People by and large mistake social work to mean charity work, which is quite a wrong concept. Charity work is just one sector of the field. The main scope of charity work lies in helping people who are in dire straits, attain a decent standard of living and having their rights protected. Social work is rooted in ancient civilizations and world religions. Poverty alleviation, health care, sustainable development, legal aid, domestic violence, stress management, education, addiction, child abuse and homelessness are just a few sectors of this increasing common profession.
Social work can entail something as simple as helping an invalid to cross a street, to providing psychological help to someone who has been abused. Social care industries are not just limited to helping the poor; people who are well off, also turn to social help when they are caught in circumstances that they cannot get out of on their own. An addict or his family may look for social help to get out of addiction. A patient with an incurable disease may need counseling..
Some types of social work do not require any formal education in the field, including classroom or online education. For example, an educated woman with time on her hands may decide to teach poor children. A doctor or a nurse may decide to treat poor patients in their spare time, just to give a few examples.
Governments in developed countries have departments that do social work. However, in under developed countries it is mostly non-government organizations and individuals responsible for these duties. There a number of national and international social organizations. Rarely does a human being who can help someone in need, shun from doing so and that's the crux of social work. Some social care is conducted in the field where specialists work in specific sectors with the people of the area. Other social workers work from offices, writing papers to generate aid for social work; conducting research and advocating social work at various levels in governments.
Qualified social workers are employed by governments, and by social aid organizations. Some individuals have started their own social help organizations and have volunteers who assist them. A fine example of a social worker is the Nobel Laureate Mohammad Yunus of Bangladesh, who has done some marvelous work in poverty alleviation. He started out by helping people in a village and went on to establish a bank that focuses on helping poor women.