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Social work and Social Welfare has been with us from as far back as the 1600s and it has always been and has continued to be a response to human needs In order to understand its historical development it is necessary to examine the significant factors which has influenced its evolution It can be said however that factors such as the establishment of the Elizabethan poor laws the emancipation of slavery and the social unrest which resulted in the 1937 riots played a momentous role in the development of social work and social welfare This was evident throughout the Caribbean since they share a common colonial history for a number of years according to John Maxwell For the purpose of this essay specific focus will be on two of its English speaking countries namely Barbados and Guyana Compton and Gallaway 1990 defined Social welfare as an organized set of norms and institutions through which we carry out our collective responsibilities to meet needs In unison Zastrow 2000 noted that the goals of social welfare were to fulfil the financial health and recreational requirements of all individuals in a society This also included the enhancement of social functioning of all age and class groups Social work can be considered as an applied science of helping people achieve an effective level of psychosocial functioning The National Association Of Social Workers NASW makes the definition even more precise when they refer to it as a way to enhance human well being and help meet the basic human needs of all people with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable oppressed and living in poverty It can therefore be said that social welfare encompassed social work and that they are primarily similar at the level of practice Skidmore et al 1991 p 4 reinforced this key point by noting social services came first and the methods of social work developed out of
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