The social work unit of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology, University of Benin began in 1983/1984 academic session. With a part-time Diploma in social work (DSW). The success of the programme led to the introduction of a part-time Bachelor of Social Work programme in 1995/1996 academic session`. In 2006 a proposal for a department of social work was put forward. This proposal materialised in June 2011 when the department was officially approved by the University Senate. With the help of Canadian partners, Social Work in Nigeria, Project, (SWINP) structures were put in place and the department officially took off in July, 2011
The department of Social work is committed to Social Work education that prepares graduates who can stand up for human rights and social justice and work with populations disadvantaged by social inequities and life circumstances. Also it seeks to provide leadership and innovation in social work education through teaching, scholarship, research, and community service. Through this goal, the our programme intends to support opportunities that promote the well being of individuals families and communities in the society.
The design of the professional programmes is based on a generalist model which embraces the values and principles of social justice and human rights. The programme is designed to promote interactive learning and as such, emphasizes seminars, group discussions, case studies, role-playing, and presentations that enhance the full participation of students. The classroom learning, field practice and graduating projects are the three pillars of the programme through which students are expected to learn how to integrate theories with practice in a Nigerian context. Students who graduate are expected to be capable in working at different inter-professional settings as a frontline social worker in, not exclusively, areas of poverty elimination, women and children protection and welfare, youth development, public health particularly related to HIV/AIDS, community and social development in both urban and rural areas.
Graduates from the Social Work programmes are expected to be able to:
- Critically analyze and problem-solve to intervene flexibly, appropriately, and collaboratively at multiple levels;
- Identify and critically analyze individual, environmental and community conditions which facilitate or prevent client system empowerment and health;
- Beware and promote human, socioeconomic, and political rights of Nigerians especially children and women;
- Engage people from various marginal groups in a collaborative problem solving process;
- Demonstrate leadership skills particularly in areas of community development, and policy reform;
- Use technology to enhance communication and work collaboratively with all systems for the purposes of responding effectively to social problems in Nigeria.
Field work practical will be organized with special agencies through the University of Benin Industrial Training Scheme (UBITS) programme of the University.
- Students will be attached to human and social service agencies where they can gain experience in the practice of social work, the function of the agencies and their place in the overall pattern of social work practice. Students will work directly with clients of the agencies under the critical supervision of qualified social workers/field instructors recognized for this purpose by the Department. The range of placements normally available are: Social Service Departments, Probation Departments, General and Psychiatric hospitals, child guidance clinics and community projects, Orphanages and Motherless and Old Peoples’ homes.
Students will keep full record of their work at the agencies. The Department will
normally try to meet students’ preferences for placement in a particular type of agency. Field work supervisors and lecturers of the Department will meet regularly throughout the period of the field work to maintain the effective working of the concurrent and block placements and to keep the progress of the fieldwork and the development of the students under review.