The celebration commemorates the anniversary of the Republic Act 4373, otherwise known as the Social Work Law. The passage of the Social Work Law on June 19, 1965 has regulated the practice of social work and the operation of social welfare agencies in the Philippines. Subsequently, it has created a new interest in social work and in the field of social welfare. Incidentally, the date falls on the birthday of the Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
The institutionalization of the celebration is one of the gains in advocacy work of NASWEI. It was in 2005 when the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) of Iloilo and other provinces and major cities in the region declared June 13-19 as Social Work Week . Enacted as a response to the initiatives of social workers led by NASWEI-Western Visayas, the declaration is a recognition of the role of social workers in nation building.
For this year’s celebration, we intend to adopt the theme of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in the United States for their celebration of National Professional Social Work in March. That is, if we get their nod to our request. The theme “Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy: The Power of Social Work” is relevant to our context . Social work is a helping profession. It gives hope for others to move on, to move forward, using their personal strengths, to create a vision and a plan for what life can be.
The theme is also consistent with our advocacy work. Likewise, the celebration is an opportunity to promote the profession to the public, especially to the youth. Many still have misconceptions about social work. Some have associated or confined it to acts of charity, welfare and dole outs. Others do not know that social work is a profession with a broad scope of social work of practice.
Social work offers a broad variety of settings including: public and private agencies, hospitals, schools, private businesses, industry and labor, 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. Some are managers, supervisors, and administrators. Others are also 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. In the same way that bachelor’s degree holders of any four year course are welcomed to the profession. There are two options. 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 through this blog.