Social case work:Meaning,concept and definition

  1. Introduction
  2. Concept  
  3. Definition 
  4. Analysis and meaning 
  5. Conclusion 


Many attempts have been made by the social casework writers to define social casework, yet some point of time almost every professional faces and struggle to answer the casework with greater precision and clarity. Casework is a phenomenon that involves complexity, dynamics and progressive development in its evolution. It is a process used by certain human welfare agencies to help individuals to cope effectively with their problems in social functioning. (H.H.Perlmen). It is concerned with the adjustment and development of individuals. And the adjustment of the individuals depends on the social environment condition and availability of the resources. The entire process of social casework is generally based on human and social relationships with regard to the solution of the psychosocial problem.


Social casework is regarded as the primary method of social work. Social relevance and clinical approach with scientifically grounded in nature are the theoretical characteristics of the casework. Its theoretical perspectives are largely influenced by the charity organization society and from the various schools of thought. It is understood as the concept or a practice where a social worker is employed by the government or non-governmental organization to help an individual with his/her case and provide advocacy and information. Moreover, it is about enabling individuals to cope effectively for overcoming the psychosocial problem. To have a better understanding of this concept let’s refer to the following definition.
Richmond (Richmond 1915)
Social casework may be defined as the art of doing different things for and with different people by cooperating with them to achieve at one and the same time their's own and society’s betterment.
Jarrett (1919)
Social casework is the art of bringing an individual who is in a condition of social disorder into the best possible relationship with all parts of his environment.
Social casework means social treatment of maladjusted individuals involving  an attempt to understand  his personality behavior, and social relationship, ad to assist him in working out a better social and personal adjustment.
Watson (1922)
Social casework is the art of untangling and reconstructing the twisted personality in such a manner that the individual can adjust himself to his environment.
Social casework is the art of changing human attitudes.
Bowers (1949)
Social casework is an art in which knowledge of the science of human relation, and skills in a relationship are used to mobilize capacity in individual and resources in the community appropriate for the better adjustment between the cline and all or way part of his total environment.
Hollies (1957)
Socia casework is a method employed by a social worker to help the individual find the solution to a problem of social adjustment which they are unable to handle in a satisfactory ways by their own effort.

Analysis of the definition and meaning.
Social case work is an art (Richmond)
Social casework is not only a process of treatment to individuals but it actually the art of dealing with an individual’s problem. Primarily art is learned, improved and achieved. In social casework, the caseworker is learned of doing different things for different people through the spirit of cooperation in order to achieve their own and social betterment.
Social case work is a technical method of social work (KLEN-1938)
However, the casework is understood as the art of doing different things for different people, similarly it is also defined as the technical method of social work through the methods, it attempts to help the individuals to cope with the problems. The method stands of systematic and organized conceptualize design to get the things done. Casework is a method of social work with procedures, the body of knowledge, and a definite process through which the Clint problem is solved.

Social casework is process (Deschweinitz-1939)
As Richmond says that social casework is an art, however, Deschwinitz defined as the process giving service, financial assistance or providing personal counseling to the individual by representing agencies under the formal policies of the organization. It says that Clint or the individuals are helped and provided all sorts of services to make them overcome their problems.
Social Case work is the science of human relation (Boweres-1949)
Case work is the knowledge of the science of human relationships and skills in human relations. These two factors are used to mobilize and enhance individual capacity to enable to cope and handle the problem more efficiently.


Many writers and professionals have contributed their understanding and technical perspective on social casework. Perlman concluded that it is a process of four components that are related to one another. In this process, the problems of individuals are well addressed. According to Perlman, a person comes with a problem to a place and a social caseworker helps him/her with though a well-defined process. On this note, the casework is understood as the method of social work to help an individual to solve their problem and helping them to cope effectively in the social functioning process.


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