Last week, we finalized plans for the Social Work Week celebration in Iloilo on June 13-19. The Steering Committee, I chaired, is composed of representatives from various organizations of social workers. From academe to the practitioners in respective fields, members of the committee have been united to maximize the celebration to promote the Social Work profession. More so, that the enrollment for the SY 2012-2013 has already started.
The annual celebration is rooted in the 2005 Resolution of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Iloilo declaring June 13-19, 2005 and every year thereafter as Social Work Week . This is to give recognition to the role of social workers in nation building. It was a response of the Provincial government to the initiatives of social workers, mostly from the National Association for Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI)-Western Visayas , who met in Central Philippine University to discuss and plan out activities to promote the social work profession.
The context of the meeting was the preparation for the Ruby Anniversary of the Social Work Law at that year. The Social Work Law (R.A. 4373) was passed on June 19, 1965 to regulate the practice of social work in the Philippines. However, it was noticed that the significance of the date of the passage of the Social Work Law had not been officially observed unlike other social welfare legislations which were passed even later.
The consultation sparked the move to advocate for the declaration of June 13-19 as Social Work Week. It gained strong support from the Philippine Association of Social Workers, Inc. (PASWI) in Western Visayas. At that time, the national association encouraged and recognized regional aggrupations of provincial chapters. Hence, the close and quick coordination of regional activities. Other social work-led organizations and alliances in the region, as well as government officials and NGO leaders in the Regional Development Council (RDC) provided support. The resolution was endorsed by RDC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Soon, the move gained nationwide support.As a response, almost all of the provinces and major cities in Region VI, through respective provincial or city councils, declared June 13-19 as Social Work Week in support of such initiative. Eventually, the PASWI National leadership had declared a nationwide celebration every June. The changes in leadership, however, caused lack of continuity of the nationally coordinated activities.
This year’s theme is “Responding to the Changing Times: Together we develop the agenda in Social Work and Social Development.” It is an offshoot of the worldwide movement of social workers to push for the Global Social agenda. Among others are social and economic equalities, dignity and worth of peoples, environmental sustainability, human relationships.
The theme reflects the broad scope of Social Work. Translated into employment, Social Work offers a broad variety of settings including public and private agencies, hospitals, schools, private businesses, industry and labor. Other settings include child-caring institution, nursing homes, corrections, court systems, law enforcement agencies, rehabilitation centers, adoption agencies, hospices, centers, homes, shelters for various special groups, and many others. Social workers are managers, supervisors, and administrators. Others are elected political leaders and legislators.
As a social worker, you will work with a variety of people such as infants, children, youth, women, persons with disabilities, older persons, drug dependents, released prisoners, other needy adults, emergency/disaster victims, indigenous communities, farmers, fisherfolks, migrant workers, urban poor, rural communities, and a lot more…By all indications, Social Work is a noble profession. But more than that, Social Work is a vocation. The last parable in the Gospel of Matthew (25:31-46) appears to confirm the lasting impact of social work. In the final end, the chaff is separated from the grain and the division of all the world’s people into the blessed and the cursed takes place.
This division is entirely based on the acts of kindness and mercy done by people to their disadvantaged fellow human beings like “feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, visiting the prisoners, putting on cloth to the naked, inviting strangers to their homes. “ Jesus identifies such acts with kindness towards himself when he said: “… inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
Incoming college students who have not decided yet on what course to take are encouraged to try Social Work. Similarly, bachelor’s degree holder s of any four year courses are welcomed to the profession. There are two options for college graduates. You may proceed to Master of Science in Social Work or take Bachelor of Science in Social Work as second course. You can visit the nearest social work school in your area for details of their respective programs. Should you decide to enroll at Central Philippine University, you can also communicate with us thru the web. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You may also visit the website of Central Philippine University.