Social Service vs Social Work
The main distinction between social service and social work lies in their structure. Humans have always been considered social animals, and it is natural for them to feel compassion for others and their struggles. This compassion drives many individuals to work in the field of social work. While social work and social service are highly similar concepts, there are some basic differences that can cause confusion.
What is Social Work?
Social work is a profession and an academic discipline that aims to improve the quality of life and well-being of people, particularly those who are under distress, such as those living in poverty. Social work encompasses various activities, including research, direct practices, and teaching, to help people who face social disadvantages due to situations like poverty and social injustice.
A social worker is someone who has obtained the required academic degree in the field of social work. This person is considered to be equipped with the necessary knowledge to work in various conditions. Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master in Social Work (MSW) are two popular degrees in this field. Social work is an interdisciplinary field of study that draws from multiple subjects.
What is Social Service?
Social services are typically services provided by the government or private organizations, or even by individuals. Socialist governments and democracies often engage in social service by providing free education, healthcare, housing, and clothing for the poor.
Social service can also refer to work performed by an individual to improve the quality of life for others. This shows that social service is not limited to governmental bodies. For example, celebrities often participate in fundraising events for causes such as building schools for children in Africa, providing clean water, or supplying medicine for hospitals. These activities are examples of social services. Most of these celebrities do not have a degree in social work, but they are still contributing to making the world a better place. In this context, the term social service is more appropriate.
What is the difference between Social Service and Social Work?
Social work and social service are closely connected, as social service is often performed by those with a degree in social work. However, many individuals have achieved great success in social work without formal education in the field. To be a social worker, it is not necessary to have a degree in the field, but having a degree can be useful in securing a stable job with a regular income in private or government sectors.
- Social work is a profession and academic discipline that aims to improve the quality of life and well-being of people in distress, whereas social services are generally services provided by the government, private organizations, or individuals.
- Social work is conducted by organizations where social workers are employed, while social service is performed by governments, organizations, and individuals.
- To be a social worker, one needs to have an educational qualification, such as a degree, whereas there is no specific educational requirement to engage in social service.