Although social work as a profession has a lengthy prehistory (of nearly 18 centuries B.C.) social work as an art is relatively new.
The training of social workers at tertiary institutions commenced in 1904 in the U.S.A. At home the first degree course in social work was offered at the University of Pretoria in 1929.
The development of social work as a science can be primarily attributed to practical experience recorded over the past century. This experience has been tested and refined according to theories, as well as that of other related disciplines.
The curriculum for social work training is based primarily upon two components, namely the scientific philosophy and methodology component. The first-mentioned component, although eclectic composed of a variety of relevant disciplines, is strongly supported by the theory of social work practice.
Owing to the fact that social work practice until recently primarily responded reactively to social problem phenomena, the training has been adapted accordingly so that practitioners are able to deal with a wide variety of problems. This state of affairs resulted in the curriculum being congested and very segmented.
Through the use of the intulogical model the training of social workers, in the light of all the important features of human development and the person-in-relation situation, can be regulated in such a manner that preparation of social workers for the field will be able to commence orderly and logically.
Through scientific classification it is clear that undergraduate training should be of generic nature while certain specialised fields should receive attention on a post-graduate level.
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