Social Work is a profession of an uncommon desire, dedication and commitment to strive for the welfare of the people in need. The Social Workers are trained not only for the acquisition of knowledge but also developing skills and attitudes favorable towards achieving the altruistic goals of the profession. Since social work is an exciting, demanding and immensely rewarding profession, it requires an ardent desire, love, compassion and convictions to help others.
Based on the forgoing an idea to start a formal training programme for the potential social workers in Punjab was initiated in 1987, when the department of Social Work was established as one of the five departments at that time to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the Punjabi University. The thrust of the department is to promote professional education of Social Work with a view to equip students with the knowledge base, methods and techniques of doing social work in a professional manner. Being the only department of its type in the entire state of Punjab, it is particularly proud of its role in rebuilding the notion of social work from an unremunerated altruistic work to an exclusively scientific and educationally planned professional work.
With an intake of 28 students each year, the department imparts professional training leading to a Master's Degree and also Doctorate in Philosophy in Social Work.
Since its inception, the department has been able to train approximately 350 students most of who are decently placed in fields like Industries, Medical and Psychiatric-Settings, Correctional-Settings and in ever expanding voluntary sector. A few of the alumni are effectively working as social entrepreneurs, giving employment to many fellow workers and unemployed employable youths in the rural as well as urban areas.
Some of the fields of service where the students of this department are placed within and even outside the country are rural/urban/ tribal community development initiatives, women's development, child development, physical and mental health, human rights, services for the handicapped, non-formal education, social education, functional literary, applied nutrition, village level worker, youth development, income support programmes, schools, family services, de-addition services, and recreation programmes.
Field Work is an integral part of the rigorous academic program in social work. Nearly 40% of the time of the students is utilized for the activities relating to field-work.
As Social Work seeks to achieve the highest possible degree of social, mental & physical well-being of the individuals, groups, families and communities, the students are thus placed in various near-by rural communities apart from agencies/institutions involved in service delivery towards Community Development, Community Health, Child Protection, Domestic Violence, Drugs & Alcohol abuse, Family Care, Individual Counseling , Family Problems and services for the mentally challenged etc.
Since field work is a training program with an emphasis on learning by doing in real life situations, supervision by the teachers on daily basis is an indispensable component of this educationally and professionally guided program of interaction. It is mandatory for the students to write reports in a planned format as given in the Field Work Practicum Manual prepared by the department. They discuss their field work experiences, problems and interventions on individual as well as group basis with their respective supervisors/ teachers. While the individual conferences help the learners to sort out their specific problems related to field work, these conferences are also an effective tool in making learn the ways and means of improving the social functioning of their client -systems. Similarly the Group Conferences held once a week are a platform which provide students a unique learning opportunity through sharing their experience with other fellow-learners. Final reports compiled by the students are evaluated at the end of every semester / session by an external expert through a viva voce.
There is one professor, two readers, two lecturers on the teaching faculty besides one technical assistant, one field organizer and the other office staff. The department has computer terminals with a 24 hours access to the internet and E-mail apart from various audio visual aids which are used as teaching and practice tools for the students.
One research project funded by ICSSR is going on in the department and a few are in the pipeline.