What Is Social Work?
Social Work (BSW)
Social work is a dynamic profession that promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Social Workers intervene at the points where people interact with their environments.
Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to Social Work practice. Social Work is practised worldwide in a variety of settings across all sectors of society and in close collaboration with other sectors such as education, development, health, law and business. Social Workers also engage in private practice.
Professional registration and conduct
Practice in the field of Social Work is regulated by the South African Council for Social Service
Professions, with which all Social Workers must register. The Council lays down the minimum
standards of both academic and practical training requisite for professional registration, and the
Department of Social Development provides training according to these standards. The University
offered a 3-year BSocSc degree in Social Work for students who first registered before 2007. These
students were required to complete an appropriate Honours degree offered by the Department of
Social Development in order to obtain professional registration with the South African Council for
Social Service Professions. From 2007, students registered for a 4-year Bachelor of Social Work
(BSW) degree in order to obtain professional registration with the South African Council for Social
Students registered for the professional degrees in social work are required by statute to register from
their second year of study with the South African Council for Social Service Professions as a student
social worker. As such they are bound by the Council’s professional code of conduct. Students who
do not adhere to this code of conduct may be required to terminate their registration in the Faculty.
Should a student in the course of his/her studies or who qualifies for the award of the degree that
allows for professional registration with the said Council be deemed unfit to practise as a social
worker following a professional assessment, the Dean will report the outcome of such professional
assessment to the Council and inform the student accordingly.