Social Work Education in Indonesia: Challenges and Opportunity

F. Fentiny, Kanya Eka Santi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The social work profession in Indonesia has not yet become a desirable occupation that parents would like their children to take up, as opposed to a doctor or an engineer. This is partly because the profession is not widely known yet in Indonesia. Why is this the case? It is a relatively new development in Indonesia, which began around the late 1950s when the Ministry of Social Affairs commenced to recruit social workers as its employees. Furthermore, the term ‘social worker’ is not considered attractive as an occupation. In Indonesia, social work philosophy is ‘helping people to help themselves’. The concept of a ‘helping profession’ is not regarded as based on science and knowledge, because in the daily life of Indonesian society ‘helping others’ is common, because the general nature of Indonesian society is still in a close relationship, so they tend not to feel the need for a ‘helping profession’. Research conducted by the Asian Pacific Association for Social Work Education (APASWE) revealed that in the country many people do not know about the profession of social work. For those people, volunteers are social workers (Sasaki 2013). This condition is a major challenge that must be faced by social work/social welfare education in Indonesia. How can we make efforts to make social work widely known, and social work become a desired profession? This chapter will discuss the debates around social work, which incorporate challenges encountered and the efforts made for social work development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Work in XXI Century St.Challenges for academic and professional training
Number of pages398
ISBN (Print)978-84-9148-668-8
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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