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What Is Social Work

Learn more about social work and what social workers do

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Happy World  Social Work Day 2022

Greetings from the Malaysian Association of Social Workers!


Every year, World Social Work Day (WSWD) is celebrated on the third Tuesday of March, which is the key day in the year when social workers worldwide stand together to advocate common messages globally. This celebration also provides an opportunity for social workers and others in the social service sector to celebrate their achievements in the roles they play in the lives of vulnerable families and communities.

The theme this year is “Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind (Bersama Membina Dunia Eko-Sosial Baru: Tiada Yang Ketinggalan)" and it highlights a vision and action plan to create new global values, policies and practices that develop trust, security and confidence for all people and the sustainability of the planet, as well as to engage all stakeholders, and network with the community to make contributions to the values and principles which enable everyone to have their dignity and be respected through an efficient eco-system thus leaving no one behind.

Global Definition of Social Work

“Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work.  Underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledges, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing. The above definition may be amplified at national and/or regional levels.”

Definition of Social Work in Malaysia Context

Social work is a profession guided by a body of knowledge, values and skills, utilizing a bio-psycho-social approach, to facilitate optimal social functioning of individuals, families, groups and communities.  Social workers uphold a code of ethics and conduct based on the values of human rights and social justice.  The profession also contributes towards social development and social change through the enhancement of social policies, legislation, programmes and services, appropriate to the needs of Malaysia’s diverse socio-cultural population for a better quality of life.

Social Work in Malaysia

Social Work Is The Helping Profession

Social problems such as poverty, unemployment, unequal opportunities, racism, malnutrition, crime, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental illnesses and many other issues that makes it difficult for people to achieve their full potential.

Social work is the helping profession and this is where social workers come in. With powerful knowledge and skills, social workers undertake assessment to address client's concerns to improve their quality of life.

In Malaysia, the governmental and non-governmental agencies offer social work services to the vulnerable groups in various types of settings such as health, education, housing and the justice system.

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