I have to say the majority of my family and friends ask me how and most importantly why I do this job. I think it’s a hard one to answer and when i’m stressed out or having a mini panic to myself I do find myself asking myself why too. But I always end up with the same answer. I love it. Why?
I often forget what I love about my job but then it does come back to me and I think it’s really important to share them.
Building relationships with the families I work with
It’s probably easy to guess that the majority of the families I work with don’t like Social Workers and don’t want you in their life. I can’t say I blame them. I wouldn’t want to feel critisised for my family life and my parenting either. I would assume that I wouldn’t be best impressed if a Social Worker knocked at my door.
There are however the families who really want your help, guidance and knowledge and they are great to work with. However, like I said the majority of them are the complete opposite. I have to say I meet some of these people and I have to ask myself how can I work with you? how can we get through this? I find this the challenge and part of what I like about this job.
Of course there are going to be some people that no matter what they won’t let you in or engage with you. But the ones where they don’t agree with everything I say but they do realise I am there to help their family and I will be as honest as I can be. I love it when I can build that relationship and you do get a mutual understanding. One thing they can’t tell me if that I have not been honest with them, and it is very clear what is expected from both sides.
Helping families to identify there own solutions and making changes
This is a huge part of being s social worker for me. Something we can’t do as a social worker is force people to do things if they don’t agree, and why would we want to. If that happened as soon as we went it would go back to how it was anyway. We know people play the system so lets truly see what they think is needed.
Many times what I am worried about isn’t the parents or the child’s biggest worry and it’s so important to know what they are thinking and why and for them to understand my thoughts too. We don’t always think about it but maybe they have a huge number of other worries that feel far bigger to them than why we are in their home. Unpicking this with the families we work with is a huge part of this job and it really helps for a better understanding.
These simple questions can make such a difference to peoples lives; what are you worried about? what do you think is going well? most importantly, what do you think needs to happen? The answers you get can be incredible. It’s about building that relationship, it’s about you being honest which in time will help them to be honest with you too.
Advocating and encouraging the people that I work with.
This counts for both the adults and children I work with. Even if I don’t agree with the parents view and they have gone shy or feel uncomfortable in that meeting. With there permission I will share their views if they have told me and I will help encourage them to do this. I won’t be that Social Worker who sits at the other side of the room to them I will sit with them. As importantly, I will try to understand where there views are coming from.
My work with children is why I have gone into this job and being able to really understand what they want, how they feel and being able to share this or support them in sharing this is such an amazing feeling. There worry may or may not be anywhere close to what I am worried about. But the feeling of being able to really understand them and what is going on for them is just huge.
Making a positive difference.
I work with many vulnerable people and children and to know at the end of a case that I have helped and that child or family who are now safe and free from harm isn’t something you come across with most day to day jobs. I can’t explain the feeling when you get that card that says simply ‘thank you’ just how much that really means to me. Seeing these changes in place and seeing the better outcome is somethings that stays with that person and the social worker will remember it too.
No day is ever the same.
I wasn’t really sure whether to put this as pro or con. As sometimes I do have to admit I would quite like a repetitive day once in a while where I know what to expect, or how they day is simply going to end up. I have decided to keep it as a pro. I quite like the unknown sometimes anyway. Even the planned events never quite go as I would have thought. I think that this helps keep the job both a challenge and exciting.
My admin day is never an admin day and there is always an emergency or a court report that needs filing as fast as humanly possible. I have to say my days do go by very quickly and at least I don’t have to clock watch and I never get bored.
I love working with children and although in this job there are soo many challenges that you face on a day to day basis. I really care about the families that I work with and my passion really is to help them as much as I can.
As I always say If you want any help or guidance or have any general questions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me.