Apr 29, 2020 No Comments ›› OpenBook



This examines the role of social worker in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded; a case study of Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa, Kaduna State. The instrument used for the collection of data was questionnaire. The population of the study is made up of the entire professionals and the sample size is 60 selected from the total population of 601 to form 200 respondents to represent the population. Research findings show that the role of social workers in the rehabilitation of mentally retarded help in the reformation and restoration of patient. The social worker said most causes of mentally retarded patient is drug addiction, and it was recommended that counseling and correction is the measures use in rehabilitating the patient. Increasing of salaries and income should be given to the social worker and improve the facilities in the centres; as at when due without unnecessary hassles. Also, the research touched on the history of the problem, objective of the research, research questions and definition of terms. The research want ahead to review related literature in the subject matter, the data collected was presented with the use of table, simple percentage and statistical tools.




1.1     Background of the Study

For the essence of better clarification and understanding, there is the need to define rehabilitation as a concept in this project. Therefore, rehabilitation can simply be defined as a practical process that is regarded as a mandatory vocation training counseling, and educational programmes that gives a client the knowledge and skill to complete in this job market with the help of a social worker. It is with this view that the importance of a social worker cannot be overemphasized based on the formidable roles and activities they perform in respect to the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded people or client.

Social worker plays a vital role in relation to mentally retard aspect and also known as one aspect of social worker in mentally retarded homes is numerous and countless, simply because of the belief that social worker performs virtually all the important activities or roles especially when it comes to issues of rehabilitation process in relation to mentally retarded.

One of the roles of social worker is the issue of mandatory vocational training that enables a client to easily fit in a normal life that the client ought to live without constituting any form of nuisance in the society.

They also help in counseling the client and providing educational programmes that enables a client to conform easily to the society norms values.

It should also be noted that after a series of rehabilitation processes or activities from the social worker to the client, the social workers organize educational activities in order to alleviate or curtail the initial mind-set or ideology of the client and to work effectively with the new living existence so as o enhance and enable a good living condition in the society.

Rehabilitation has a lot to do in the life of mentally retarded person. The fact is that social workers play an important role in the term of rehabilitation.

Dickerson (1981), defined “mentally retardation” “as a significant sub-average general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behaviours in adults who as a result in adequately impaired in their ability to learn and adapt to the demand of the society.”

“Firendlader (1974),” stated that the causes of mental retardation are complex, ranging from heredity, metabolic dysfunction parental illness, premature health, injury, illness and accidents in early childhood. He further stated that mental retardation is also associated with poverty and its psychosocial and social-cultural consequences. It is not a subject of debate that rehabilitation is a gradual process which has to take steps by steps in reforming the life of people that are mentally retarded.

The role of a social worker in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded Neuron Psychiatric hospital is a great importance; since the mentally retarded need special attention that regular medical personal may not provide the required attention. The social worker tries all their possible best to rehabilitate mentally retarded people by showing them a caring act and hope s as to come back to their normal way of living. The role of social workers in such institutions is of importance and should be addressed.

Psychiatric social worker is generally concerned with the patient’s problem and works hand in hand with other medical personnel in finding possible solutions or treatment. Psychiatric social workers is an intermediary between the medical staff and the patients. In medical settings, doctors and nurses deal directly with the physical illness of patients, while the psychiatric social worker deals with the social problem that they encounter after discharge in the hospital they may likely face problems such as unemployment, shelter feeding and other economic problems.

Psychiatric social worker therefore, aims at achieving the social work goals and the general well being of the people in the society and to enhance their functioning capacity. They a achieved their purpose through investigation and encouragement, they are like other staff working in the hospital expect they are no directly involved in the direct medical treatment, despite the facts they address social and emotional problems that affect patients to make treatment more effective. They meet patients on admission and discuss their problems with them, in the aim of solving the problem given to the psychiatric social worker. They also deals with patients and their families and also with the parents of the emotionally disturbed.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

This project focuses on the roles of a social worker in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded. (A study of Federal Neuro – Psychiatric hospital Barnawa Kaduna).  From observation it appears that different forms of problems are faced by the social worker in most psychiatric hospital. In which they lack so many things like; funding. Many psychiatric hospitals lack resources to manage both the patients’ equipment and their staff. Funding is necessary and important in every medical field because without financial resources, they will not be able to provide adequate infrastructural facilities which the patient needs, to ensure their well being. Because of this problem, social workers are not motivated to do their work.

Lack of inadequate infrastructural facilities. Many psychiatric lack this because, there are no enough rooms for the patient to stay, there are no equipment that will be use to cater for the needs of the patient and the staff. Some psychiatric, are not properly furnished and not well equipped which may harm the health of the psychiatric patients.

Lack of personnels/staff/medical practitioners some of the psychiatric hospitals lack adequate personnel, some of the staff are not qualified to handle issues related to psychiatric work or services and even the qualified ones are not well paid or motivated to do their job. There are no enough rehabilitation centres to help this patient on issues of therapy, asking them question and finding solution to their problems.

You will find out that there are many mentally retarded people on the streets roaming about without proper care. Psychiatric hospitals should be built for the betterment of our society and country at large.

1.3     Objectives of the Study

  1. To identify the roles of social workers’ in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded.
  2. To identify the causes and effects of mentally retarded.
  3. To identify or know the ways in which mentally retarded persons’ can be rehabilitated or reformed.

1.4   Research Questions

  1. Who is a social worker?
  2. What is mentally retardation?
  3. What is the role of social worker in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded?
  4. What are the causes and effect of mental retardation?
  5. What are the measures or ways in which the mentally retarded person can be rehabilitated?

1.5   Significance of the Study

The significance of the research works is highlighted below:

  1. This study will throw more light on the multi-facet nature of social workers and specifically show their relevance in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded.
  2. The social workers perform certain responsibilities to the mentally retarded (as their primary clients). The study will therefore, show these services that are offered.
  3. Since social workers do not work in isolation of other profession or disciplines, this study will show how they compliment. These disciplines in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded.
  4. This study will bring to light the factors limiting the performance of social workers in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded and how to over cover them in other to enhance their work.
  5. This study will serve as a reference to other researches who may have interest in areas similar to this.

1.6   Scope of the Study

This work will focus on the roles of social workers in the rehabilitation of the mentally retarded in Federal Psychiatric Hospital Barnawa, Kaduna.

However, the scope of this study will be limited to application on the roles played by mental health care services. The scope of this study, not withstanding it is expected that the entire state and country in general will have enough to benefit from the conclusions drawn from the research investigated.

1.7   Limitation of the Study

Most of the respondents were not ready to cooperate and fill the questionnaire, due to their numerous and fill the questionnaire, due to their numerous engagement in office. Although it took some week before I was able to collect the questionnaire. These limitations should be taken cognizance of by other researchers conducting similar studies.

1.8   Definition of Terms

Below are some peculiar definitions of terms which shall be used across the span of this research work:

  1. Social work: According to Farley and Smith (2006:7), “Social work is an art, a science, a profession that helps people to solve personal, group (especially family) and community problems and to attain satisfying personal, group, and community relationships through social work practice.
  2. Social work: In line with Farley and Smith (2006:7) definition of what a social work is, a social worker can therefore be defined as a professional that helps people to solve personal, group and community problems and also helps to attain satisfying personal, group and community relationship through practice.
  3. Mentally Retardation: According to the National Institution of Health (2015), Mental Retardation (MR) is a condition diagnosed before age 18, usually in infancy or prior to birth, that includes below average general intellectual function, and a lack of the skills necessary for daily living. When onset occurs at age 18 or after, it is called “dementia,” which can coexist with an MR diagnosis.
  4. Rehabilitation: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Rehabilitation of people with disabilities is a process aimed at enabling them to reach and maintain their optional physical, sensory, intellectual, psychological and social functional levels. Rehabilitation provides disabled people with the tools they need to attain independence and self-determination.
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