Vision, Challenges and Solutions in the Development of Professional Social Work in Vietnam: Perceptions of Key Stakeholders

Huong Nguyen, Trang Thu Nguyen, Naomi Farber


It was not until 2010 that social work was officially recognized as a profession in Vietnam when the government approved a national master blueprint to develop social work. This blueprint identified seven strategic objectives including: creating a foundational labor force, developing laws and policies, and raising awareness about social work. This exploratory study examines the degree to which key stakeholders in Vietnam have shared vision and perceptions about the challenges and solutions necessary to make this ambitious plan for Vietnamese social work succeed. An anonymous survey was conducted with 65 policy makers, educators, service providers, and practitioners. The survey revealed that key stakeholders in held a shared vision about Vietnamese social work, focusing on making it a genuine profession. They identified the top challenges for Vietnamese social work as lack of national policy and regulations, lack of public awareness about the profession, and lack of resources to develop high quality social work education. Key stakeholders considered social work to be an integral function of the government and, as such, depend upon the government to lay the foundation for, provide direction to, and make available the resources necessary for the profession to grow. In other words, there would not be a Vietnamese social work profession outside of and without the Vietnamese government, unlike how the social work profession has developed in many Western countries.


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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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