The Relevance of Social Work Education for Social Development in Kenya

Kennedy Karani Onyiko, Johnson Mavole Nzau, Ann Ngendo


This paper interrogates the contribution of professional Social work education towards social development in Kenya. It is believed that fundamental to understand social work involves understanding its educational requirements. Social work education and Social work profession offers a varied preparation at many levels (Ginsberg, 2001). Education is available at every educational level from the community college through to doctorate. Education and training is important because it is the preparatory phase for social work practice. The extent to which professional social workers execute their mandates and roles in society is principally dependent on the adequacy and relevance of the preparation they receive in terms of training and education. Therefore, to fully understand the relevance of this profession’s contribution to social development in Kenya, it is paramount to understand what is involved in preparing the Social work professional, it is important to appreciate the comprehensive nature of the education needed to obtain a degree in social work. To ascertain this, a census of 15 Higher Institutions of Learning (HIL) that train social workers and opinions of stakeholders of the profession in Kenya were sought and presented in this paper. The results indicate that the majority of the Social Work HIL in Kenya are public universities which constituted 53%. This states the commitment of the government of Kenya in training social workers who play a huge role in closing social development gaps. Private universities are represented by 27% of the HIL that were surveyed. The remaining 20% are middle level colleges which also train social workers, especially at diploma level. Social work has the potential to fill the gaps in social development if academic preparation of professionals in this discipline is effectively regulated and curricula designed to suit the countries social development needs.

Keywords: Social work, Social development, Education, Higher Institutions of Learning, Curricula.


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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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