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International Definition of Social Work Review

APASWE/IASSW Asian and Pacific Regional Workshop (4 November, 2010)

MARCH 2011

Social Work Research Institute Asian Center for Welfare in Society Japan College of Social Work

The IASSW/IFSW International Definition of Social Work is a monumental achievement in the history of modern social work. This definition has come to be accepted worldwide. In fact, the definition is now in the laws of some countries, and many other countries have made efforts to conform their social work practices to the words of the definition. In most countries, however, university professors, teachers, and practitioners have taken this definition for granted and dealt with it as a given. It has been the same with textbooks. A proposal to review the definition leaves many people speechless with a look of surprise. Why is it necessary to revise it? They had never thought of such a revision. An introduction to the APASWE International Definition of Social Work Review Project brings a glow of surprise and also interest to their eyes. They were and are teaching and practicing on the basis of this definition. The definition has been a yardstick by which they have been measuring realities and practices and to which they have been busily fitting them. The present proposal questions the accuracy of the yardstick and considers its alteration. The executors of the definition themselves, that is, the IASSW and the IFSW, have requested all of us to review it every ten years. They know that the definition is neither complete nor perpetual. A definition is a start and a basis for research and practice, a guiding line, and the terminal, at least for the time being. The APASWE International Definition of Social Work Review Project has been welcomed for its intellectual considerations and practical contributions. This may be a case of opportune timing as many countries are now in the process of standardization, professionalization, and even the enactment of social work laws. The entire process of the definition review is really one of social education. Tatsuru AKIMOTO, DSW Director Asian Center for Welfare in Society (ACWelS) Institute of Social Work Research Japan College of Social Work

IASSW/IFSW International Definition of Social Work

International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) International Association of School of Social Work(IASSW) Definition The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. Commentary Social work in its various forms addresses the multiple, complex transactions between people and their environments. Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. Professional social work is focused on problem solving and change. As such, social workers are change agents in society and in the lives of the individuals, families and communities they serve. Social work is an interrelated system of values, theory and practice. Values Social work grew out of humanitarian and democratic ideals, and its values are based on respect for the equality, worth, and dignity of all people. Since its beginnings over a century ago, social work practice has focused on meeting human needs and developing human potential. Human rights and social justice serve as the motivation and justification for social work action. In solidarity with those who are dis-advantaged, the profession strives to alleviate poverty and to liberate vulnerable and oppressed people in order to promote social inclusion. Social work values are embodied in the professions national and international codes of ethics. Theory Social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence-based knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation, including local and indigenous knowledge specific to its context. It recognises the complexity of interactions between human beings and their environment, and the capacity of people both to be affected by and to alter the multiple influences upon them including bio-psychosocial factors. The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex situations and to facilitate individual, organisational, social and cultural changes. Practice Social work addresses the barriers, inequities and injustices that exist in society. It responds to crises and emergencies as well as to everyday personal and social problems. Social work utilises a variety of skills, techniques, and activities consistent with its holistic focus on persons and their environments. Social work interventions range from primarily person-focused psychosocial processes to involvement in social policy, planning and development. These include counselling, clinical social work, group work, social pedagogical work, and family treatment and therapy as well as efforts to help people obtain services and resources in the community. Interventions also include agency administration, community organisation and engaging in

social and political action to impact social policy and economic development. The holistic focus of social work is universal, but the priorities of social work practice will vary from country to country and from time to time depending on cultural, historical, and socio-economic conditions.

* This international definition of the social work profession replaces the IFSW definition adopted in 1982. It is understood that social work in the 21st century is dynamic and evolving, and therefore no definition should be regarded as exhaustive.

Adopted by the IFSW and the IASSW, May 2001

I. APASWE/IASSW* International Definition Of Social Work Review Project ...................................................... 1

II. The People From Asia-Pacific Region Can Not $JUHH:LWK7KH&XUUHQW'HILQLWLRQ$3DUWLFLSDQW ............. 3 III. The Roles Of Social Workers In Asia & Pacific And Some Ideas For The Definition ......................................... 7 IV. Workshop Reports .................................................................................................................................................... 13 International Definition Of Social Work Rigional Workshop ..................................................................................... 15 Social Work Definition Review Workshop Attendee's List.......................................................................................... 17

Bangladesh: International Review Project On Definition Of Social Work: Bangladesh Workshop Outcome...18 China: Definition Of Social Work: Chinas View And Experiences............................................................................24 Indonesia: Definition Of Social Work Revisited ............................................................................................................27 Japan: JSSSWs Working Group Opinion On Changing: The International Definition Of Social Work ...........33 Korea: APASWE/IASSW International Definition Of Social Work Regional Workshop.......................................37 Nepal: Can a Falling Leaf Tell The Coming Of The Autumn? ................................................................................... 40 The Philippines: Revisiting The Definition Of Social Work ........................................................................................ 47 Thailand: The Revision Of Social Work Profession Definition Project......................................................................49 Malaysia: The Social Work Definition Malaysian Context......................................................................................51 New Zealand:APASWE Workshop On Definition Of Social WorkTokyo 2010.................................................... 53 Summary Of The Presentation Session Of Each Country.......................................................................................... 56 Small Group Discussions................................................................................................................................................... 58 Conclusive Summary 1......................................................................................................................................................61 Conclusive Summary 2......................................................................................................................................................62


National Workshops After 4th November............................................................................................................... 65 Japan..................................................................................................................................................................................... 67 New Zealand........................................................................................................................................................................70 The Philippines ...................................................................................................................................................................74

Appendix: 1........................................................................................................................................................................... 75 Appendix: 2........................................................................................................................................................................... 76

I. APASWE/IASSW* International Definition of Social Work Review Project

IASSW=IFSW International Definition of Social Work was adopted by IFSW and IASSW in May 2001, and they were committed to a 10 year cycle of review for it. This year of 2010 is the year for the revision. (Introduction to the joint IFSW and IASSW document, International Definition of the Social Work Profession; Ethics in Social Work, Statement of Principles; Global Standards for the Education and Training of the Social Work Profession, Supplement of International Social Work, Sage) The IFSW and the IASSW are behind schedule. The APASWE decided to take the lead at its first national association+ meeting in June 2010 in Hong Kong, proposing that each national association hold its national workshop in its mother tongue hopefully by around 20 October 2010, and the APASWE hold a regional workshop at the beginning of November 2010 and the summary conference at the 21st Asian and Pacific Social Work Conference in 2011. In a country in our APASWE Region, the definition is now part of a law, and in many countries, the definition and two other documents above (i.e. Ethics Statement and Global Standards) which include the definition in them have been used as a yardstick to promote the standardization of competency and curricula and the social work profession itself. It has been said that Convergence is inevitable and necessary. Wherever we go, however, similar criticisms and complaints have been heardIt is the Wests. For example: a. Is social change, problem solving in human relationships, and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being appropriate as aims and activities of social work? b. Is the dichotomic way of thinking, e.g. people vs. environment, acceptable? c. Is the individualism or the individual-centered way of thinking, including to develop their full potential, suitable? d. Arent the stability of society, harmony in human relations, respect of others, emphasis of unique traditions and culture, an emphasis on responsibility, and the importance of family kin and community core elements for social work? (cf. Footnote 2 of Global Standards) e. How about inserting a non-English word, e.g. kysei (Living together interdependently; Co-existence; cf. symbiosis), in the definition?
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f. Dont you have any objections to designate human rights and social justice as the fundamental principles of social work? g. Between lines, Western democracy, Christianity and modernism can be discerned. h. The element of spirituality is missing. Another voice is also heard: More fundamentally, It is a developed country model. Is it OK to begin with The social work profession promotes.? Is social work a profession? What we need first is the definition of social workbefore the definition of social work profession, dont we? Is it necessary to revise the definition or not? If necessary, which part must be revised and how and why? The examination should be made both at the conceptual level and the empirical level. (Tatsuru Akimoto, APASWE, 14 October 2010 r)

* This project has started originally as an APASWE project, but later it became the joint project with IASSW with its partial financial support.

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The people from Asia-Pacific region cannot agree with the current definitiona participant
Tatsuru AKIMOTO, DSW President, APASWE I. Regional Workshop on 4 November 2010

On November 4, 2010, eleven representatives sent by their national associations or their alternative bodies convened on the campus of the Japan College of Social Work, Tokyo, Japan, to discuss the IASSW/IFSW International Definition of Social Work. They brought the fruits of their own national workshops or alternative collective discussion efforts which they had respectively organized using their own languages. Two national associations from New Zealand and Japan had promised to hold national workshops after this November 4th regional workshop. The representatives reported the results of their deliberations to their colleagues from other countries in the region, and had discussions in small group sessions and in the plenary session. Some seventy other university professors, social workers, and NGO representatives attended, listening to and participating in their discussions. The APASWE, the IASSW, the Japan College of Social Work, and the Japanese Association of Schools of Social Work cosponsored the November 4th regional workshop. Financially and logistically, all were provided for by the Japan College of Social Work. II. The definition we want

Questions raised were Is it necessary to revise the present IASSW/IFSW social work definition? If yes, which part must be revised and why and how? An examination should be made both at the conceptual level and the empirical level. All presenters expressed their dissatisfaction with the present definition to propose their respective revised versions, except for one who refrained from stating her ideas on grounds of insufficient data (Japan). Table 1 in the next section (pp.9-10) by Kana Matsuo is the list of their proposed revised versions. The definition does not fit us or is less relevant for local situations. Why? Because it is Western. Our culture, traditions, beliefs, and values are different. Our context in which we function is different. Our region is diversified. How should we revise it? Table 2 in the next section (p.10) is a partial list of words & phrases and ideas which were presented, suggested, or proposed to be inserted or considered in their presented papers and discussions in the workshop. There are three categories: First is the terms denoting culture, diversity, value, ethics, etc., which should be included. Second is the words & phrases or ideas which concretely express the contents of the first group of words above harmony, not competition, harmony with other people and the environment
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(including nature), questions on the emphasis on social change, As Mori we are not separate from, but in a world of many, holistic, spirituality, collaboration, the balance of individual needs and rights and family/community needs and rights, indigenous people, etc. These had been hinted at in the brief statement of IASSW/IFSW International Definition of Social Work Review Project (pp.1-2) Social development and poverty, which had not been explicitly referred to in it, were repeatedly mentioned. (Bangladesh, China, Thai, etc.) They should be part of the definition, particularly in this region. The relation of social work with states or governments and their policies was also brought to attention: The social workers duty as advocator toward their national governments, (Indonesia) "a tool to administrate the country, " (China [governments' understanding]) (cf. the contribution to social construction, social management, social stability, or social control) There are socialist countries, and also countries and cultures that are hegemonic, in this region. The reference to social welfare and its relation with social work was made in some papers and discussions, which may be a feature in this region. (Indonesia, Bangladesh, China) The third category is the words & phrases and concepts which have been frequently used in Western social work. Social reform, social action, self-determination, minority rights, equality, individual, family, group, (organization,) and community as subjects or clients, micro, mezzo, and macro, the relation and dynamism between global, regional, national and local," coping ability, social functioning, social resource, participatory, capacity building, equal relationship between social worker and client, etc. These should be emphasized. It is not clear if their inclusion has something to do with Western bias or dominance. III. Acceptance of the present definition

While insisting on revision, all presenters expressed a certain level of positive appraisal of the present definition, including one who said Western hegemony or western imperialism that has created the definition of social workis to be explicit. (Bangladesh) Also while discrepancies between actual practices and the definition were sometimes pointed out by participants, one said that they could be dealt with flexibly within the practice. Actually, all proposals above were made on the basis of the present definition, in the form of the addition, deletion, replacement, or modification of some words and phrases, or ideas. There were no proposals which insisted on a total replacement of the existing definition. As long as we aim at revision , this would be unavoidable. A game would be played within the framework of the given definition. Even a slightly unique model of definition with the concept of life in the core (B; p.75)--which was handed to all participants--did not draw any attention. The remnants of the present definition still appears to be cherished. IV. What was not discussed

What was not discussed--contrary to our expectations--was (1) the question if we may start with a social work profession, (2) the review based on empirical data, and (3) the concepts of social justice, human rights, democracy, Christianity, modernism, etc.

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(1) What definition do we want? Is it the definition of social work or the definition of professional social work? May we assume social work is a profession. (cf. a footnote 1 in IASSW/IFSWs Global Standards) Social workers could be both professional and nonprofessional, couldnt they? There are professional soccer players and elementary school kids who play soccer. Soccer is soccer whoever plays it. Sometimes a nonprofessional team beats a professional team. In some countries whose school entrance rates at the elementary level are 60 percent, those who study social work at the post-secondary school level--which leads to degrees or diplomas (cf. IASSWs Constitution)--may comprise only a few percent among their cohort. Students who study at MSW programs would number less than zero percent. There may no or, at best, few schools of social work in some countries/regions. As college graduates are the elite, they would not work in the field. Wherever there are difficulties of life, some people certainly work to attack, ameliorate, and solve those difficulties. They are not "social workers". Then must we import (professional) social workers from developed countries? The China report reminded us of altruism as an essence of social work. Many reports used the term help to define social work (Indonesia, Korea and Malaysia) while others wanted to avoid defining social work as a helping profession. Must social workers have certificates and licenses, and/or be professional? (Japan) We are attempting to wrestle with the fundamental question of what social work itself is. (M. Henrickson) It is. not applied science, is it a profession? (a small group discussion session) (2) Our cultural and contextual differences are emphasized. But instinctive, antipathetic, nationalistic, or regionalistic reactions are not enough. The present definition was born through more than one hundred years of history of professional social work and an additional long history of its predecessors. Our social work history and examination are brief. The hisrotry is too different. Numerous cases of discrepancy between the definition and practices must be collected from fields and classrooms and research results and inductively analyzed and synthesized to prove that the definition does not fit us because of differences in culture and context. The need for such an effort was pointed out by a presenter, and only a few examples were heard from presenters. (3) Social justice, human rights, democracy, Christianity,modernism, etc., which have sometimes become the targets for criticism, were neither referred to nor discussed much or deeply. Only one comment, Social justice from which side? remains on the record. V. We must go onan APASWE definition?

A general question was raised whether the definition should be written in the form of should be or to be. One unexpected outcome of this workshop was the idea of a multi-layer definition. As social work functions in a specific context, a definition could or even should differ at the international, regional and national level. In other words, now we are not sure if we should make a proposal for the revision of the international definition or we should make our own regional and/or national definition by ourselves, leaving the international definition as it is. One participant concluded, Lets make an APASWE definition. A consensus on this has yet to be reached. Social work was born in Europe and grew up in North America. The present international definition was made through the rich experiences and great efforts of these regions, being based on their own
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practices in their own context. If social work wants to be a global profession or entity, it must be founded on the experience and practice in the context of other parts of the world from where social work was not born and did not develop. Thus, without input from Asia and the Pacific, social work could never become richer or global. Our earnest yet innocent dissemination of the present international definition does not necessarily contribute to the development of social work in the world. We must say something different, otherwise social work wont improve. We have learned much from them and owe them much. It is the time for us to return something to them. This is a work in progress which we will take back to our respective countries and which we have to try to accomplish in time for the Tokyo Conference in July 2011. (M. L. Alcid)

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III. The Roles of Social Workers in Asia & Pacific and Some Ideas for the Definition
Reading Papers and Session Discussion Records
Kana Matsuo Researcher, Social Work Research Institute, Japan College of Social Work

Since the Social Work Definition was adopted by the IASSW and the IFSW in 2001, it has gained acceptance across the Asia-Pacific region as well as others. University professors have been striving to teach the definition to students, but it was often not easy to comprehend its meaning. Moreover, practitioners sometimes feel that the definition does not fit them well. Why does this happen? One of the biggest reasons is the diversity in this region. Others are the local wisdom, cultures, and the ways of living so deeply rooted in all residents of this region. One of the participants on the 4th of November regrettably commented that people from the AsiaPacific region have not agreed to the current definition. Much lengthy effort has certainly been made toward defining Social Work, but the present understanding of the diversity of people might still not be sufficient. The following is a review of those ideas from the Asia-Pacific countries presented in the November 4th workshop seeking to provide new ideas and views to the IASSW/IFSWs revision efforts. I. Roles of Social Workers in the Asia-Pacific Region

Lets begin by revisiting the roles of social workers in the Asia-Pacific region. An analysis of what we are in this region should tell us the reason why we are uncomfortable with the International Definition. First of all, in the Asia-Pacific region, most countries are still in the stage of developing countries. Their GDP per capita is less than US$ 3,000, 2,000, or even 1,000 while those of Western countries are more than $30,000 with $106,000 at the highest (Luxemburg). Economic and social developments are more serious issues than social work skills in many countries. Secondly, we have a unique indigenous cultural background. As Professor M. L. Alcid mentioned, we have the diversity of faiths, cultures, ethnicities, and races within Asia. She also described Asia as the birthplace of the worlds major religions. We should not ignore the factor of the spirituality in Asia-Pacific region, either. The "spirituality" does not mean only actions such as praying to God, but also the unity of the mind, the body, and the spirit and the interconnection of all life forms and ecosystems. It also means the uniqueness of an integrative and holistically perspective. The question now arises: How can we function with the western-born definition to our issues and diversity mentioned above? We have recognized that the International Definition has been well-developed by American and European social workers and their teachers. On the other hand, we are still in the infancy of social work education. This is the reason why Professor B. R. Nikku, in the meeting on 4th November,
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raised the question of "Can we actually in a position to critique that?" Also, there were some voices on the floor in the meeting that university professors in Asia-Pacific region still usually use theories and methods and the frameworks that are imported from Western countries. They also use the same English textbooks and/or their translated versions. We recognized the following as our roles as social workers in the meeting on 4th of November,; 1) To enhance our communities to combat with the poverty and inequities; 2) To empower people to access social resources to solve their problems; 3) To enhance the coping and developing capacities of people in the community; 4) To build relationships with people while taking consideration of indigenous backgrounds. II. Ideas for the Definition

Malaysia and Thailand are in the process of promulgating Social Workers' Acts. All presenters in the meeting agreed with the necessity of a universal definition for social workers. We understand the importance of an International Definition, even if there are some difficulties with fitting it to our own situation The meeting on 4th November was a good opportunity for peoples in the Asia-Pacific region to look back upon our social work backgrounds and share our thoughts and ideas for the universal definition. Presenters had set their workshops for reviewing the International Definition in their countries before the November meeting. They discussed the meaning of social work and its international definition. There were varieties of opinions based on their own social work problems and practices. There are, however, common questions concerning the revision of the International Definition. They are: 1) How can we have the social work profession understood by people in other fields and in general? 2) What is the fundamental role of the social work profession, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. (cf. the section above) 3) What do we add or delete from the International Definition? Presenters reported the results of their national workshops at the meeting. (See TABLE 1) Some of presenters said that the definition should be simpler, but such does not see to be the case. It shows participants zeal for responding to the three questions posed above. Also, they proposed some words & phrases and ideas to put into the Definition, which were shared in the meeting. (See TABLE 2)

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TABLE 1 Proposed Definition IASSW/IFSW The social work profession promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships

and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilizing theories of human behavior and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.
Country Bangladesh Definition (The definition under discussion is fairly acceptable to usbut an individual society/country/region should frame definition of social work according to its own cultural diversity, spirituality, wisdom, and process of social change and development considering the local-national-regional and global dynamicsa particular society may indigenize and contextualize the definition as per the needs, interests, and sets of values active in the different social classes.) The government side: Social work's role and function from a tool rational perspective, rather than a fair and just one. Firstly, they merely consider social work as a tool to administrate the country and boost social harmony. Secondly, social work is thought of as a part of public service and social welfare. Thirdly, they tend to regard the civil NPOs that offer social work services, as assistants to control the society and provide public service (not as a real partner). On basis of the tool rational perspective, local governments would resort to NPOs (to purchase social work services). Academic side: An important part of social construction, SW is a profession that presents core values of socialism and follows professional norms and morals, devoting itself to Helping Others to Help Themselves and offer help to the individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities that need help by utilizing professional knowledge, skills and methods, so as to integrate social resources, coordinate social relations, prevent and solve problems, restore and develop social functions, and promote social harmony. Social work is a helping profession for promoting social change, empowerment and problem-solving within human interaction and environment at the level of individual, family, group, community and society to enhance welfare. Social work intervention is based on theories of human behaviour in social environment, diversity, human rights and social justice principles, as well as the socio-economic cultural context and the dynamics of local-national-global interactions. Social Work is a profession which helps people collaborate with their social environments. With an emphasis on the interplay between individual and society, we need to formulate strategies for achieving the goals of both personal and social change.




Social work is a unique profession, I am not saying helping or whatever, it is a unique profession when compared to other professions that prepare people to help themselves. It's not only helping people help themselves but we're preparing people to help themselves by learning. How are they doing it? By learning new skills:, humanity, social justice, social changes are the fundamental principles to us. Samajik karya aauta yesto byabasayayik kriyakalap ho jasle manisharulai aafno samasya aafi samadhan garna seep pradan garcha. Manavta, samajik naaya ra samajik pariwartan samajik karya ko mul dharharu hun. ( Social Work Is a unique profession that prepare people to help themselves by learning new skills . Humanity, Social Justice and Social Change are the main principles! )" The Philippines The social work profession promotes empowerment and social transformation to overcome inequality, impoverishment, and oppression; thereby, achieving sustainable personal well- being and social development. Guided by values and a code of ethics, social work utilizes theories of human behavior and social environment as it intervenes at points where people interact with their milieu at the micro, mezzo and macro levels. Social work recognizes peoples diversity, and biopsychosocial and spiritual dimensions; hence, it is committed to the pursuit of their total and holistic development as individuals and as social collectivities, and the creation of an enabling environment marked by participatory and democratic processes, relationships, structures, and ecological protection. Principles of human rights, self determination, gender equality and social justice are fundamental to social work. Nepal

Definition Social work profession promotes and supports social development and social change through the capacity Thailand building of individual, family, group, organization, and community in their environments. Social workers integrated a body of knowledge of arts and sciences together with wisdom, social resources management, empowerment and advocacy skills in their practice processes in-physically, mentally, socially, and intellectually-protection, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation the clients they serve. In commitment to the framework of professional ethics, social workers hold the professional values of human rights, social justice, human value and dignity, social well-being, and social partnership. Social work is a profession guided by a body of knowledge, values and skills, committed to the provision of Malaysia psychosocial management, enabling and empowering for better services and programmes, to facilitate the optimal social functioning of individuals, families, groups and communities. Social workers uphold a code of conduct and ethics based on the values of human rights and social justice. The profession also contributes towards social development, social change and social control through the enhancement of social work education and training, policies, legislation, programmes and services appropriate to the needs of Malaysia's diverse socio-cultural population for a better quality of life. New Zealand Preamble: Social work recognises the importance of local context, culture, and that it is derived from multiple forms of knowledge. It is recognised that social work can look different in different places and that regional and local definitions are necessary. General Statement: Social work occurs with individuals, families, groups and communities in times/places where there is not a goodness of fit with their multiple environments. Social work has a focus on human rights and social justice. Through critical analysis social workers draw on a range of forms of knowledge to work with people or systems to achieve positive change or wellbeing. TABLE 2 Words & Phrase and Ideas to be considered in the International Definition


Backbone Philosophy

culture, diversity, value, ethics, holistic, spirituality, collaboration, etc The harmony, not competition Harmony with other people and environment (including the nature) As Mori we are not separate from, but in a world of many The balance of individual needs and rights and family/community needs and rights, indigenous people. Social workers duty to advocate their national governments. (Indonesia) The contribution to social construction, social management, social stability, or social control (China [government understanding]) Questionable to the emphasis on social change There are socialist countries, and countries and cultures that are hegemonic, too, in this region. The reference to social welfare and its relation with social work. Social development and poverty, which had not been explicitly referred in it, were repeatedly mentioned. (Bangladesh, China, Thai, etc.)

Expecting Roles for Social reform,social action, self-determination, minority rights, equality, Individual, family, group, (organization,) and community, as subjects or clients, Social Workers
Micro, mezzo, and macro, Social functioning, social resource, participatory, capacity building, Equal relationship between social worker and client, The relation and dynamism between global, regional, national and local, coping ability. etc.




It is clear that Asia-Pacific region is a melting pot. We emphasize harmony among people, the concept of ecosystems and the interconnection between humans and the environment. While we have those backgrounds, it cannot be denied that we have faced the big tide of globalization. It has radically changed our family systems, ethnic culture, lifestyles, and communities. Thus, we conclude that we are still making our way in the process to revise the International Definition. We need more precise discussions on whether we will make a different definition which suit the Asia-Pacific region, or propose more practical words & phrases and ideas for the IASSW/IFSW's definition at another opportunity of the 21st Asia-Pacific Social Work Conference, which will be held in July. It is not easy to choose either of these for revising the International Definition. We are still searching for the definition of what we arethe uniqueness of social work profession. Nevertheless, this argument is meaningful. Our process of revising the Definition takes us a big step forward for the future and the establishment of new partnerships with western thought. The definition is the start and basis and the goal and end for discourse, education and practice.


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IV. Workshop Reports

Is it necessary to revise the present IASSW/IFSW social work definition? If so, which part must be revised and why and how?

4 November, 2010
Venue: Japan College of Social Work (Room A101), Kiyose TOKYO

Asian and Pacific Association for Social Work Education ( APASWE)

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4 November 2010 Venue: Japan College of Social Work (Room A101), Tokyo

Is it necessary to revise the present IASSW/IFSW social work definition? which part must be revised and why and how?

If so,

Has the present definition suited us, our practice, thoughts, and values? The examination should be made both at the conceptual level and the empirical level. Lets change (scattered, unorganized) mutters to an Asian & Pacific (integrated, organized)voice.

 <Opening> 9:30 Welcome Shigehiro Takahasi, President, Japan College of Social Work Welcome & Project Outline Tatsuru Akimoto, President, APASWE <National Workshop Reports> Chair: Robyn Mason, Representative, Australian Association for Social Work and Welfare Education (AASWWE); Monash University 9:4510:05 Bangladesh Muhammed Samad, Secretary General, Bangladesh Council for Social Work Education (BCSWE);University of Dhaka 10:0510:25China Yong-Xiang Xu, Vice president, China Association for Social Work Education (CASWE); East China University of Science & Technology 10:2510:45 Indonesia Fentiny Nugroho, President, Indonesian Association for Social Work Education (IASWE); University of Indonesia 10:4511:05 Japan Nobuyuki Iwama and Ritsuko Watanabe, Special Committee Members, Japanese Society for the Study of Social Work (JSSW); Osaka City University and Kansei-gakuin University 11:0511:20 Coffee Break 11:2011:40 Korea  (PTO)
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Seonmee Hong, Chair, Education Committee, Korean Association for Social Work Education (KASWE); Hanshin University

11:40  12:00

Bala Raju Nikku, Founding Director, Nepal School of Social Work; Kadambari Memorial College of Science and Management; APASWE Board Member 12:0012:20 The Philippines Mary Lou Alcid, President, National Association for Social Work Education Inc. (NASWEI)Philippines; University of the Philippines 12:2012:40 Thailand Sopa Onopas, Secretary, Social Work Association of Thailand; Huachiew University 12:4013:00 Malaysia Azlinda Azman, Executive Committee Member, Malaysian Association of Social Workers (MASW);Universiti Sains Malaysia


13:0014:30 Lunch Break [13:15-14:15 The 2nd National Association+ Meeting] <Discussion> Chair: Zulkarnain Ahmad Hatta, Acting-Secretary, APASWE; Universiti Sains Malaysia 14:3014:45 Summary Report of the morning session Zulkarnain Ahmad Hatta 14:4515:45 Small Group Discussion (3-4 groups) 15:4516:25 Small Group Report (7 minutes X 3-4 groups) 16:25 17:00 Plenary Discussion <Closing> 17:0017:10 Conclusive Summary I Soung-Yee Kim, Immediately Past President, APASWE (Korea); Ewha Womens University. 17:1017:20 Conclusive Summary II and Thank you from APASWE Mark Henrickson, Treasurer, APASWE; Representative of Council of Social Work Educators Aotearoa New Zealand; Massey University 17:20 Closing& Thank you from Asian Center for Welfare in Society Kenichi Nakashima, Director, Institute of Social Research, Japan College of Social Work Language Interpretation All sessions except for the Small Group Discussion in the early afternoon: English and Japanese The Small Group Discussion in the early afternoon: Group A: English, Japanese Group B: English, Chinese, Japanese Group C: English, Korean, Japanese (Group D: Japanese only) [18:00-19:30 Welcome Party] (14 October 2010)
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Social Work Definition Review Workshop Attendee's List

(Alphabetical order by country)
Australian Association for Social

Name Robyn Mason

Chair; Monash University


Work and Welfare Education (AASWWE) Bangladesh Council for Social

Secretary General; Director & Professor,


Work Education (BCSWE)

Muhammad Samad

Institute of Social Welfare and Research (ISWR), University of Dhaka (DU)

China Association of Social Work



Yong-Xiang Xu

Vice president; East China University of Science & Technology

Indonesian Association of


Schools of social Work (IASWE) Japan Association of Schools of

Fentiny Nugroho

President; University of Indonesia

Special Committee Members, Japanese


Social Work(JASSW)

Ritsuko Watanabe

Society for the Study of Social Work (JSSW); Kansei-gakuin University

Korean Association of Schools of


Social Work Education (KASWE) Malaysian Association of Social

Seonmee Hong

Chair of Education Committee; Professor, Hanshin University



Azlinda Azman

Chair; UniversitiSains Malaysia

Nepal School of Social Work

Council of Social Work Educators

Bala Raju Nikku

Founding Director Representative;

Aotearoa New Zealand The Philippines Thailand

Aotearoa New Zealand

Mark Henrickson

Senior Lecturer, Massey University (Auckland)

Philippine Association for Social Work Education Thai National Association for Social Workers

Mary Lou Alcid

President of Philippine Association for Social Work, Professor, Philippine University Secretary of The Social Work Association of

Sopa Onopas

Thailand Asst.Prof. Huachiew University

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Bangladesh: International Review Project on Definition of Social Work: Bangladesh Workshop Outcome
Muhammad Samad Ph.D I. Introduction

Bangladesh appeared on the world map as an independent and sovereign state following the victory of a long struggle for independence, and War of Liberation in December 1971. It is among the most highly and densely populated countries in the world. With a land area of 144,000 square kilometers, the recent (2005-2007) estimates of Bangladesh's population range from 142 to 159 million has made it the seventh most populous nation in the world (BBS, 2007). As a developing nation, in part due to its large population, its per capita income in 2008 was USD 540. Despite many hurdles, the country has made significant progress in human development in the areas of literacy, gender parity in schooling, and reduction of population growth (World Bank, 2005; 2008). The ethnic composition of Bangladesh is mosaic of mixed races with a dominant non-Aryan strain. More than 80 percent of its population lives in rural areas. The fertile lands and vast water bodies have made agriculture the major occupation, and rice, vegetables and fish have become the staple foods. The society of Bangladesh is cohesive and mostly characterized by joint family. The culture holds respect for women and elders and love and care for children. Traditionally the parents, elderly and disabled dependants are taken care of by the families of their sons or daughters or relatives. Although currently about 90 percent of the countrys populations are Muslims, the customs and traditions in Bangladesh are varied and fascinating. In spite of rapid expansion of education and modern amenities, rural people and indigenous communities still retain an unconscious belief in animism in Bangladesh. However, Eid, DurgaPuja, Buddha Poornima and Christmas are the main religious festivals of the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Christians of the country respectively. The indigenous communities living in forests, hill tracts, plain lands and tea gardens have their own colorful festivities centering round different deities. Apart from many religious and social festivals,

Shaheed (martyrs) Day is nationally observed on the 21st day of February to commemorate the heroes
who sacrificed their lives in 1952 to defend the dignity of our mother tongue Bengali from the attempt of Pakistani regime to impose Urdu as the only state language of Pakistan. In recognition of the sacrifices of the heroes of the great Language Movement in Bangladesh, 21st February is being observed as International Mother Language Day all over the world declared by UNESCO since 1998.

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In ancient India (of which Bangladesh is culturally an integral part) there were sporadic and, in considerable cases, organized efforts to help the needy and victims of natural disasters. At one time, the advent of Islam brought about a renaissance among the relatively lower caste population in India under a conversion process. Islam institutionalized charity work through its various systems like

zakat, fitra, baitulmal, etc. Thus, some forms of social welfare activities have evolved and have been
practiced in Bangladesh as elsewhere in the world (Karim, 1996; Sarker, 1995). In regard to psycho-socio-economic problems, abuse of children and women, physical, mental and social disabilities, over population, acute poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and poor health are common in Bangladesh. The government agencies (GAs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs e.g. BRAC, Grameen Bank, Proshika, ASA, etc.) have been implementing various economic and social development programs through micro-finance, human development training, conscientization and advocacy to improve the life situation of the poor and disadvantaged segment of the population of the country (Samad, 2000). It is most relevant to note that although social work does not have professional recognition in Bangladesh, professionally skilled and highly trained social workers can greatly contribute to make these development activities more effective and meaningful. II. Social Work Education in Bangladesh

Social work education in Bangladesh originated in the Pakistan regime having two key objectives: a) to build professional leadership in solution of acute and large-scale social problems and b) to criticize the operation of existing social welfare structure in response to various human needs and to guide the future development program (Moore, 1958). An introductory course in social work of three months duration was first started in Bangladesh (then known as East Pakistan) in 1953. After that, in 1955-56 professional education in social work was introduced with a nine-month training course on Community Development and Medical Social Work at Dhaka University. With the completion of the nine-month on-the-job training course under the countrys first Urban Community Development Project, the establishment of a school of social work under Dhaka University was proposed. All the above initiatives were taken under the auspices of the UN Technical Assistance Program in the social service sector and guided by the UN experts (Ahmed, n. d.). Thus, Bangladesh has been inheriting the western hegemony in regard to social work education and practice.

Schools and Levels of Social Work Education

In response to the proposal for establishment of a school of social work, the Government established the College of Social Welfare and Research Center in 1958, and it commenced its educational program in the academic year 1958-59 with 15 students registered for an MA degree in social welfare at the University of Dhaka (Ahmadullah, 1986). The College of Social Welfare and Research Center, the first
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social work school of Bangladesh, was merged with the University of Dhaka (DU) as the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (ISWR) in 1973. Currently the four social work schools namely ISWR of Dhaka University, and departments of social work in Rajshahi University (RU), Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Jagannath University (JU) and National University have been offering courses at four levels such as i) four year graduation with honors ii) one year masters iii) M. Phil and iv) Ph.D. It should be mentioned that out of 1415, 194 and 91 colleges under the National University (NU) have been offering bachelor and masters level courses. It is important to note that thousands of students who are enrolled for a three year graduation program (B.A Pass course) in 1415 colleges under National University of Bangladesh also take-up social work as one of the social science optional subjects having 300 marks. Besides, a 200 marks optional course of social work is also offered at Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) level i. e. junior college level in Bangladesh. Four levels of degrees such as Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSS) Honors, Master of Social Sciences (MSS), Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) and doctorate (Ph.D.) degrees are currently offered by the social work schools of five public universities in Bangladesh. A two-year evening masters program (EMP) in Social Welfare has been introduced at the Institute of Social Welfare and Research since 2004. After completing 12 grades from junior colleges, the students are eligible for admission at BSS level and it is a four year bachelor degree course with honors. MSS is one year degree course after successful completion of BSS level. On the other hand, two year MPhil and three year PhD degrees are offered by the universities of Bangladesh. The scholars can enroll in MPhil program after completion of four year bachelor degree with honors under the supervision of a faculty. On the other hand, requirements for Ph.D. enrollment include completion of MSS with a four year graduation and two years research or teaching experience in all the social work schools in Bangladesh.


International Definition of Social Work Review Project: Outcome of Bangladesh Workshop

Apart from the social graduates, the terms of Social Work and Social Welfare carry the same meaning to the government policy-makers, development administrators and workers as well as NGO operators in Bangladesh. And, mostly because of the absence professional recognition and lack of professional association (s) in the country, importance and efficacy of social work education and practice in its clear meaning could not touch the attitude of the national level policy-makers and planners. As a result, the vast social service sectors in the country are not being shaped in accordance with the professional spirit or philosophy. The project activities which are institutional in nature do not follow the social work guidelines, even not being managed by professional social workers. The same conditions also prevail in services that are non-institutional particularly community participation based. It is
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accepted on all hands the participatory social work activities are far more practical, pragmatic and pro-people. Thus the whole social work programs are at hodgepodge stage and customarily these are going on without specific goal and direction. Still there are enough scopes for reorganizing social services by formulating a common policy for social workers earn appropriate skill, attitude and knowledge for practicing social work. In this circumstance, conceptual perception and understanding about social work education and practice should be explicit. Therefore, for its appropriate application, APASWE International Definition of Social Work Review Project is significant and timely indeed. This paper is an attempt to present the outcome of Bangladesh Workshop on social work definition under APASWE International Definition of Social Work Review Project. The term Definition connotes the action of determining a controversy or question at issue and setting of bounds or limits for the same. In this connection Locke opines in his An Essay Concerning Human

Understanding that the names of simple concepts do not admit any definition. On the other hand,
Wittgenstein rejected the need for any undefined simples and the idea of self explanation of the meaning of a term because what considers as a simple in one circumstances might not do so in another. He pointed out that explanation of a term is only required when we need to avoid misunderstanding (The Oxford English Dictionary, 1933; Wikipedia). In these circumstances, due to social change, problem solving in human relationship, empowerment and liberation of people, harmony of human relations, emphasis on unique tradition and culture, and importance of core elements of family, kin and community, the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) were committed to a 10-year cycle of review for Social Work definition. Toward that end, under the initiative and guidance of APASWE, each national association organized National Workshop on definition of Social Work by October 2010. Todays Regional Workshop in Tokyo is the outcome of all of these workshops on definition of Social Work held in the countries of the Asia and the Pacific. The definition that has been discussed in the workshops is: Thesocialworkprofessionpromotessocialchange,problemsolvinginhuman relationshipsandtheempowermentandliberationofpeopletoenhancewellbeing.Utilisingtheoriesofhuman behaviourandsocialsystems,socialworkintervenesatthepointswherepeopleinteractwiththeirenvironments. Principlesofhumanrightsandsocialjusticearefundamentaltosocialwork.

Outcome of Bangladesh Workshop

Bangladesh Council for Social Work Education (BCSWE) organized a Day-long National Workshop on APASWE International Definition of Social Work Review Project on 03 August 2010 at the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (ISWR), University of Dhaka. The faculties/educators and social work
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practitioners participated in the workshop from all concerned universities having social work program like University of Dhaka, University of Rajshahi, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology Sylhet, Jagannath University, Colleges under National University, Gana Bishwabidyalaya (Private University), and from the national NGOs. The major outcome of the workshop is as follows: 1. Issues discussed in the workshop include western hegemony or western imperialism that has developed the definition of social work and which is going to be questioned along with the demand for voice of local culture be raised or heard and it is to be explicit too. However, the definition under discussion is fairly acceptable to us. 2. Although we have the definition but the question is how to practice it into operation. There is a difference between the approach of teaching and the methods we follow in practice. Social work is built on integrated body of knowledge that provides caring, curing and developmental services. These services are rendered at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Services include a notion of capacity building and empowering people through active participation. 3. Over the time, its values, norms etc. as well as social norms, values, cultural sensitivity, harmony, solidarity and socio-political situation have been changed, and the elements evolving out of those need to be incorporated in the definition. The definition of social work should be developed from both academic and practice view-point well considering local and global circumstances. Think globally but act locally may be a guideline. 4. The following four issues like preserving human rights, establishing social justice, promoting social development and addressing psychosocial problems may be taken into consideration determining the definition. 5. Social work is practiced mostly from social development perspective in a developing country like Bangladesh. Hence, within social work domain there should be the inclusion of local needs, efforts, resources, perspectives, nature of local social system, specially the welfare of the disadvantaged, distressed, disabled and marginalized people of a particular society. So, capacity building and participatory approach come up as focal point in social work practice. In fine, there should be a universal definition of Social Work acceptable by all countries/societies regardless of any doubts. But an individual society/country/region should frame definition of social work according to its own cultural diversity, spirituality, wisdom, and process of social change and development considering the local-national-regional and global dynamics. The nature of social services run by government and NGOs and their partnership process should be emphasized. By and large, a particular society may indigenize and contextualize the definition as per the needs, interests, and sets of values active in the different social classes.

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References Ahmed, S., Urban Community development in Bangladesh, Department of Social Welfare, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka; n.d. Ahmadullah, A. K., Presidential Address, Report of the Seminar of Bangladesh Social work Teachers

Association, Dhaka; 1986.

Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Yearbook of Bangladesh 2005, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka; 2007. Faruque, C. Jo and Samad, Muhammad, The Invisible People: Poverty and Resiliency in the Dhaka

Slums, PublishAmerica, Baltimore, USA; 2008.

Karim, A.K. Nazmul, Changing Society in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, NawrozeKitabistan, Dhaka; 1996. Moore, J. J. O., The Report and the Prospect from Which It Arose: A Tentative and Unpublished

Report, Prepared for the Government of Pakistan, Dhaka; 1958.

The Oxford English Dictionary (A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles), Oxford at the Clarendon Press; 1933. Samad, Muhammad, Participation of the Rural Poor in Government and NGO Programs, Mawla Brothers, Dhaka; 2000. Sarker, A. H. and Ahmadullah, A. K., Bangladesh in International Handbook on Social Work

Education edited by Tomas D. Watts et. al., Greenwood Press, London; 1995.
World Bank, Bangladesh Country Brief, World Bank, Washington; 2005. World Bank, World Development Report 2008, World Bank, Washington; 2008. Online:

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China: Definition of Social Work: Chinas View and Experiences

Prof. Xu Yong-Xiang from ECUST, Shanghai, China Prof. Sun Li-Ya from CYUPS, Beijing, China Prof. Lin Mei from ECUST, Shanghai, China I. Background Information

Early in 1920s, universities in Shanghai and Beijing introduced professional social work education and began to put it into practice in hospitals and rural areas. It is worth mentioning that the rural social work and construction led by Mr.YanYangchu, was once promoted by the United Nations. After 1949, everybody worked permanently in Danwei (eg.stated owned enterprises) since the highly centralized planned economy and the Units System was gradually established. Such organizations as enterprises, schools and peoples communes offered the fundamental well-being and showed great care for everybody, trying to address issues and maintain social order. The professional social work, therefore, lost its value of existence and the social work education was also abandoned. With the introduction of reform and opening-up as well as the fast development of the market economy since 1979, the planned economy and social Units System collapsed. And then people who used to work in enterprises, turned individuals who were short of the care and support from the society. On one hand, the economy kept a steady and fast growth. On the other hand, the social strata rapidly came into being, followed by large number of issues and conflicts in the society. In that case, it was indispensable and urgent to restore and develop the education and practice for social work. As a result, the specialized and professionalized social work was gradually restored and then developed in a speedy way on education, practice and social policy levels The year 1987 saw the resumption of professional social work education, decided by Ministry of education, and the China Association for Social Work Education was set up five years later . Up to 2010, 252 universities offer full-time undergraduates social work programs, 59 provide Master of Social Work (MSW), and another 12 offer doctoral programs. Promoted by social work educators, non-profit organization (NPO) which mainly comprised of social workers was developed vigorously in Shanghai since the middle 1990s. Professional social work service is carried out in such areas as communities, charities, schools, hospitals and judicial organizations. In addition, the civil organizations for social service and work have also been quickly developed in the developed coastal regions like Beijing and Shenzhen since the 21st century. The Wenchuan earthquake happened in 12 May, 2008, was a milestone in the development of social work when universities and organizations in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong, Chongqing and Hunan made up groups of social work shortly after the earthquake and headed to the quake-stricken areas to carry out the social work and social reconstruction. And it was a big success. Social work was recognized and highly evaluated by local people, local government and central government. Therefore, an increasing
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number of people recognized that social work played an irreplaceable and special role in social welfare, social construction, social support and social union. On the policy level, Shanghai is the first to carry out social work certificate exam and the city government set up vocational accreditation system since 2003. Over five thousand persons have acquired the certificate for social worker and assistant social worker during the following four years. Besides, the social work certificate exam was expanded to the whole nation in 2008 and so far, 250,000 persons have passed the test. This year, the central government defined social work talents as one of the six key professionals and issued policies and measures to subsidize and spur the social work talents. According to governments schedule, nearly two million persons will receive professional social work training and education by 2015, and another one million by 2020. II. The Definition of Social Work: governments understanding

With different levels of economic and social development status, local governments in the mainland comprehend social work in different ways, and the support that social work received from governments also varies. Generally speaking, the central government and local governments in such developed coastal areas as Shanghai, Beijing, Guangdong and Shenzhen are the most active to promote social work while the governments in relatively underdeveloped areas who lack sufficient funds (the Middle and the West) are less motivated. Moreover, even proactive governments merely understand social works role and function from a tool rational perspective, rather than a fair and just one. Firstly, they merely consider social work as a tool to administrate the country and boost social harmony. Secondly, social work is thought of as a part of public service and social welfare. Thirdly, they tend to regard the civil NPOs that offer social work services, as assistants to control the society and provide public service (not as a real partner). On basis of the tool rational perspective, local governments would resort to NPOs (to purchase social work services). III. The Definition of Social Work: scholars understanding

Currently, the academias universally accepted definition of social work is: An important part of social construction, SW is a profession that presents core values of socialism and follows professional norms and morals, devoting to Helping Others to Help Themselves and offer help to the individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities that need help by utilizing professional knowledge, skills and methods, so as to integrate social resources, coordinate social relations, prevent and solve problems, restore and develop social functions, and promote social harmony. The academias and governments definitions have both differences and common points. The academias definition not only absorbs the internationally recognized explanation of social work, but also adds in local understanding. Hence, the academias definition has both internationalized and localized features. First, the essence of social work as a subject, distinguishes from that of psychology, sociology and management. It is a subject that offers social welfare, a subject that solve social
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problems on the basis of the adjustment of social relationships. Second, social work is a profession with altruism-orientation, aiming to realize harmony, equality and justice in the society and Help Others to Help Themselves with scientific knowledge and approaches. Third, the target of social work falls into five categories: individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities (including both the disadvantaged groups and normal people). Fourth, the function of social work is: to integrate social resources, coordinate social relations, prevent and solve problems, restore and develop social functions, and promote social harmony. Last, the professional norms of social work must coincide with local culture. Otherwise, it is difficult to be accepted by target clients. IV. To Understand the Differences between the Two Definitions

First, social works definition actually reflects the processes and features of social construction. Actually, the government and academia share a gradual process to deepen and consummate their understanding, along with the economic and social development. Second, the differences embody their unique roles, positions and demands as social principals. For example, governments take the responsibility of social management and social stability. It is irreproachable for them to emphasize social works management function. The academia emphasizes equality and justice on the macroscopic stage, as well as the orientation of Helping others to Self-help on the microscopic stage, necessary for social development. Last, in order to achieve the macroscopic orientations and acquire a beneficial policy and media environment, it is inevitable for the academia and practitioners to seek common grounds with governments and proactively integrate themselves into or embed into governments systems and policies. As a result, they can gradually intervene, rehabilitate and finally improve governments definition.

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Indonesia: Definition of Social Work Revisited (From the Indonesias Experiences)

Fentiny Nugroho, Ph.D



It is a great leap that APASWE takes an initiative to rethink about the definition of social work. A definition is crucial to bring social work community in Asia Pacific region to have a common understanding, even though to some extent it should still provide space for the uniqueness of every country/nation. The objectives of this paper are: 1. 2. 3. To discuss whether it is necessary to revise the present IASSW/IFSW social work definition To examine the causes of the revision necessity at the conceptual and empirical levels To recommend a revised definition of social work

This paper will also explore the suitability of the present definition, including our practice, thoughts, and values. II. The Present Definition of Social Work*

The international definition of the social work profession below replaces the IFSW definition adopted in 1982. The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work. (Adopted by the IFSW General Meeting in Montral, Canada, July 2000).


The Experiences of Indonesia

Since the Reformation occurred In Indonesia in 1998, the country has changed significantly. Today democracy has developed much better compared to the period before the Reformation. Nevertheless, we also observe that this progress in democracy does not go parallel with welfare. In fact, the peoples right to express their opinion as a reflection of democracy, and the peoples right to obtain their welfare are similarly crucial. Both are the fulfillment of human rights.
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In this country the welfare issue is becoming more complex due to the implementation of regional autonomy at a local level and free trade at a global level. The policy at the national level is also influenced by these local and global dynamics. In addition to this, the world countries have had a commitment and agreement stated in Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) that in 2015 poverty, the death rate of under five children and pregnant women, HIV/AIDS, must be reduced significantly. Social work as a profession which is directly related to the peoples welfare, must always be aware about the current context of the society. Therefore, a social worker should understand the dynamics described above. For example, when a social worker is dealing with the peasant poverty, he/she must understand their poverty is not only because of the shortage of access, capital, knowledge and skills, or due to the micro factors (fatalism and the lack of motivation for achievement), but also because of global policy, among other things through World Trade Organization (WTO), which is sometimes disadvantageous for the poor peasant in developing countries. While, at a local level the social workers need to understand the local culture which at times affects the farmer productivity. For example, among Dayak ethnic group in Kalimantan island, there is a belief regarding the banana tree. This plant commonly forms clumps, with the central trunk being the biggest. The villagers believe that the small banana trees growing around the main tree cannot be pulled off unless the main tree is also removed. Also, the local people have the belief that if the plants are bearing fruit, they cannot be cut. If they do it, their family members will be sick. In fact, according to the modern agricultural knowledge, a clump should not have more than three trunks in order to produce sizable fruit.

Thus, the social workers who always understand social problems related to human and environment shall broaden their perception on the problem. They shall understand the problem at an individual, family, group, organization and community levels, as well as at a state and global levels. Furthermore, usually we analyze the problems based on the obstacles of the social function causing social dysfunction, but currently there is a shift in social work that the social workers should also look at the problem with a focus on the clients strengths (strength perspective). Moreover, social development perspective (meaning social and economic development must go parallel) that very important for the welfare of developing countries, must be comprehended by the social workers. The publication of the Decree of Minister of Social Affairs on Social Worker Certification has also influenced social work and social welfare in Indonesia.

The above circumstances have brought awareness that the definition of social work should be revised. The existing definition seems to be inadequate to cater the current conceptual and empirical development.
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Apparently there are three aspects need to be accommodated into the existing definition: 1. Social development perspective 2. Local culture 3. Dynamics of local-national-global context

1. Social Development Perspective

The most distinctive feature of this approach is the link between social and economic development (Midgley 1995). Social development attempts to integrate social and economic processes. In national development, social development is not able to occur without economic development and economic development might become distorted development unless it is accompanied by social development to achieve social welfare enhancement for the population as a whole. By adopting this approach, the social workers should comprehend the economic concepts, such as, cost benefit analysis, Gross National Product (GNP efficiency, investment, and so on. In social work context, social investment is crucial in order to pursue economic growth

2. Local Culture
The existing definition of social work has not accommodated the local culture. In fact, it really affects the daily practice of social workers, especially in Asia. Among Dayak ethnic group in Kalimantan island-Indonesia, for example, although there are some beliefs which are counterproductive with regard to farming practice, there are also some local wisdom which need to be maintained because of their importance, such as traditional knowledge about the right time to begin planting. Villagers accurately estimate this from the phase and position of moon. In addition, local climatic knowledge is important. They estimate that their plants will take six months to harvest. The sequence is as follows: June is for preparation, September is for cutting trees and clearing the land, October is for planting, and so the harvest will be between February and March. If this schedule is strictly followed, there will be no pests (birds and wild boar are the worst), because February/March is nesting season for birds, and during these months forest fruits are ripe so the boar are be well fed in the forest and will not disturb the farmers plantings. A social worker needs to be aware of these regional traditions and take them into account when planning projects.

3. Dynamics of local-national-global context

The globalization should also be considered in the definition of social work. Globalization brings both positive and negative impacts on the people in developed and developing countries.

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Positive Impact of Globalisation

People in the business world believe that globalisation brings about positive outcomes. Moreover, it is believed that globalisation will lead the world into a condition where the rapid poverty reduction and falling levels of inequality occur. In addition, there is an argument that globalisation which increases flows of trade and investment and enable poor countries to catch up with average incomes in rich countries; the World Bank states that global integration is a powerful force for poverty reduction (Oxfam International 2002, p. 65). There is also a view that with trade liberalisation resources are allocated more efficiently to productive uses and low-income countries can expand output and employment in labour-intensive industries, thus accelerating their growth. The poor also stand to benefit from this growth, and therefore trade liberalisation is also good for the poor (World Bank 2002).


Confounding Impact of Globalisation

However, globalisation can be a factor in increasing poverty. Many trade union members and environmental activists claim that globalisation has impacted negatively (Midgley 2000). In industrialized countries, globalisation of the economy has created youth unemployment, job losses due to factory closures, stagnant income and heightened inequality. Similarly, in developing countries global economic forces and economic restructuring in the face of globalisation have resulted in poverty (Scholte 2000, pp. 207-233). In these countries, even intervention by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has created bitter misery (Chossudovsky 1998). Governments in developing countries tend not to have choice but have to implement policies favourable to the global market, which do not give much protection to the poor (Ife 2000).

Trade liberalisation seems to offer good news to the poor. Since developing countries generally have an abundance of unskilled labour, free trade is assumed to increase global demand for exports that require this kind of input, driving up employment, increasing incomes and reducing poverty in the process (Wood 1994; David et al. 2000). Unfortunately, the theoretical prediction has not proved true in reality. The facts have been far less encouraging. Integration through trade is creating opportunities, but these opportunities are biased towards those with access to productive assets, infrastructure and education things to which the poor have limited or no access. In the manufacturing sector, demand for products employing skilled labour seems to be increasing far more rapidly than demand for unskilled labour.

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Poverty is a powerful barrier to participation in markets. Because of restricted access to land, credit and market information and higher transport costs, the poor are unable to compete. Having access to education is one of the important keys for acquiring the skills needed to compete for market opportunities. Evidence from many countries suggest that the expansion of trade has often resulted either in the poor getting left behind or in the intensification of exploitative and environment-damaging systems of production, so trade liberation under globalisation works against the interests of the poor (Oxfam International 2002). Developing countries have been rapidly liberalising imports, while rich countries, despite the free-market rhetoric of their government, have remained fiercely protectionist in their approach to developing exports. These protectionist policies are one of the reasons why integration into the world market is not delivering the anticipated benefits to poor countries. Tariff and non-tariff barriers penalise developing countries in those areas where they have a strong competitive advantage.

To measure the gap between free-market principle and protectionist practice, Oxfam International (2002) produces the Double Standards Index. This compares the level of protectionist trade policies employed by the richest and most powerful trading nations against exports from developing countries. This index shows that industrialised countries apply tariffs four times higher on imports of manufactured goods from developing countries than they apply to manufactured goods imported from other industrialised countries. The US and the European Union subsidise their farmers to the tune of about US $1 per farmer per day. This subsidy has made farmers in developing countries (the South) unable to compete because imported agricultural products from developed countries (the North) are less costly. The North is insisting that the South liberalize in more sectors, especially those of commercial interest to the North.

It is obvious that the impact of global integration on poverty reduction is less powerful than often claimed. World Bank indicates that at the beginning of the twenty-first century, 1.1 billion people are struggling to survive on less than US $1 a day, the same figure as in the mid 1980s (Oxfam International 2002). Thus, the wealth that flows from liberalised trade is not trickling down to the poorest, contrary to the claims of the proponents of globalisation. Yet, globalisation is inevitable, because of the influences of world-wide communication and information technologies. The economic, political, social, cultural and environmental forms of globalisation have penetrated human experience in many ways (Ife 2004, p. 3). It is a fact that only countries strong in economy and technology can survive and gain maximum benefit from globalisation. It is a duty of governments, especially in the developing countries, to ensure that globalisation and liberalization do not lead their people to become more marginalised. However, in fact the Government of developing countries often fails to protect its people and to produce the policies which are favourable to globalization but not sensitive to the poor.
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The social workers should understand these dynamics of interaction in the globalized world. It is the social workers duty to advocate their National Governments.


The Proposed Definition

Based on the observation on the development in the conceptual and empirical spheres, the Indonesian Association of Social Work Education held the national workshops to review the definition of social work. Finally there is one definition is formulated:

Social work is a helping profession for promoting social change, social investment, empowerment and problem-solving in human relationship and environment at the individual, family, group, community and society levels to enhance welfare. Social work intervention is based on theories of human behaviour and social environment, human rights and social justice principles, as well as the social culture of Indonesian society and the dynamics of the local-national-global levels.
REFERENCES Chossudovsky, M 1998, Globalization of Poverty, Impact of IMF and World Bank Reform, Pluto Press, Australia. Ife, J 2002, Community Development. Community-based Alternatives in an Age of Globalisation, Pearson Education Australia Pty Limited, Frenchs Forest. Ife, J 2000, Localized Needs and a Globalized Economy: Bridging the Gap with Social Work Practice, Social Work and Globalization, Social Work and Globalization Journal, special issue, July Midgley, J 1995, Social Development: The Developmental Perspective in Social Welfare, Sage Publication, London OXFAM International 2002,Rigged Rules and Double Standards: Trade, Globalisation and the Fight against Poverty,OXFAM International. Scholte, JA 2000, Globalization: A Critical Introduction,MacMillan, London. Wood, A 1994, North-South Trade, Employment and inequality, Clarendon Press, Oxford. World Bank 2002, Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries, World Bank, Washington. World Bank 1994, Internal Implementation Review, World Bank, Washington DC. WTO danNasib Negara Berkembang, Tempo Magazine November 2003.

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Japan: JSSSWs Working Group Opinion on Changing the International Definition of Social Work
Prof. Ritsuko Watanabe I. Background

There are two points we would like to clarify before we explain our opinions. First, the opinion is not the consensus of all Japanese social workers or social work scholars. We are one of the academic associations of social work scholars in which we created a special assignment group to consider the above issues. Secondly, our special assignment group is in the midst of the task and has not reached satisfying conclusions yet. In the future we are planning to conduct further research such as focus groups or questionnaires to collect more opinions of social work scholars and practitioners. Therefore we would like to report our opinions at this point. II. Our current opinions on changing the definition of international social work

Reviewing the other Asian countries opinions and published papers, we are well aware of some discrepancy between the actual practice and the international definition. However, at this point we have not gained enough data based on which we can conclude to suggest changing the definition. We think that we can deal with some discrepancy issues within our practice flexibility at this point. Judging from the history of Japanese Social Work development, we have been working to actualize a mission of social work similar to the current definition. We take the current definition as a kind of mission statement of social work. When we compare the definition and our current practice situation, there are some parts in which practice requires further effort. Yet, the western countries where this definition seems an easier fit have many different cultures and ethnic groups for whom they have to be very careful in treating differences. Actually, cultural diversity has been an important educational component in American university education. We feel the importance of this kind of careful treatment when it comes to the application of a definition to the practice; we also feel the current international definition including core components which are appropriate to social work.
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Merits and Demerits of Redefining*

I got all the papers and I am sure some of the countries I excluded because I didnt get papers on time, two days ago. So, I suggest you one way to examine merits and demerits of redefining, we all suggest. Taking international definition, we have to think how do we compare all these proposed contents from various nations? This is one of the framework from the existing international definition and also the table, chair currently mentioned this big one, is the result of my cramming work for last 2 days. So, forgive me to have some problems. I may have misrepresented your work. But this is just one example. And I made five items, ultimate goal and goals, tools, target, source of goals. And one thing we may be use is that we start thinking who determines all these items. And by doing so probably we can discuss what should be actually included and what should be still considered as just a tentative issue.

And the reason is so many things we would like to put, however without being very careful, the one item, one term may be misinterpreted and put us, social workers, into a difficult, very sticky conditions. Now, Id like to show an example of the use of the proposed checklist using international definition and this is it. And the ultimate goal, goals and tools, and international definition, as you know very well, and I used this who determines part and therefore I am not going to read everything. Ill just pick up a few of them. For example, this ultimate goal, enhancing well-being; we have to question ourselves, who determines and who should determine. And social science research should determine. And number 2, goals, promotion of social change, promotion of empowerment of people, and number four, liberation of people. The first social change, who actually should determine, it should be determined by dialog between public and private and also semi-public NGOs. Then, Id like to move on and tools, international definition states tools for social workers to work are theory of human behavior and social system. And who determines, what theory, and what is the theory of human behavior; social work professionals and social science researchers, and target. And Id like to emphasize the source of goals, principle of human right, and principle of social justice, who determines; ideally media, international standard, and local activist, and integrity of policy should determine this.

And now, I would like to just mention five points in relation to the current list. It may be a little bit stimulating but I would like to just bring up some of the discussion point for all of us later on. Number 1, Japan as you understand very well copied the western style for 140 years without becoming westerner. I dont look like western and we do not. And our fear of sharing therefore
* Record of her aural presentation

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certain aims across nations, underestimating the strengths of our cultures. If we all go into entirely local or regional contents, why bother having any international definition at all, having an international definition implies not that all nations are or become the same, only that they aim for high standard, high shared ideas that none of them can at any one time fully implement. They aim together without losing lots of deep unique differences.

Point number 2; we have to ask the question ourselves. Are we defining social control or social work functions? What do social workers uniquely do? If we include cleaning streets, then is that a social work task or doesnt society have street cleaner people for it? Similarly, if we include social peace and harmony as a social work task, does that mean social workers should do control functioning, such as police like work? So, the principle here is this. We must include in our shared aim definition, only what distinguishes social work from social control work and the other roles in society I think.

Number 3; is social work just someones culture or science-derived improvements in cultures? Another issue is proposed definition contents that have no basis in science, but a lot of basis in tradition, the past history, existing rites and rituals. Social work in my view has pioneered making society aware of harms; no one considered harms due to tradition because social work examined scientifically result of actions, traditions, and policies on actual people and their conditions. In this way, social work can be a help to government by showing with data what works and does not work, what is needed and what is not needed.

Number 4, do we all Asian nations needed to share as overall social work aims and traits? We can share lots and lots of tools, methods, and aims, measures, training, but what we have to share is next question.

Number 5, this is the last point, should this international definition be mostly means or ends. If we pack it with means, they do not have other nations who need different means from different local conditions. It is somewhat easier to share ends and maybe our definition should not include too many means that might not translate elsewhere.

And this is five points I wanted to make and thank you for your time and attention. And handout, I just provided to you, is available in PDF form and if you would like to add or change it and fix my wrong understanding of your countries, and I am sorry again to exclude some countries who gave us papers, but I did not get it on time.
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