Social Work In Australia

1145 Words 5 Pages
Social work is a newly recognised profession. However, the actions and responsibilities of a social worker has been evolving and developing over many generations. Social workers have multiple roles throughout the community. Their main job varies depending on the needs of the community. Social workers are known for helping people in need, for instance the homeless, victims of domestic abuse and people in the prison systems. This professions development in Australia has been widely influenced by the UK, the USA and faith organisations. Due to Australia being a young country aspects of the social profession can stem from other countries such as the UK.
The UK is one of the notable countries that has helped develop Australia’s social profession.
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The USA has produced numerous people who have greatly influenced changes in the well-being of the community; which has affected the current Australian system. To name a few of the recognised influential people are Jane Addams, Mary Ellen Richmond and Jane Jacobs.
Jane Addams is most commonly known for Hull house, which was for settlement housing.
“The Hull House group professionalised the contribution of women in social work. With their neighbourhood work, they contributed to a more structural political focus” (Steyaert, 2013). Due to this, as of the 1900’s “the United States saw a wave of interest in women’s emancipation, new social laws and attention paid to social and racial tensions” (Steyaert, 2013).
However, Jane Addams is not the only notable woman in social work’s history, Mary Ellen Richmond also had a big involvement in the social profession. She did this by creating “the scientific methodology development of professional social work. She searched for the causes of poverty and social exclusion in the interaction between an individual and his or her environment” (Steyaert, 2013). By “Building on extensive research, she developed what she labelled ‘social diagnosis’. Her famous circle diagram visualised the correspondence of client and environment” (Steyaert,
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An example of this was the social issue of forced adoption in the 1950s to the late 1970s. Over 1500 newborn babies have been estimated to been put up for adoption by catholic run hospitals. This act was often happening without the mothers consent. These women have explained that to prevent them from seeing and holding their babies they were either drugged or restrained. These babies were given to families that the church believed were more suitable to raise a child. The majority of these women were not informed about their right to revoke the adoption (Malkin, 2011). Mother’s rights today are consequently changed and strengthened due to these

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