What is the relationship between Social Legislation and Social Work?

Social legislation is used by professional social workers as a tool for social advocacy, empowerment of basic human rights, dignity, and conducive environment. Social legislation works as tool for social reform, social welfare, development and change. This profession promotes Social change, problem-solving and the empowerment and liberation of people. The International federation of social workers and the international association of schools of Social work defines social work as “The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well being.

Utilizing theories of human behaviour and social system, social work intervenes as the points where people interacts with their environments”. Ethics of human rights and social justice are primary to the practice of social work profession. Social workers work with families, groups, individuals, elderly, destitute, etc. on behalf of the interests of people. It helps in enabling them to deal with personal and social difficulties and obtain essential resources and services.

Relationship between social legislation and other social processes are those where social worker by the virtue of social work and people’s expectations as human service profession, legal knowledge is imperative for social workers. They should know the laws connected with everyday matters such as adoption, inheritance, begging, prostitution, offenses against women, children, low castes and the like as they will be often required to fall back on their legal knowledge in the process of helping their clients.

A social worker working in the field of women welfare must have knowledge about the family laws, the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Prevention of Immoral Traffic Act and other such laws available for the welfare of women and this applies in every case.

Social worker has to be adequately capable of dealing and working with the knowledge, process and procedure of these laws. We need to comprehend that knowledge of law is different from the one possessed by the lawyers. Social workers use law for empowering the vulnerable and disadvantaged sections to ensure social justice. Knowledge about the laws can help in the best interests of the clients/ agencies.

In fact social legislation in social work parlance is the application of the methods of social work especially community organization, and social action for the promotion of people’s welfare and right. If social workers are fully aware of these laws, they can work more easily for the target groups. Knowledge of laws strengthen the efforts of the government. Mun-by, gave five reasons why social workers acquire legal knowledge:

  • To discharge, their social responsibilities.
  • To offer advice and assistance.
  • To protect the rights of individual’s as clients of social services to practice in an anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory manner.
  • To protect their own position as employees.
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