social work, the belief is not completely true. Actually, many are the times when social workers touch each and every one of us in a different way. Social workers refer to individuals who are trained distinctively and positioned in order to address a wide range of problems and issues of varied magnitudes from individual to global. Human services or social work refers to the best efforts made to ensure that other individuals can access opportunities and resources necessary to cope with problems, vulnerabilities and needs in their lives more so when the individuals would otherwise be unable to access by themselves. In delivering these services, the social workers must apply some professionalism and operate within a code of ethics. This is where the National Association of Social Worker (NASW) comes in.
NASW is essentially a membership organization established in 1955. It set it mission as promoting, developing and protecting social work practice and the social workers. It also sought to enhance the well-being and effective functioning of communities, families and individuals via its advocacy and work. SASW was established by the merging of 7 organizations engaged in social work and makes for the largest organization in the world bringing together professional social workers.
Primarily, NASW saw a gap in the social workers’ professional development. It therefore set out to promote this as well as create and maintain professional practice standards, promote proper social policies and offer services that would product the social workers while enhancing the status professionally. This they did through coming up with and adopting a Code of ethics as well as other specialized and generalized practice standards. It is also on this basis that the organization has promoted quality assurance and certification through its various constituent groups such as ACSW, DCSW, PACE and ELAN. It also produces journals and sponsors ongoing education programs and professional conferences through its varied chapters both in United States and abroad.
While the NASW uses memoranda of associations and collaborates with other organizations o promote its goals, it is important to acknowledge that more needs to be done as especially in the recruitment arena. Accrediting social workers and promoting their professionalism would only be possible if the efforts are concentrated right from the recruitment process. This would definitely demand looking at particular traits in the individuals including showing patience, caring and understanding as one deal with other individuals. Other crucial personal traits would include being responsible, effective time management and strong communication skills.
Burger & Youkeles’s state that it is the preparation and training of an individual worker in a particular framework that would be modified as a function of a particular client served, organization work level and the work setting. They underline the key general knowledge, attitudes and skills that would be required for all social service work.
According to Burger & Youkeles it would be important that the nature of the human systems be understood. These in clued the organization, group, community, society and individual. In this case, the workers would have to be prepared in such a way as to help them understand group dynamics, human development, community of organization, setting of national policy and the interaction of social systems to produce human problems. In addition, there would be a need to understand the particular conditions that limit or promote maximum functioning and deviations classes from the required functioning in key human systems. The worker would understand the causation models that pertain to enhancing treatment rehabilitation and healthy functioning. This includes socially, medically, educationally and psychologically-behavioral oriented models. These definitely differ with the strategies offered by the organization more so since Burger & Youkeles advocate for taking precautions beforehand through the correct recruitment while the organization is about accrediting and informing through journals and conferences.
While I may agree with the NASW on the establishment of a code of ethics to gain in order to set the boundaries of the members on their dealings with other people, it is important to acknowledge that more needs to be done more so on the area of getting the right people to do the job. Only then would the code of ethics, the journals and seminars be effective in allowing for professionalism in the provision of social services. I actually would agree with Burger & Youkeles’s on the recruitment and the criteria and the particular aspects to look into when selecting individuals for social work all in an effort to promote professionalism in the provision of services. I would suggest however that the individuals in social work incorporate skills not only in planning abut also executing as well as evaluating interventions. This enables them to design plans of action to mitigate particular problems and execute plans systematically.
The provision of social services definitely necessitates a certain level of professionalism and more so operating within particular frameworks. In this case therefore, the NASW code of ethics would be very effective in enhancing professionalism of the social workers while also placing them at a better position to be treated better. However, this has to be tackled in line with proper recruitment of the social workers.