Most health institutions in Ethiopia lack to look the client with multifaceted perspective. Social worker provides services to meet the needs of individuals, communities and society. Therefore, the main objective of this research was to assess and explore the roles and challenges of social workers in the Gefersa Mental Health Rehabilitation Center (GMHRC). Qualitative research approach particularly a case study research design was used. A total of 15 participants were selected from office of which five social workers and ten from the staff members by using purposive sampling. In-depth interview with the social workers and other informants and observation were used to collect data for the study. The data were analyzed by triangulation technique, to create a meaning from qualitatively generated data. Accordingly, themes like the roles of social worker in line with National Association of Social workers (NASW) standards, the job description and activities outside their job description, and the challenges of social workers face in the rehab center were id8entified as the major issues of this study.

The findings of the study shows that, the social workers of the rehabilitation center worked at varied level in line with the standards stated on the NASW Standards for Social Work Practice in Health Care setting (2014). Concerning their main roles of social worker in the center, the social worker provided both stated in their job description and outside their job description. However, the study identified that there is a limitation on the presence of an organized and scientifically based job description. According to one of the major findings of this particular study, social workers in the mental health rehabilitation center faced various challenges. Most of the challenges were related to the lack of awareness about social workers roles, office problem and lack of office facilities. Moreover, the social workers use different mechanisms to overcome those challenges such creating awareness and develop rapport with the staff. The implication of the research aim at the implication of applying the main standards of social work practices in the health care settings in the rehabilitation centers throughout the country effectively and consistently. The study recommends that the rehab center should give attention for the staff of social workers and their activities.

Seifu-Final thesis edited comment