The Role of a Social Worker

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The role of a social worker

What is a social work? “Social work is a profession which promotes social change and problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance wellbeing. Utilizing theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the point where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work”. (Understanding Social work, Neil Thompson, 2005, page 13, 2nd Edition)

Social work is recognized as a specialist profession with a sustainable universal value, expertise and knowledge foundation. Over many years the social work services have provided these facilities to vulnerable individuals which have then enabled the success of future generations, turning threatened dysfunctional members of society into well balanced, functional happy people. Social workers also have a fundamental role in working with individuals, assisting them in taking more control of their lives only where it is tangible and suitable.

A social worker today, should be ideally confident, competent, hard working professionals, working closely in with the service user, linked workers and other involved professionals, to help the service users achieve their goals in their lives. The main responsibility of the social worker is to protect the welfare and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults and mental health service users in the communities. A social worker must therefore adapt a holistic approach, which means to fully understand and be aware of entire history and situation of the potential service user/families. Developing an effective strategic method in helping relationship with the service users, is extremely paramount to the role, for a better result. A Social worker must also understand and practice the effect of working to target time, incorporate applied knowledge of the situation, skills, value and also display empathy, UPR (Unconditional Positive regards), Congruence skills, listening skills, and finally, patience and sensitivity to engaging their service users.

However; when criticized the position of a Social Worker, one can argument that the ability to form, achieve and maintain such relationships with clients, can be deteriorated by a high volume of workload, which in-turn reduces field resources and create over management of risk-taking. It also increases the service users and public’s expectations, especially those/service users who benefits and achieves their goals from using the Social Service. One of the main excuses or reasons, used by social workers, when they fail an individual or child, is that their work load is just too much. They claim that due to a high workload, they don’t get the time to get out of the office to make routine visits to their service user that desperately needs them.

Social workers, work closely with other professional organizations, such as schools, NHS, police and the probation service etc. However; even though social workers work closely alongside these organizations, in some cases, there have been times, that they’ve experienced communication displacement. Some of the linked workers are not fully aware nor understand the legislation and the rules which govern the role of a social worker. With this; comes ignorance and an intolerance as an opinion towards the social workers from some of these other departments.

Therefore it’s inevitable and paramount that communicating effectively, is the key to this confusion between professions, which could eradicated the current communication problems quite quickly with the correct methods. Social workers generally specialize in one of two roles within the social services, Adult services and Children & Young persons services. Within both roles, a Social Worker has to have great ability to work with individuals, children, families, adults with mental illnesses, carers, groups and communities to assess their...
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