We train so hard for our degree we thought that was the biggest struggle. How sad I am to hear that people are coming to the end of their training and they aren’t even sure now whether Social Work is going to be the way forward for them.
I have found that the majority of this is down to the negativity they hear around Social Care and of course the perception of today’s media. People are scared off and are worried about what they hear about Social Work and only hear about failings. If that is the case I will continue to say that there are still rewards from being a Social Worker, yes we may not see them every day but they are there and we still do offer that well needed support to the vulnerable people that we work with.
I will be the first to acknowledge that Social Work is definitely not for everyone and it does take certain skills and patience to succeed in this role.
It is okay, if people choose to take another route and it’s still a great qualification to have relevant to a variety of other areas.
I suppose my biggest question is why do we always get the blame? We are overworked, struggling with the next sets of financial cuts the government have faced us with and all we really want to do is a good job.
It’s a fact and easy to say we do not go into Social Work for the pay. We’ve trained as we care about people, society and we want to try and help to make a difference and positive outcomes for the people we work with.
It drives me crazy when I walk into people’s homes and the additional hostility we get as they’ve watched that BBC Documentary. Yes, guess what I did to, it was crap, unrealistic and definitely portrayed us in a negative way. I wonder why they did that! Bet they had good viewings that night.
The media does not help us work effectively with the people we are trying to help. How nice it would be to have a positive news article or report about the good work we really do. What about the positive changes we make on a daily basis? Why are they invisible?
I manage this negativity with a quick rant with my fellow colleagues but the one I struggle with the most is the other professionals that we work whom have limited trust in us and often no trust. They are so easy to try and put us in the spotlight or threaten to complain about us.
I wonder how many of us have heard the following;
- “I know it’s 4:30 on a Friday I’m going home now but I just wanted to pass my worry onto you!!!!”. Their phone is then immediately logged off and we cannot contact them and they’ve sent the child home. Why didn’t they call us at 9am when they found out about this? I’m also supposed to go home now but I will have to stay out until at least 10pm sorting this now.
- “Sorry we can’t help you until the next shift starts at 5pm”. We could never say this and we never would. So we sit and just wait for their the next shifts to start. Of course we wouldn’t expect them to work over their hours but it’s okay for us too.
- “Sorry it’s doesn’t meet our threshold, maybe it will after a few more incidents”. Not Helpful!
- Social Worker asks “Have you spoke to said person about this concern you have?” Response “No, we haven’t as they might shout at us”. Hello, that doesn’t matter you have a duty to raise your concerns. Yes, I know it’s not nice but you need to own your concerns. We raise our concerns to families on a daily basis, yes they don’t always like it but it’s our job. We can’t hide it/ talk behind their back. Note to you, that’s not effective communication and working together.
- “I know I should have mentioned this in the meeting, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing it, I didn’t want to upset them”. Yes, I get that it can be hard. But I need to minute your concerns and parents need to be aware of them. We still have to raise this.
And these are just a few examples in today society why we still struggle with working together. We know this is the key, so why do we still feel on our own? How are we in 2016 and this is still going on? We work with professionals on daily basis that don’t understand about basic Safeguarding Procedures. They are quick to pass this on to us and walk away. Haven’t we learnt anything?