The History of Social Work in the Caribbean Essay Sample

July 30, 2017 Social Work

Social work and Social Welfare has been with us from as far back as the 1600’s and it has ever been. and has continued to be a response to human demands. In order to understand its historical development. it is necessary to analyze the important factors. which has influenced its development. It can be said nevertheless that factors such as the constitution of the Elizabethan hapless Torahs. the emancipation of bondage and the societal agitation which resulted in the 1937 public violences. played a momentous function in the development of societal work and societal public assistance. This was apparent throughout the Caribbean since they portion a common colonial history for a figure of old ages. harmonizing to John Maxwell. For the intent of this essay. specific focal point will be on two of its English speech production states viz. Barbados and Guyana.

Compton and Gallaway ( 1990 ) defined Social public assistance as “an organized set of norms and establishments through which we carry out our corporate duties to run into demands. ” In unison. Zastrow ( 2000 ) noted that the ends of societal public assistance were to “fulfil the fiscal. wellness. and recreational demands of all persons in a society. ” This besides included the sweetening of societal operation of all age and category groups.

Social work can be considered as an applied scientific discipline of assisting people achieve an effectual degree of psychosocial operation. The National Association Of Social Workers ( NASW ) makes the definition even more precise when they refer to it as a manner “to enhance homo good being and assist run into the basic human demands of all people. with peculiar attending to the demands and authorization of people who are vulnerable. oppressed. and populating in poorness. ”

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It can hence be said that societal public assistance encompassed societal work and that they are chiefly similar at the degree of pattern. Skidmore et Al ( 1991. . p. 4 ) reinforced this cardinal point by observing. “social services came foremost. and the methods of societal work developed out of societal public assistance. ”

The earliest signifiers of societal services were provided by the church and the household. However. harmonizing to Zastrow ( 2000 ) . “the in-between ages. dearths. wars. harvest failures. plague and the interruption down of the feudal system all contributed to the significant additions in the figure of people in demand. ” This aid provided by the church and household members was unequal in that it could non run into the demands of all these persons. As a consequence. many were forced to fall back to imploring. In order to relieve this societal job. England had passed a figure of Poor Laws between the mid 1300s and the mid 1800s which were adopted by English settlements such as Barbados and Guyana. It should be noted nevertheless that these Torahs were non established due to the worsening societal conditions but as a consequence of the opinion category irritation with the beggary. The Elizabethan Poor Law of 1601 proved to be the most important of these Acts. The jurisprudence provided that local parishes were responsible for they hapless ( those who had legal abode in the parish ) . who would be subsidized by the revenue enhancements collected from within the parishes.

Under this jurisprudence merely three classs of individuals were eligible for alleviation. These were harmonizing to Zastrow the able-bodied hapless. the impotent hapless and dependent kids.

In 1628 in Barbados. the Chief Governor. Sir William Tuften built churches and established vestries that strived to better the attitudes of the Masterss towards the slaves. Willoughby ( ) noted. “they were no public commissariats to run into the societal public assistance demands of the slaves prior to their emancipation. ” Slaves were non included in the commissariats because it was their master’s duty to supply nutrient. vesture. shelter and medical attention for them. The slaves were considered as belongings and non human existences with demands.

By 1770 ill houses and workshops were set up for the workers and baby’s rooms were provided for kids. On acknowledging the demand. a free clinic for the sick was established in 1788 and in 1825 the Ladies’ Association founded another.

Maxwell ( 1993 ) postulated that after the emancipation of bondage in 1838. “there was a monolithic addition in the demand for alleviation. ” Poverty became more widespread due to the high degree of unemployment. Therefore. this resulted in a greater demand for societal services. Compassionate individuals. peculiarly adult females. detecting and supervising the conditions of ex-slaves. formed charitable organisations. in confederation with the Public Poor Relief System in order to assist with their public assistance. Despite the fact that the vestries were besides established at this clip to supply a more organized signifier of societal services. the demands of the persons were still non being met. Therefore harmonizing to Willoughby. “in 1875 a measure was passed in the House of Assembly to name a Commission to look into the disposal of Poor Relief. ”

The study later listed a figure of lending factors to indigence. which included seasonal unemployment during the terminal of the harvest season. unwellness. disablements and the payment of low rewards. Included besides was the fact that they were a figure of broken common jurisprudence brotherhoods in which the male parents were absent. Administrative job besides existed since the vestries in the 11 parishes operated individually. ( Why was this mentioned. seems out of topographic point )

In those times. hapless relief disposal and the societal aid offered was chiefly of a pecuniary and medical nature. The Board of Poor Laws would allow the aid after the applications received was investigated and the demand was established. Clothing. nutrient and a place for the handicapped kids were provided by voluntary organisations. In add-on to this. members of the community came together to organize friendly societies that made hebdomadal pecuniary parts. which provided benefits such as illness payments and burial disbursals. All of these attempts were made in Barbados in order to relieve some of the harsh intervention after emancipation.

The duty of the Colonial legislative assembly to supply societal services for the ex-slaves increased. However. they evaded their duties through disregard. or. by anticipating the plantation proprietors to go on to supply lodging and medical attention while the spiritual societies such as the Moravians and the Methodist were to supply instruction. As a consequence of the disregard. the ex-slaves had to fall back to caring for themselves.

Private persons and do-gooders accordingly started the educational system in Barbados. The simple schools emerged from the efforts of the Anglican. Moravian and the Methodist churches who thought Christian instruction to slaves before their emancipation. In 1890. the Barbados Education Act was passed. The Act provided for the initiation of the Education Board who made regulations to regulate the simple and primary schools. This board was besides responsible for the preparation of instructors. the constitution of 60 exhibitions of five lbs sterling each twelvemonth at 2nd class schools and the development of the Barbados Scholarship.

The 1930’s brought a planetary depression. which had a important consequence on the Caribbean. It had a great influence on the development of public assistance in Barbados due to the economic state of affairs. this caused adversity and societal agitation for the population. The dissatisfaction of the multitudes resulted in the 1937 public violences in Barbados. Harmonizing to Augier et Al ( 1976 ) “The public violences moved the colonial office. in August 1938. to name a Royal Commission under the chairmanship of Lord Moyne. ” Its intent was to look into the societal and economic conditions in all the West Indian districts and do recommendations. This committee was made up of several professionals from subjects such as wellness. labour relation. agribusiness and societal public assistance.

The study concluded that the “prolonged economic depression of recent old ages found the West Indian communities ill fit to defy it. ” ( Reports of West India Royal committee. 1945 ) As a consequence. a subdivision of the colonial office was established in the West Indies with the 1 in Barbados being located at Hastings. Blackman ( 1990 ) postulated that it was “staffed by professionals paid by the British Government. but whose occupation assignment was to see the islands and rede several authoritiess and colonial offices. ”

The chief recommendation was the creative activity of a West Indian Welfare fund of 1. 000. 000 ( what is this 1. 000 or 1. 000. 000 ) lbs per annum for 20 old ages from the Imperial Government. which was under the charge of a accountant. The object of the fund was to finance strategies for the general betterment of instruction. wellness services. lodging. the creative activity of a labour section. proviso of societal public assistance installations. land colony and the preparation of societal workers.

The Government regarded the recommendations of the committee and started by an old age pension strategy in 1937 for individuals over the age of 68. This was as a direct consequence of a run lead by Rev. Francis Godson. Persons were non eligible if they owned a house or had a bank history of $ 300. 00 and over. A distribution office was set up in St. Michael. but in other parishes payment was made through the station office.

Professor Simey. a colonial societal public assistance adviser. recommended the assignment of a trained public assistance officer. Betty Arne a societal worker employed by the British authorities arrived in Barbados in 1945 to presume the office of Deputy Social Welfare Officer. The first Social Welfare Officer was a Barbadian. Major Chase. He held meetings with the public assistance officers and workers in Jamaica and shortly arranged preparation classs in 1946. 1947. and 1953 at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies for Social Workers. These were six months residential classs that were attended by the early Social Workers such as Humphrey Walcott. Hildegarde Weekes and Enid Lynch. These early Workers besides did extra preparation in the United Kingdom.

During the period of 1925 Blackman ( 1990 ) noted that the Probation act was introduced and by 1926 the Government Industrial School for male childs at Dodds was opened followed by the school for misss at Summervale. By the 1930’s territory officers were go toing several magistrates’ tribunals when juveniles appeared. By 1945. a Probation Offenders Act was passed which provided probation and supervising for grownups and the constitution of a Probation Department. Harmonizing to Willoughby ( ) . “the Salvation Army officers were appointed as full-time societal workers to execute these services. ” Mr. Humphrey Walcott and Hildegarde Weekes were appointed as the first probation officers. This section was chiefly concerned with juvenile wrongdoers and the Probation officers served as affairs between the tribunals. the community and the households of the immature wrongdoers as good provided after attention when they were released from detainment. The officers were besides members of an After Care Committee for the incarcerated and provided a nexus between the grownup wrongdoer and the community.

The first organized Social Service authorities bureau was the Social Welfare Department. which was established in 1952 as a consequence of the Commission’s study. There was one Chief Welfare Officer. Senior Welfare Officer and two District Social Welfare Officers. Their authorization involved working with groups in order to assist them to travel towards democratic operation every bit good as to work with persons in advancing bungalow industries and community activities.

The Welfare section shortly emerged due to an merger of the Local Government Councils and the Central Department of Social Welfare. which were responsible for child care. athleticss. community development. and the National Assistance Board. The Welfare Department was besides instrumental in the puting up of lodging strategies in St. Lucy and St. Philip.

The first specialist officer. a social worker. was appointed in 1958. These officers were to concentrate on fieldwork and their purposes were to advance organized groups. They were successful in this venture since by the stoping of 1959. about 80 groups were take parting in nine activities. and workshops were set up for the blind. deaf and dumb.

Medical services were introduced to Barbados and a general infirmary named the Queen Elizabeth Hospital was built in 1964. Its section of societal work got started in 1965 with one societal worker that carried the rubric of Almoner. The Colonial Government besides provided a Geriatric infirmary with its first societal worker being Mrs. Muriel Gibbs. Some add-ons were made to the psychiatric infirmary. which was originally established in 1894. It now has two halfway houses viz. Everton and Roseville House. which came about in 1985 and 1989 severally and about four trained societal workers attached to its section.

Harmonizing to Willoughby ( ) . “in 1969 there was a re-organization of several authorities sections therefore ensuing in the National Assistance Board and the Child Care Board deriving their liberty. ” The National Assistance Board provides place aid services to the aged and the disabled in the community. Included are besides house fixs for those who are unable to make so and free lodging for senior citizens whose houses are in a province of disrepair. In 1982 nevertheless it was established as a statutory co-operation.

The Child Care Board officially began its operation in 1969. It is ( removed the word “the” from here ) responsible for the attention and protection of kids up to the age of 18. the disposal of children’s places and the authorities twenty-four hours attention Centres. every bit good as reding voluntary establishments as it relates to childcare. It should be noted nevertheless that child care in Barbados did non get down in the sixtiess but every bit early as the 1930s. It was so that John Beckles. who was attached to the vestries. started the ‘Baby League’ in 1935 hence the name John Beckles Day Nursery. Trained nurses such as Mrs. Florence Dash and Madame Elsie Ifill were besides involved in maintaining babes good. As a consequence of this plan. the Goodwill League was developed in 1938 to increase the service to some 200 kids daily. along with the aid of the Salvation Army Soup kitchen. These much appreciated clinics finally spread to several other parishes including Christ Church. St Philip and St. John.

In the seventiess. the Community Development originated from the Welfare Department. This was indispensable in order to make a separate section to cover with the community and group work efficaciously. Its directive was to promote groups and persons to use leisure clip well and to further a sense of belongingness in persons and groups. In add-on to this. there was grounds. which highlighted the great demand for parent instruction in Barbados and as a consequence Paredos’ programme was implemented in 1970.

1995 brought the constitution of the National Counsel of Substance Abuse. Its purpose is to contend against substance maltreatment through the usage of instruction and the decrease of supply and demand therefore advancing drug-free life styles. There was besides the gap of the Elroy Philips place. which caters to the demands of those populating with HIV and AIDS. In 1996 -1997 the Roeit Report farther integrated the Child Care Board. the Welfare Department and the National Assistance Board to set up the Ministry of Social Transformation.

Harmonizing to Dans ( 1990 ) . “social public assistance in Guyana can be viewed as a construct of societal transmutation instead than a construct of accommodation. ” and like that of Barbados. the development of Social Welfare in Guyana started back in the yearss of bondage. The slaves had no human or civil rights. They had to work long hours and were punished badly for noncompliance and idling. Sickness and disrepair continued despite the fact that the plantation owners had both the moral and legal right to supply their slaves with the basic necessities such as nutrient. vesture. shelter. and medical attention. This legal duty came to an terminal on the 1st August 1838 when the period of apprenticeship ended. The construct of public assistance therefore merely involved the proviso of minimal resources. which merely intended to continue the confined labor force.

After emancipation. the black population was made up of preponderantly the aged and sick people who were unable to care for themselves. The Anglican Church along with the aid of other missional societies and a few altruists accordingly initiated a system where aid in the signifier vesture. nutrient. shelter and even burying the hapless was provided for those in demand. In 1839. the Government intervened and the first statute law was passed by the combined Court of Policy to implement Poor jurisprudence Relief based on that of the British Poor Relief Laws ( Dans. 1990 ) . The Poor Relief Act specified who should keep whom and the Cardinal Government took duty for all other instances. A board made up of the Church and Poor Friends was set up to administer the Poor Relief.

Similarly. 1934 and 1936 brought societal discontent in British Guiana and the British Government appointed the Royal Commission. which visited Guyana from January27th to February 20th to look into these conditions. The study highlighted a figure of jobs. which were viz. . lacks in the educational system. the jobs of unemployment and juvenile delinquency and the high rate of infant mortality. It besides emphasized the quandary of the workers on the sugar estates. little husbandmans and the demand for better life conditions for the turning population in general. Dans ( 1990 ) noted that the “social workers in Guyana by and large agreed that the findings of the Moyne Commission laid the foundation for the debut of new societal services and the betterment of bing 1s. ”

Ultimately. there were a figure of societal services. which were introduced as a consequence of the Commission’s study. On the July 1st 1944 a non-contributory old age pension was introduced. The 1950’s brought a system of internal self-government in Guyana. The British Government blocked the constitutional reform. which included a proposal for societal public assistance and in 1954 introduced a caretaker authorities following the suspension of the fundamental law. The being of a locally elected People Progressive Party Government. which had communist rules. was seen as a menace to the British Imperialism. Therefore during this period the British Government used the establishment of societal public assistance as a ‘political weapon’ as a step of community control and to safeguard its imperialism.

In the 1960’s. societal work had become a holiday in Guyana. Previously merely a few societal public assistance officers were being trained overseas. In August 1969 the National Insurance and Social Security Act was passed in Parliament. In the 1970’s nevertheless. societal work instruction bit by bit began to develop in Guyana with a Diploma in Social work being offered at its University. Subsequently. a Bachelor’s programme was implemented as a joint programme with Dalhouse University in Canada. From 1977 to 1982 10 individuals benefited from this agreement. In an effort to modify the degree and quality of practical preparation given to pupils. the first stage of a two stage preparation programme for bureau supervisors was carried out in 1989 with stage two following the following twelvemonth.

Today. Guyana has a figure of bing bureaus these are viz. . Statutory services for kids. School Welfare Service. Sophia Centre. Child Care Services. Voluntary Social Services for Children. Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association. Department of Youth and Sport. Central Recruitment and Manpower Agency. the Board of Industrial Training and the Occupational Health and Safety Division. These societal services have been negatively affected by the economic diminution in Guyana. Dans. ( 1990 ) stated. “in 1989 the Social Impact Amelioration Programme ( SIMAP ) was created. in an attempt to buffer the negative societal effects of structural economic accommodation. ” SIMAP focused on peculiar undertakings. which were devised to bring forth employment chances for vulnerable groups and at the same time better the societal and economic substructure.

In reasoning therefore it is of import to observe that the patterned advance of societal public assistance and societal work in Barbados and Guyana has been a gradual 1. Both states were successful in conveying some degree of aid to those citizens in demand through the disposal of hapless alleviation and self-help enterprises. It ought to be emphasized nevertheless. that in order for societal workers to be more effectual in run intoing the demands of their clients. an educational foundation and the support of a incorporate professional organic structure is critical when recommending for alteration.


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