Vimala College (Autonomous), Thrissur

Department of Social Work


1. Collaboration with Government Projects

Students are conventionally placed in social service agencies where they get opportunities to practice methods. But we have recently come across some limitations to this approach.viz., less number of social service agencies with qualified staff and the pressure to place students in communities without an organization’s support. Moreover, the demands on social workers in terms of knowledge and skills have also changed considerably.It is in this context that we started working with Government departments and projects in addition to the welfare or development oriented NGOs, mainly because these NGOs could not provide the whole spectrum of skills and value orientations required for the practice of community organization.

Objectives of the Practice

  1. To create opportunities for students to develop basic skills in community organization like engagement, data gathering and analysis, organizing and observation.
  2. To provide students specializing in community development to acquire advanced skills in organizing, managing conflict, involving community, consensus building, networking and advocacy.


We have identified a range of projects and programmes and government departments who have the potential to provide the above mentioned skills to the students in a field work setting. This is done every year after taking into consideration the types of intervention made by them. The location and programme schedules are also considered.  Most important among them include ICDS, NRHM, Kudumbasree, MGNREGA, Dept. of Health, Forests etc.

As the next step, the Department of Social Work and the concerned agency holds discussions as to the expectations about the field work placement. In some instances, we enter into a written MoU, though in most of the situations, it is done on more informal level with only a written request and written confirmation. Students are then given training, both about the theoretical and practical aspects. Tasks are assigned to them based on the objectives of fieldwork and the programmes of the agency. An agency supervisor is assigned who monitors the work and evaluates the performance of the student. Regular supervision of the faculty supervisor is ensured.

Outcome/ Achievements

  1. Better opportunities for students to develop and enhance skills, knowledge and values
  2. Networking and collaboration with government organizations which are prospective employers
  3. Improved exposure to students regarding social realities and official efforts to deal with them
  4. More effective implementation of programmes through increased people’s participation and awareness
  5. More visibility for the social work professionals – increased demand for social workers in these areas


  1. Inherent problems in working with the bureaucratic structures – delays in reaching agreements and getting permission
  2. Dearth of officials with a vision in this regard
  3. Difficulties in sustaining the programme over a long period of time
  4. Constraints in integrating the programme with the academic calendar

2. Teacher -Practitioner

The Context that initiated the Practice

Social Work is a profession. It provides services to individuals, groups and communities in need of help through its methods of social casework, social group work, community organization,   social work research and social work administration. Being a practice discipline the faculty members need to engage in practice of the methods to ensure updating of knowledge and skill base and to improve the quality of teaching. The social context in which social work is practiced is changing rapidly. The tools and techniques used in this helping profession also is undergoing changes. When the teacher is engaged in practice, it adds to the overall quality of teaching and standards of professional service.

Objectives of the Practice

1. To provide opportunities for faculty members to practice various methods of social work

2. To ensure knowledge of and skills in practice are updated and sharpened through practice

3. To make use of these experiences in improving the quality of teaching.

4. To make the services of experts available to various target groups.


All the teachers in the department are engaged in practice. One hour a day  for three days a week is kept for practice activities. The activities done by the staff include

1. Providing counseling to students from other departments on referral and individuals outside the campus

2. Training, education and research in communities, organizations like social welfare agencies and schools

3. Project proposal development, financial and Human Resource management of various extension programmes of the College

Outcome/ Achievements

1. Improved skills and knowledge of faculty members

2. Better exposure for teachers to latest developments in the profession

3. Students benefit from the first hand experience based knowledge of the teachers

4. Department/College is perceived by the public as a resource in social welfare issues –improved reputation and status


1. Time constraints in engaging in practice

2. Limited opportunities for staff to attend training programmes in related subjects


Ramavarmapuram Road
Thrissur 09
Kerala, India

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Vimala College

We envision the total transformation of the young women for their enrichment and of the society at large and the nation as a whole.

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