Comprehensive definitions of Social Work in dictionary and
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Social work is a subject that is particularly aimed at understanding,
preventing and remedying social problems. The subject area includes both
a research area, a teaching subject and practice.
In Norway, the two occupational groups are referred to as child
welfare educators and and social workers as social workers, while health care
workers are referred to as health and social workers.
The field of study internationally
Social work is, as a profession and profession, linked to the
international trade tradition "social work" and the professional term "social
Through the international organizations of education, the International
Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), the professional organization
International Federation for Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Council
of Social Welfare (ICSW), both collaborate on the development of the subject
(research, education and practice), strengthening the professional and political
to promote social justice, strengthen human rights and influence social
development that can prevent social problems and promote welfare for the most
These three international organizations have jointly developed the definition
of social work (translated by author):
“ Social work is a practice-based profession and academic discipline
that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, empowerment and
liberation of people. The principles of social justice, human rights, collective
responsibility and respect for differences are central to social work. Social
work is supported by theories of social work, other social science disciplines,
humanities and indigenous knowledge when social work involves people and
structures to meet life challenges and strengthen well-being. ”
Education in Norway
The basic education is a three-year bachelor's, 180 credits, in child
welfare, social work or health care. The education takes place
at colleges and universities.
The Master of Social Work is a two-year continuing education, 120 credits,
and can be taken at several of the colleges and universities. Many educational
institutions also have more specific master's studies in areas of the field of
work. Several universities have education in three-year PhD, 180 credits, in
Basic education is provided for in the Regulations to the Law on Universities
and Colleges (2005); Framework plan and regulations for child welfare pedagogy
education, Framework plan and regulations for the socio-educational education
and Framework plan and regulations for the nursing education that come from the
then Ministry of Education and Research.
The Association for Research in Social Work
The Association for Research in Social Work in Norway, FORSA-Norway, is an
association of people working with, and interested in, research and development
work in the field of social work.
The goal of FORSA-Norway is to promote research and development work in the
field of social work, to promote a mutual exchange of knowledge, understanding
and experience between research and the field of social work, to improve the
conditions for research and research education in the field of social work, to
promote opportunities for publication and other dissemination of research and
development results by organizing a FORSA conference every other year.
In the other Nordic countries, there are FORSA associations. The national
FORSAs collaborate, among other things, on the journal Nordic Social Work
Research. The leaders of the national FORSAs meet for joint orientation and
coordination. Every other year, a joint Nordic conference is held: FORSA Nordic.
Nordic Organization for Education in Social Work
The Nordic Organization for Education in Social Work, NOUSA, is an
organization for education in social work. Until August 2011, the organization
was called the Nordic Social College Committee (NSHK) and was founded
The purpose of NOUSA is to promote education in social work. This is done by
stimulating Nordic co-operation on research and professional development
between colleges and universities in the Nordic countries that have education in
In order to contribute to Nordic cooperation on the development of
educational programs, NOUSA has set aside funds for smaller projects. NOUSA
should also keep a watchful eye on education policy to promote quality education
in social work.
Every other year, a Nordic social college conference is organized where the
participants are the teachers of the education, researchers, students and
practitioners. The conference takes place between the Nordic countries. An
annual meeting will be held at the same time as the conference.
At the annual meetings, a working committee consisting of a representative
and a product from each of the member countries is selected: Denmark, Finland,
Greenland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
The leadership role is on a turn between the Nordic countries. The chair of
the working committee is the Nordic region's representative on the board of
the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). This gives
NOUSA the opportunity to take part in international developments in education
The working committee appoints a representative to the board of the European
Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW). In English is the term for the
NOUSA Nordic Association of Schools of Social Work (NASSW).
Social work is a way of working in social work where the aim is to change
conditions that create and maintain oppressive life situations for groups of
inhabitants. In the work, cooperation with those affected and their voice must
be given great importance.
In addition to changing conditions at the system and society level, it is an
aim to mobilize the forces of the individual through participation in the
work. This is done by linking challenges in one's own life situation to
collective conditions, and seeing that others have the same difficulties, and
then working on changes that can improve the life situation. The idea is that
this process will mobilize and strengthen the action of the individual
The work can be about grassroots mobilization, for example by organizing
people in vulnerable life situations and starting a collaboration to improve
their own and others' situation by working to draw attention to conditions in
society that create problems for them. It may also involve active participation
in planning processes, for example in the development of services.
The work method is referred to in English as community work. In some
countries, such as South Africa and countries in South America, this is the most
commonly used way of working in social work.