Journal of Human Rights and Social Work

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 3–10 | Cite as

Developmental Social Work: a Promising Practice to Address Child Marriage in Zimbabwe

  • Munyaradzi Muchacha
  • Abel Blessings Matsika


The paper advances the role of social work in addressing child marriage in Zimbabwe. It notes that despite child marriage being one of the major social problems in Zimbabwe, and a child rights concern, there is limited social work professional action and interventions to address this challenge, particularly in the government Department of Social Welfare, where there are no interventions that seek to directly prevent or address child marriage. The paper calls for a paradigm shift from remedial social work interventions that dominate social work practice in this department and generally in Zimbabwe. These traditional approaches lack the capacity to address the structural causes of social problems such as child marriage. To that end, the paper proffers developmental social work practice due to its strength to address structural issues, pursue social justice, promote active participation and strengthen prevailing coping mechanisms and poverty alleviation.


Child marriage Social work Zimbabwe Human rights Girls 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social WorkUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.Oxfordshire County CouncilSwindonUK

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