Understanding Social Problems in the Perspective of Social Counseling
Social problems according to the view of some people are not far from the problem of limitations in meeting the needs of food, clothing and shelter. There is a limitation of a person in carrying out his social functions, so that in fulfilling his life needs he experiences obstacles and constraints. This condition is caused by various factors that influence each other. It could be caused by internal and external factors. There are many ways and patterns for a person to overcome the problems of his life in order to avoid social problems. Indeed, the understanding of social problems is very diverse, but in general, it is interpreted that there is a condition that is unwanted or disliked by most members of the community because these conditions are no longer in accordance with expectations or are not in accordance with the values, norms and social standards that apply.
Then, is it important for citizens to know and know about social problems? the answer is necessary. Communities who are aware of the existence of social problems in their environment will actually provide motivation and inspiration to make efforts or efforts to change and improve these unfavorable conditions. At least for the individuals themselves, they will try not to get caught up in and be affected by these social problems, thankfully being part of the efforts to solve them.
To reinforce the boundaries of understanding of social problems, on this occasion, the author tries to borrow the opinion put forward by Parillo quoted by Soetomo in the book 'Social Problems and Their Solutions', he states that the notion of social problems contains four components, thus a social situation or condition It can be said as a social problem if there are indications of the existence of these four elements. The four components are: first, the condition is a problem that persists for a certain period of time. Conditions that are considered a problem but in a short period of time have disappeared by themselves are not included in social problems; secondly, it is felt that it can cause various physical or non-physical harms to both individuals and society; third is a violation of the values or social standards of one or several aspects of community life; fourth raises the need for solutions.
A problem faced by a citizen as an individual is not automatically a social problem. These individual problems can be considered social problems if they develop into social issues. On the other hand, in the reality of social life, statements as social problems are not always explicit but can also be symbolic. A condition that receives a reaction of rejection by the community can be interpreted as a symbol of the community's statement that the condition is a social problem. So, according to Weinber the existence of social problems as a result of social construction, (Soetomo, 2008). As ordinary people, they are very vulnerable to being provoked by social situations that are considered less conducive, especially if someone is pushing and influencing them. If this social situation is not communicated and educated properly and correctly to the public, it may shift into a social issue which will lead to the emergence of bigger social problems. So, who is the loser…? must be society itself.
Social problems as a symptom or phenomenon that appears in the reality of social life seem difficult to avoid. However, this social phenomenon must be known by the community so that people have awareness and enthusiasm to solve it so that it does not harm and disturb other social situations. From the perspective of the social work profession, there are steps to solving social problems which consist of three standard activities that must be understood, namely identification of social problems, diagnosis of social problems, and treatment (preventive, rehabilitative, and developmental). All three are important steps in the study and treatment of social problems and parts of the process that are interrelated and cannot be separated. Identification of social problems is carried out to open awareness and belief that social problems contain symptoms of social problems.
Aside from being an awareness of the existence of social problems, it also functions to turn latent social problems into manifests that provide inspiration and encouragement to take steps to deepen the problem through diagnosis and treatment. In the diagnosis stage, the emphasis is on finding and studying the background, and the determinant factors, especially the factors that are the cause and source of the problem. When the diagnosis is carried out carefully and in-depth, it allows choices of treatment steps to be more effective and maximal. If not, it could only be limited to solving surface problems, even though solving social problems focuses on the root of the main problem, not the phenomenon anymore. We are often faced with a dilemma when taking a position and solving it, due to a lack of facts and data that must be managed and diagnosed in depth. As a result, the solution will never be completed.
There is an effort to understand a condition that is considered or declared a social problem, in fact, preventive and collaborative efforts are better prepared and can be detected early so that the condition can be anticipated not to spread and disrupt other aspects of community life. And vice versa, if the community is less adaptive and concerned about potential social problems in their environment, it could be that at first, it was only a problem for individuals or small groups, but because it has become a social issue in the midst of people's lives, they respond irrationally and emotionally which ultimately has a bigger impact. for the lives of others or their social environment.
Communities that know each other's character, culture, and social values of life around them, including patterns and ways of solving them, will become a big social capital in reducing the development of social problems. Communities that are adaptive and collaborative in understanding social conditions and situations will more quickly and easily deal with them because they always open themselves up, provide space for movement and there is a dialogue space that allows social stability to be created. The high awareness that has been built in the joints of community life about the importance of knowing social problems is expected to further strengthen community participation in solving problems with their own strength.
When the community is well acquainted with social problems in their social environment, it will automatically help the government and regional governments to follow up on solutions which in turn can prevent and suppress the expansion and follow-up effects of the problem as early as possible. One of the accelerated recognition of social problems that can be considered effective is to encourage community social extension workers and social extension functional officials to create more constructive and innovative social counseling models. Social counseling that is carried out institutionally and massively is very important because it is an effective learning medium for communicating, understanding as well as educating and educating the public so that they are as early as possible able to recognize social situations and social phenomena so that chronic and new social problems do not arise.