What Being a Social Worker Entails

Social worker jobs will never be an easy ride. Yet, there are very few jobs that can be as rewarding. Social work can encompass a lot of areas. This article will try and show on a general level what the role of a social worker specifically is. Showing how it is both such a challenging career path, while also being one of the most satisfying jobs around. From this, we can start to look at various areas of specialisation in social work.

There is a variety of skills needed if you are going to succeed as a social worker. Actively listening is an absolute must, if you are going to genuinely understand people’s problems. While speaking and responding to these problems in the correct way is equally important. Your critical thinking skills must also be apt. To the extent that, for example, you can use logical thinking to identify strengths and weaknesses of one approach to recommend to a patient over another. Part of this is also understanding that complex problem solving will be a daily occurence, and you can’t expect two cases to ever be the same. Your reading and writing skills will also have to be impeccable. For example, being able to extrapolate key pieces of information from lengthy reports, or academic journals you may read during your training.

Broadly speaking, there are three main areas of social work that you can consider specialising in:

Family, child or school:

Social work often means working with children. This is due to how they are often the most vulnerable in society, therefore need help from social services the most. Your role may involve assisting parents, foster homes, schools and address claims of abuse. Your main goal in this role is to improve psychological and social functioning of children and their family.

Public health:

This is social work in the form of helping those who are diagnosed with a terminal or life changing illness. You are often helping patients receive the level of care they need to live as full a life as possible. You will be helping people at some of their most lowest and vulnerable times in their lives. You have a chance to help ease this process.

Addictions and mental health:

This role largely consists of helping people who have unhealthy grounding techniques. Aiding them, by connecting them to the various institutions and programmes that can help them. Patients with addiction problems also often suffer from emotional or mental illnesses. As a result, part of your role might also be that of a counsellor, or making sure they are receiving the right level of counselling to adequately help them.

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