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19.03.2019 Feature Article

Human Relationship: The Driving Force of Social Work.

Social capital is the blood and cornerstone of the profession, as well as the lightening image that shines to all people around the globe to feel the impact of the initiatives of the profession on their lives.
Human Relationship: The Driving Force of Social Work.
LISTEN MAR 19, 2019

The resilience curve of life posits a wide range of challenging situations that sometimes derail one's inner spirit. Personal efficacies and dispositions can be relied upon to mitigate such inevitable conditions in life, but sometimes, it becomes inadequate and therefore, may require external capital to augment one's survival and sustainability in life.

Self-awareness is a very key parameter of life, that goes a long way to shape one's uniqueness, strength, limitations and the potential resources within the environment that can be tapped into efficiently and effectively to enhance one's adaptability and sustainable development.

This can be likened to the assertion that, "alone you rather faster but together we run farther". This means that relying solely on one's self makes one to become highly microscopic, rather than developing a telescopic compass about the world. Being able to understand and appreciate the resources within and even beyond one's jurisdiction is a prerequisite for advancing and attaining an ever-progressive society, highly embedded in a web of lifelong ecosystemic fountain where people always drink from.

Interdependence is a very great asset of every social world, which serves as the foundational element and building block of every society, ready and willing to build the capacities, indestructible partnership, a powerful and resilient platform among its members, for quality development.

The concept of relationship is deeply rooted in the philosophy and cultural imperative of Africa, that it, "Ubuntu", which means "I am because we are". It gives a broader scope about society and shapes the living patterns of human existence. It uproots the "me" ideology and replants a well-defined imperative of societal element, that is, the sense of belonging and "we feeling" philosophy.

The rationale behind this philosophy is to bring all humanity under one umbrella by relying and tapping into everyone's strength, embracing the weakness of one another and filling the loopholes available in the lives of all, towards a perfect community building.

Social Work, as a professional entity fully believes in the potency of human relationship and its impacts on personal, family, community, organizational, national, and global development.

Globally, "social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. The principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work. Underpinned by the theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge, social work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance wellbeing".

Ideally, the main purpose of social work is to ensure the wellbeing and enhance the social functioning of all people, especially the vulnerable population, such as: women, children, the disabled, family-at-risk, displaced population, among others. The vehement and rich ethical orientation of social work makes it comparable to none. However, significance of human relationship is the 4th out of the six core values of social work.

In 2010, a joint conference on social work and social development was organized by the three global bodies of social work in Hong Kong. This historical event birthed four pillars for the global agenda for social work and social development. However, the global agenda is not just a statement but a process or step-by-step approach for progressive development. Included in the four pillars are: promoting social and economic equality; promoting the dignity and worth of peoples; promoting community and environmental sustainability; and strengthening recognition of the importance of human relationships. Interestingly, the fourth pillar is themed this year's World Social Work Day.

In the quest of valuing, promoting and sustaining the significance of human relationships, the profession has established a pool of resources with regards to professional bodies and associations to enhance quality service delivery, competence and higher level of professionalism in practice. International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW), and International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), are the three global bodies representing social workers, social development practitioners and educators. The IFSW has four commissions, which are: United Nations, Human Rights Commission, Ethics Commission and Interim Education Commission, as well as five regions (IFSW Africa, IFSW Asia and Pacific, IFSW Latin America and Caribbean, IFSW Europe and IFSW North America).

In Ghana, the Ghana Association of Social Workers (GASOW) has been established under IFSW to champion the operational activities of Social Workers, Educators and Researchers in Ghana, and also ensure effective collaborative efforts among its members to realize the vision of the profession.

The profession focuses on alleviating poverty; challenging social injustices; and empowerment techniques. However, these dreams can never be realized if better relationships among clients, practitioners, families, communities, institutions and other professional bodies are not effectively established and sustained. This presupposes that the success of the profession hinges on every member in the society.

In this contemporary era, the progress of every social entity is highly contingent upon how strong its social capital base is. That is, the ability to unite and bring all its human resource under one unified umbrella, and to resiliently and consistently strengthen that bond for the benefit of all.

During elections, communities who have indestructible social capital are able to detect fake aspirants, identify trustworthy ones and put in place best mechanisms to safeguard their political rights, and invest them prudently.

In the same vein, families with excellent relationship capacities and communication patterns always strive to regain their normalcy and climb higher on the resilience curve each time they face crisis situation.

The greatest asset any society could ever have is an indestructible social capital, hence, the ability of every nation to achieve the UN SDGs strictly relies on the strengths and effectiveness of partnership and collaboration among its institutions, members and the external environment.

In social work practice, several theoretical approaches, interventive mechanisms and practice-oriented methodologies have been designed to direct the path and champion the activities of the profession. However, the most imperative aspect of the profession is by establishing a sustainable synergistic relationship among its members, clients and the outside world.

Social capital is the blood and cornerstone of the profession, as well as the lightening image that shines to all people around the globe to feel the impact of the initiatives of the profession on their lives. Even though, initiating relationships with clients can be much easier, but sustaining them requires maximum amount of practice-wisdom, higher level of expertise, cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence.

Advisably, more energies and resources must be channeled and championed by the profession to establish indestructible partnership, collaboration and network among members of the profession, all the social institutions, individuals, clients, communities, other professional agencies in Ghana and around the globe to raise the flag of the profession beyond the axis of the sky.

Happy World Social Work Day to all Social Workers, our clients and every individual in Ghana and around the globe.

Theophilus Quaicoe
Social Work 4, KNUST
[email protected]

Theophilus Quaicoe
Theophilus Quaicoe, © 2019

I am currently a Teaching and Research Assistant at the Dept. of Sociology and Social Work, KNUST - Ghana.
Mr. Theophilus Quaicoe is also a Global Peace Ambassador, researcher, editor, innovative writer and a Global Change Agent.
Email Address: [email protected]
WhatsApp/Phone C Column Page: TheophilusQuaicoe

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