Social Work Practice in Institutional Childcare System: The Case of Governmental Childcare Institutions in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


Social work is a practice based profession that requires the professionals to be equipped with knowledge, skills, values and ethics of working with others. Social work in institutional childcare is one area of social work practice. Social workers in institutional childcare system work with OVC, by giving different services to meet OVC needs. The purpose of the study was exploring social work practice in governmental childcare institutions of Addis Ababa.Cross sectional, exploratory and case study qualitative research method was used. Out of non-probability sampling, purposive sampling was used to select seven participants of the study, which included “social workers” supervisors or managers of the governmental childcare institutions and the “social workers” of the governmental childcare institutions. Primary and secondary data were collected through in-depth interview, key informant interview, observation and document review. The finding of this study shows that “social workers” play a major role in family tracing, care giving, assessment, facilitating different services for OVC, advocacy, system development and research. The study indicated that there is a lack of understanding about,what professional social work practice is about. There is lack of practicing social work knowledge related to social work theory, skill, ethics and value. Social workers use the knowledge from their practice experience with OVC. Plus, communication,assessment and collaboration skills are used by social workers, when they are working with OVC. Giving love, confidentiality, consent and not abusing children are the values and ethics that guide social workers practice. Challenges of social work practice were also identified as lack of; coordination, time, material and motivation to practice social work. On the other hand, two major prospects of “social workers” were identified and they are having open place to work with OVC andgettingtraining opportunities



Social work; Governmental Childcare Institution; Orphan and Vulnerable Children