Social Work

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The aim of this essay is to explore and outline the role of the social worker. As Mark Dole highlighted, the role of a social worker is a complex and misunderstood role within a contemporary society. The role of the social worker ranges from being a wise eyed idealist to a realist. Social work is misunderstood by the public and media. Mark Dole in his book on skills required for social worker (2011) quotes Margaret Thatcher who famously said: ‘anyone could be a social worker: all that was needed was time on their hands some life experience’. This essay is aimed at outlining and explaining how complex this role is, and challenging it is to define social work. Bradley’s (2008) along with BASW (2008) core values are essential to social work practice. These are human dignity and worth, social justice, service to humanity, integrity and competence. With these five fundamental elements, will enable you to provide a proficient service, promote social change and empower people to enhance their lives. It is important that these core values are imbedded in social work practice to ensure you provide a fair and competent service. The social work profession believes every human being has a right to well-being and the freedom to take control and enhance their own lives. By promoting human dignity and worth the profession aims to help service users build on self-respect, self-fulfilment and self-importance, so they’re able to reach their full potential. Social workers believe everyone is worth something, and should be treated with respect and dignity and without prejudice, in regards of ones culture, religion, class, sexually preference or belief. Social workers commit to supporting people who are vulnerable, and seek to help re-build their confidence and self-worth. Their dignity and self-esteem may have suffered due to unfortunate circumstances such as domestic violence, homelessness or a serious accident that has left them to cope with a disability. Social workers aim to alleviate and find way to over come structural disadvantage and bring fourth equal opportunities for all. Social justice is about equality; equal opportunities for all. The profession works to ensure everyone is treated fairly and have the same social rights and opportunities as others. A service user may have immigrated or been withdrawn from society, as a result of this they may not be completely aware of their rights and entitlement, for example making a complaint, legal aid, benefits or to seek asylum. Social justice is done to provide a fair harmonious society and by bringing awareness to such entitlement can help provide that. Service to humanity is one of the bases of social work. Service users are the profession’s primary concern and works to put them first and meet their personal and social needs. Therefore social workers provide practical and accurate information, and encourage participation with realistic choices in regards to their lives. They’re required to show empathy and treat service users with the same respect that they would like. E.g. Peoples views, opinions, beliefs, may not be the same as yours and may differ at times, you must still accept and respect this; along with their culture and ways of doing things. Integrity consists of honesty, impartiality, sincerity, reliability, moral and ethnic principles. These qualities are what the profession strives to promote on a professional and personal level. Social work practices not to exploit or take advantage of anyone. E.g. by not manipulating a person (in any way) because they’re more vulnerable. Competency is the foundation of social work practice. You have to show you have the skills and knowledge to deliver a proficient service, as highlighted in Bradley 2008. In relation to the baby P case s/w were heavily criticised for there incompetency to protect baby P. Mail online quoted “Social workers, doctors and police, committed a catalogue of errors which led to the toddler’s...
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