Occupational Social Work
in South Africa: A National Survey

This qualitative descriptive study, which is still in the very early stages of design, aims to describe the state of occupational social work in post-apartheid South Africa. 

The study has seven primary research questions, viz:

  1. What is the scope of practice of occupational social workers in relation to the Occupational Social Work Practice Model?

  2. What are the views of occupational social workers on the relationship between EAP and OSW?

  3. What are the views of occupational social workers on their contribution to the triple bottom line? (including corporate social responsibility)

  4. What are the views of occupational social workers on the fit between developmental social welfare and OSW?

  5. What is the contribution of occupational social work to the management of HIV and AIDS in the workplace?

  6. What are the views of occupational social workers on OSW as a specialised field of social work?

  7. What are the barriers to and solutions for effective occupational social work practice?

The study is being conducted on a national level, sampling the entire population of occupational social workers who are practising in South Africa, estimated at several hundred practitioners.  Data are being collected through paper questionnaires, supplemented by a web administered survey.  Data collection is in process.

The project is being conducted under the auspices of the South African Association for Occupational Social Workers (SAOSWA).

One of the products to emerge from this study is an annotated bibliography of some 200 texts related to occupational social work. This bibliography can be downloaded here.

This study will feed into a special issue of the journal Social Work Researcher-Practitioner. The special issue (November 2009) is titled "Occupational social work in post-Apartheid South Africa". I am co-editing the issue with Dr Angela du Plessis. 

This page last updated: 24 Januar 2009