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Social work education and practice in Africa: the problems and prospects
Social Work Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2022-01-24, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2022.2029393
Oghenechoja Dennis Veta, Hugh McLaughlin


This article identifies some of the key challenges hindering effective social work education and practice in African nations. These problems include an orientation that is remedial or curative, involvement of non-social work graduates in social work posts, lack of a regulating or coordinating body, and an overall dependency on extrapolated curricula and Western methods among others. Most African nations although with huge wealth are wallowing in abject poverty resulting in various social maladies such as kidnapping, child abuse, substance misuse, corruption, lack of organised social welfare institutions, unsustainable development, human trafficking, unemployment, lack of leadership and social injustice, as resultant effects of exploitative colonialists and/or imperialists. These call for holistic practice interventions to solve these social ills. This paper strongly advocates that social work in the African continent should be given legal backing to ensure professional social work education and practice. The social work education curriculum should be developed to reflect African social contexts and its approaches to social work practice and not just be restricted to Western approaches alone. On this premise, this paper proposes ‘cultural humility’ and ‘transaction between individuals and environment (TIE)’ frameworks that would enhance social work education and practice in Africa.