BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The evolution of social work and attempts to promote social development may be considered as being intimately tied to the basic desire of people to assist one another in all prior human communities, which can be traced back to the beginnings of all human societies. Traditional cultures, notably African communities, were characterized by a concern for social welfare that manifested itself in activities carried out within the family, the clan, and the ethnic group. Humanity’s natural tendency to assist one another was reflected in all communities by the extraordinary attention paid to, among other things, children, orphans, widows and widowers, the disabled, and the old. In such a “gemeinschaft” (Tonnies, 1887), social work was more or less a collective responsibility, rather than the responsibility of individuals or specialized organizations. As a result, social work has always been oriented at enhancing the overall quality of life for all people involved. The field of social work as we know it now has only recently emerged from its historical roots. This movement originated at a period when feudalism was crumbling and capitalism was taking its place. The control of the family and the church was also eroding at an alarming rate. Following Fink (1968:27), fundamental social changes began occurring between 1834 and 1909 in the United Kingdom. These changes heralded the establishment in the country of specialized care agencies for certain vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, such as dependent children and people living with physical or mental disabilities, who were previously neglected or abandoned. The provision of institutions for these populations included district schools, foster homes and other residential care facilities, hospitals, infirmaries, and special schools. In any case, social work is gradually becoming globalized, since it is being implemented in a number of situations and as a result of the fact that it is being utilized by different organizations and individuals across the globe. There are many different social work services available, including: “psychiatric, medical, marital and family therapy,” “school counseling,” “corrections,” “public welfare,” “the workplace,” “drug addiction,” and “child welfare” (Farley et al, 2006: 13). Sociological work is concerned with the needs and problems of individuals and families not just on a personal or family level but also at the local, national, and international levels. The social work practice department in this country has placed a strong emphasis on the correction of juvenile delinquents and vagrants, as well as the organization of youth clubs/associations and sports. While this is an important part of their work, the function of the social welfare department is to assist the poor and the needy in their efforts to survive, as well as to assist problems that are brought about by the changing social environment. Therefore, the welfare system is designed to assist those who are unable to cope with the challenges (new social changes). A variety of services are provided by the state, including conciliation rehabilitation and general welfare, which includes married couples with marital problems, victims of mental and physical distress, or the physically handicapped, among others. Others include services for children, which include social workers who provide services to children and conduct investigations with the goal of assisting the court in determining the sort of treatment to be provided. One of the responsibilities of the social welfare agency is to look after abandoned babies and make the necessary arrangements to find them foster parents or to place them in children’s homes. Another responsibility is to provide assistance to families in distress, which involves the practice of family casework practice. The social workers attempt to prevent family disintegration and, when possible, to bring about matrimonial reconciliation; this involves a great deal of persuasion and many difficulties are frequently encountered; services for the handicapped, disabled people, and baggers; and these are primarily aimed at rehabilitating the unfortunate people; and services for the disadvantaged.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
According to the National Social Workers’ Association, the primary mission of the social work profession is to improve human well-being and assist in meeting the basic needs of all people, with particular attention paid to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty, among other things. In many African nations, including Nigeria, the concept of social work in medical services is a novel concept (William, M. 2014).
A growing number of social workers are being assigned to hospital positions; yet, their expertise and abilities are being unnecessarily underused, not by design, but rather because there is insufficient information about the responsibilities and functions of social work experts in the medical field. Patient care in hospitals is improved by the employment of social workers in medical facilities. This is due to the fact that not all patients need pills and injections since the vast majority of patients are suffering from social difficulties.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of the study is to investigate the challenges encountered by social workers in the discharge of their duties. Specifically, the study will be subject to the following:
i. To examine the factors responsible for the emergence of social workers.
ii. To find out the challenges social workers face in the discharge of their duties.
iii. To evaluate the benefit of having social workers in the community.
The following questions have been prepared for the study
i. What the factors responsible for the emergence of social workers?
ii. What are the challenges social workers face in the discharge of their duties?
iii. What are the benefit of having social workers in the community?
SIGNIFICANT OF THE STUDY
The pattern of social welfare work in Nigeria has witnessed many changes in the last decade. The inexperience men previously see social welfare agency as rendering family services alone such as children maintenance allowance. Child dispate and maltreatment or handling wives by their respective husbands. But due to rapid public awareness, many stored appreciating the scope of the services rendered by the agency. These include among others, child care, hospital services, probation, family welfare, youth and prison welfare services respectively.
This project will enable the authority concerned and the populace to understand and appreciate the importance and problems encountered by the social welfare agencies in this country.
The social workers will benefit from these study in the source that it will help and make them know were they are lacking behind.
This study will be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will examine the factors responsible for the emergence of social workers. The study will also find out the challenges social workers face in the discharge of their duties. Lastly, the study will evaluate the benefit of having social workers in the community. Hence this study will be delimited to Lagos State.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.
DEFINATION OF TERMS
Challenges: a call to someone to participate in a competitive situation or fight to decide who is superior in terms of ability or strength.
Social workers: professionals who aim to enhance overall well-being and help meet basic and complex needs of communities and people