Implementation of appropiate minimum body of knowledge in training and practice of social work in Zimbabwe

  • Edmos Mthethwa
Keywords: social work, knowledge base, theory, practice, education


A plethora of challenges confronts social work training. Such challenges include social change, the changing face of poverty, human misery as well as social inequality. All the more, modernity has seen the emergence of new and intric1ate disease regime of communicable and non-communicable diseases that include HIV and AIDS, cancer, diabetes, hypertension among others. These diseases require interventions previously unfamiliar to the field of social work as we know it today. Society is responding to these challenges in varied and often complex ways, employing both spiritual and medical techniques. With regards the human rights and governance issues, focus has shifted from a purely welfaristic and/or philanthropist approach to a more liberal and rights-based approach and to service provision. All this demands a versatile and innovative social worker whose relevance to present day socio-economic and political circumstances stands scrutiny. Therefore, social work educators, researchers and practitioners should move with the times and ensure the continued relevance of the profession. It is in the light of these stuck realities that this paper seeks to advocate a more proactive curriculum. In response to these shifts in the challenges facing social work, the Council of Social Workers (Zimbabwe) produced a minimum body of knowledge designed to act as a yardstick against which all schools of social work benchmark their programmes. This paper benefited significantly from the scholarly debates on the need to continuously update the knowledge base of social work. Use was also made of the Global minimum standards for the education and training of the social work profession (2004). The paper endeavours to utilize a three tier framework of knowledge bases based on theory, fact and practice.

KEY TERMS: social work, knowledge base, theory, practice, education


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2409-5605
print ISSN: 1563-3934