Child Welfare and Social Work: The Legal, Political and Social Contexts of Malaysia

Habibie Bte Hj Ibrahim, Norhamidah Jarimal - Malaysian Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities


This paper is based on literature review on the legal, political and social context of Malaysia regarding child welfare and social work. Children are an asset and younger generations will become the leaders of the country in future. In the Malaysian context, a variety of factors impact on how children are defined. These include the Islamic perspective, local cultural practices, approaches based on biological growth and relevant legislation. Such varying definitions can cause confusion in the application of law and could result in injustice. When talking regarding the social problems concerning children in Malaysia, there include abuse, neglect, abandonment of babies, street children, children beyond parental control, children involved with crime, underage marriage, prostitution and child trafficking. However, the shortage of professional social workers who can effectively manage abuse and child neglect cases is a serious problem.