1st Edition

Social Work, Social Welfare, and Social Development in Nigeria A Postcolonial Perspective

By Mel Gray, Solomon Amadasun Copyright 2023

    This groundbreaking book provides a comprehensive account of social work, social welfare, and social development in Nigeria from a postcolonial perspective. It examines the historical development of social work and social welfare and the colonial legacies affecting contemporary social welfare provision, development planning, social work practice, and social work education.

    Against this historical backdrop, it seeks to understand the position of social work within Nigeria’s minimalist structure of welfare provision and the reasons why social work struggles for legitimacy and recognition today. It covers contexts of social work practice, including child welfare, juvenile justice, disabilities, mental health, and ageing, as well as areas of development-related problems and humanitarian assistance as new areas of practice for social workers, including internally displaced and trafficked people, and their impact on women and children. It seeks to understand Nigeria’s ethnoreligious diversity and indigenous cultural heritage to inform culturally appropriate social work practice.

    This book offers a global audience insight into Nigeria’s developmental issues and problems and a local audience – social science and human service researchers, educators, practitioners, students, and policymakers - a glimpse of what’s possible when people work together toward a common goal.

    It will be of interest to all scholars and students of social work, development studies and social policy.

    0.Preface.  1.Introduction.  2.Revisiting the development of social welfare and social work in Nigeria.  3.Nigeria’s social development record.  4.Child welfare – a system in need of care.  5.Social exclusion, gender, and disability in Nigeria and the social work response.  6.Mental health and ageing.  7.'5Ps’ approach to human trafficking and the social work response.  8.Nigerian social work and its quest for professional recognition.  9.Enhancing the relevance of social work education.  10.Conclusion.


    Mel Gray (PhD) is Professor Emeritus (Social Work) at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. She has a longstanding interest in social work in Africa, having published widely on indigenisation and issues relating to cultural relevance, as well as social welfare and social development. This study of social work in Nigeria follows the first Routledge Handbook of Social Work and Social Development in Africa (2017), which she edited.

    Solomon Amadasun is a graduate of the University of Benin in Nigeria and a PhD student at Deakin University, Victoria, Australia. He has published widely on Nigerian social work education and practice, and related issues, including human trafficking, disabilities, and the COVID-19 pandemic. He previously published Social Work for Social Development in Africa (September Publishing House, 2020).