People with no formal training in the field have engaged in social work. However with the growing complexities of modern day living, to be effective in this profession it is essential for a social worker to hold a degree in social work.
Courses in social work are offered by more than thirty-five institutions. These courses are practical and offer students exposure by means of fieldwork, where they can test their skills in actual situations. The Master's programme in social work is a two-year course, about half of which is spent in fieldwork.
To be eligible for the Master's Programme in social work, the candidate is required to be a graduate in any discipline.
Candidates are selected on the basis of a written test and interview.
The test judges the candidate's ability to communicate as well as the candidate's grasp over and approach to a given topic. The interview is generally based on the details provided in an autobiographical sketch. What matters is the candidate's motivation for joining the course, a sense of commitment, awareness, clarity of thought and overall personality.
The Jamia Millia Islamia University, Delhi, and the Nirmala Niketan College, Bombay, are among some of the institutions in the country offering a three-year course leading to a Bachelor's degree in social work.
Admission is on the basis of a written test, interview and group discussion.
Duration of the programme
The Bachelor's programme is for a period of three years, whereas the Master's programme is for duration of two years.
The desire to help people; a firm commitment to the cause; the ability to communicate with people from varied backgrounds and emotional states. Mental agility to tackle crisis situations, sympathy and empathy, readiness to work outdoors.
Perseverance in the face of apparent failure, when groups or individuals show no sign of improvement or appreciation. Emotional stability in order to handle other people's problems without becoming emotionally involved.