Investigating the influence of the Catholic Church on social work in the Philippines: An exploration of policy, practice and education

Carmela Otarra, Catherine Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Despite historical and current connections between the Catholic Church and social work in the Philippines, studies investigating these connections have been limited. Using an exploratory research design, this study examined this relationship by drawing on existing documents: legislation; curricula and minimum standards for social work programmes; course syllabi; the Code of Ethics; and textbooks. Three themes emerged in the analysis, offering tentative explanations for the Church’s widespread influence: religion as embedded in Filipino life; the Catholic Church and Catholic-based organisations as key partners in the delivery of social services; and the intersection of Catholic teachings, social work principles and Filipino values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1182
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023


  • Catholic Church
  • international social work
  • Philippines
  • religion
  • social work
  • social work education
  • social work practice

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