Social work is a profession dedicated to enhancing human capacity to solve complex social problems in order to create a more humane and just society. One of the cornerstones of social work practice is the focus on the strengths, as opposed to the shortcomings, of individuals, families and communities so that these can be deployed to find innovative solutions for complex social problems. The profession is characterised by a steadfast commitment to social justice in the service of empowering individuals, families and communities to meet their needs.
The primary programme offering at the University of Namibia is the four-year Bachelor's of Arts in Social Work (Honours) that combines theory and field practice. Professional exposure and experimental learning are offered through a Field Education Programme where students have the opportunity to work directly with community partners, getting valuable on the ground experience while offering countless hours of capacity to those organisations. The social work programme aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge, skills and understanding to deal positively with problems that arise in the interaction between people and their environment and to empower those involved to deal with their problems in a self-reliant way. Students in this programme are diverse; representing a spectrum of cultures and life experiences. These differences enrich the classroom by creating a learning community that enhance growth and learning in an intellectually stimulating and culturally responsive environment. The transition from a student to a professional is carefully moulded by a group of qualified and experienced faculty. The training under this programme is regulated by the Social Work and Psychology Act, No. 6 of 2004 and satisfies the professional and legal requirements for registration as a social worker with the Health Professions Council of Namibia.
The University of Namibia also offers post-graduate degrees in social work, including the MA (Social Work) and PhD (Social Work). These degrees require one year of on-campus study to ensure a firm foundation on which the independent research project can be built.
Few professions offer more diverse employment opportunities than social work. Social workers serve as counsellors (e.g., in adoption, bereavement, domestic violence, vocational and rehabilitation, hospice, mental health, substance abuse, youth services); as service coordinators and case managers (e.g., in health care, child welfare, housing, human resources, public affairs, student life, employee assistance programs; as therapists (e.g., child, adolescent, marriage and family); as administrators in public and private human service agencies; as community development workers, public policy analysts; and in juvenile and adult justice systems, to name a few. Social workers are found in governmental agencies, private institutions, as well as in voluntary welfare organisations and non-governmental organisations.