According to the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), the Social Work Profession is a practice- based profession and an academic discipline that encourages social change and development, the empowerment and freedom of individuals and social cohesion. The main principles in Social Work are social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities. Social Work engages people and structures to address life challenges and enhance well-being, underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and indigenous knowledge.
Social Work is NOT:
· Abuse of power
· Taking control over a person’s life
· Giving advice for the sake of it
· Reading people’s minds
· Judging people's situation
Three important fields are highly essential in social work:
- The Cognitive (thinking) aspect of social work.
- Application of theories, methods used and research
- The emotional element of social work.
- To act in accordance with professional ethical standards.
- Commitment to meeting the needs of children, young people, adults and families.
- To use a non-judgmental attitude and be non-discriminating towards others.
- The ‘doing’ or implementation element in social work.
- Will be helpful when working with various people with different situations, believes and values.
- One must be capable of establishing a therapeutic relationship with the client by being understanding, accepting the client as they are and be empathetic.
- The worker has to be a good observer, take notes and able to work with other professionals in order to help the client. [Example: The Social Worker working with the Psychiatrist or the Psychologist]
- The social worker must reflect, be emotionally strong and make sure they do not take issues outside their workplace.
The main goals in Social Work are:
To improve problem-solving, coping and developmental capacities.
To link people with resources, services and life chances.
To adapt effective and humane service systems.
To develop and to make social policy better.
Becoming a social worker means that one is in a closer contact with the wheel of Life.
Different areas of Social Work:
Social workers strive to ensure that all children are protected and safe from abuse.
Adoption and Fostering Services
Social workers train and assess prospective adoptive and foster parents to ensure that children are placed with an adaptive loving family.
Looked- after Children
Social workers work with children who are being looked- after in residential homes or foster homes.
The social workers’ work in this area is with children in a school environment to ease a positive school experience particularly for children who may be finding difficulties at school.
Domestic Violence Units
Workers that work in this sector work with victims of domestic violence in shelters or also in the community. The person who is working in this sector must be extra sensitive and careful in how to talk or act with the client as most times victims of domestic violence are highly sensitive.
The social workers’ work with the elderly people either in the community or in hospittals or even in residential homes.
Social Workers have a pivotal role to play with the people with disability and with their families.
Community Social Work
In this sectors, social workers empower communities to take initiative and organize themselves in the interest of different groups of people.
Asylum Seekers and refugees
The social workers work with these people to try to facilitate their situation and to promote their welfare.
Social Workers are involved with people experiencing mental health difficulties both in hospitals and in the community.
Drug and Alcohol Dependency
These social workers work with the individuals who have drug and alcohol addiction.
Unfortunately, social work is an emotionally draining and stressful job since the worker always has a new case to handle. In fact, certain social workers experience the ‘burnout’ stage. The burnout stage is when the worker gets both emotionally and physically drained and feels that they are not able to continue to do that work anymore.
However, one must always keep in mind one thing, the change they bring through the clients life, to their family and the world. At the end its all about the Joy of spreading SMILES!