Social Work Week 2021

Published: 10 March 2021 to 31 December 2098

This month, from the 8th to 12th March, we are celebrating Social Work Week. As the first week of its kind in England, we are looking forward to attending the virtual programme provided by Social Work England, whilst also contributing to the awareness week in our own ways.

We have a vast range of Social Workers here at our Trust. By reading the short interviews below, you can get to know a few of them and understand what kind of work they do.

 

Chris, Social Worker

How would you describe what being a Social Worker is?

We advocate for people’s rights, utilise and champion the social model of mental health when working with people. It’s not ‘fluffy’ or about making excuses for people like people tend to assume, it’s about having an awareness and understanding of the multiple issues and lived experiences that might produce a mental health crisis, and how to help someone through this.

 

What does being a Social Worker mean to you?

Having a strong identity – both as an individual and as a collective.

We are always striving for equity and social justice. It’s about being a point of difference for service users and colleagues alike.

 

What is your favourite thing about being a Social Worker?

It’s difficult to pick one thing. My favourite parts about my job is being able to work with individuals in many unique circumstances, having a varied career path, and having the opportunity to combine theory with practical experience.

 

How has your job changed during the pandemic?

It’s no secret that these lockdowns have been difficult for everyone and impacted people’s mental health in different ways.

There’s less face to face contact and we’re very busy, but we’re proud to still be ‘open’ and working. It’s important that, as this pandemic continues to develop, we also continue to progress and to enhance our methods of assessment and management skills. In our line of work ‘unseen risk’ is something we take very seriously.

 

What inspired you to become a Social Worker?

I’ve always been passionate about social and political issues. We unfortunately live in a world that can be very unequal. I enjoy playing a part in helping people who are experiencing this.

 

What would you say to others aspiring to be a Social Worker in the future?

The studying is tough, but it’s transformative. It’s also a very demanding job. You need to think critically and be prepared to be reflective. If I could give any advice, it would be to pick an area you’re passionate about – for me it was always going to be adult mental health – but for others it might be something different.

 

Rachael, Advanced Practitioner Social Work

What does being a Social Worker mean to you?

Being a social worker is a varied, demanding and emotional career, but offers some of the most privileged moments and rewarding outcomes you can experience.

Being a social worker is being a voice, a sounding board, a scaffold, and a safe space, and requires the motivation to improve an individual’s wellbeing and lifestyle. It is being committed to making positive change, to continue to push when times are hard and challenging and maintaining focus on long term goals.

 

What is your favourite thing about being a Social Worker?

My favourite thing about being a social worker is the vast amount of knowledge and skills we have across an array of fields. We cover a whole life span of the individuals we support and we see such variation in the types of needs they have. Ultimately, I love helping others to help themselves. We share skills and knowledge to empower others to continue their own journey with confidence and independence.

 

What inspired you to become a Social Worker?

I have grown up with children who were in foster placements in my local area and worked in Children’s Homes before qualifying as a Social Worker. I always had an interest in the causes of children becoming part of the Social Care system and wanted to play a role in changing this process for the better.

Over time, my career evolved and now I work in Adult Mental Health. However, I find that what drives me remains the same: striving to improve the lives of those who need social care support.

 

What would you say to others aspiring to be a Social Worker in the future?

Do it! You will make the best of friendships along the way and it really is the most rewarding job.

 

Paul, Advanced Practitioner, Social Work

How would you describe what being a Social Worker is?

Social Workers value the dignity and worth of each person. They promote clients' socially responsible self-determination, based on their individual values. Social Workers also strive to increase an individual’s capability to change, by addressing their needs and encouraging self-reliance.

 

What does being a Social Worker mean to you?

Social workers aim to improve people's lives by helping with social and interpersonal difficulties, and promoting human rights and wellbeing.

From helping keep a family together when experiencing various pressures, to supporting someone with mental health problems, social work is a varied, demanding, often emotional and very rewarding career.

 

What is your favourite thing about being a Social Worker?

I can’t pick one…helping people, bringing people hope, supporting people to improve their lives, and being a part of their recovery or transformation journey is an honour.

 

What inspired you to become a Social Worker?

I chose Social Work because I have always believed in fighting for human rights. I believe our profession can change the world on so many levels.

I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of a profession that reaches out to our most vulnerable populations and strives to make a difference in so many lives.

 

What would you say to others aspiring to be a Social Worker in the future?

The desire to be a Social Worker is a passion; an innate calling to someone who, by definition, is devoted to and cares about people, who wants to make people’s lives better.

The core values of Social Work include compassionate service to others, fostering dignity for all individuals, social justice, and promoting stronger human relationships. The core values alone show the importance of Social Work today, as we have the opportunity to serve individuals, their families and communities as a whole.

 

Hannah, Advanced Practitioner, Social Work

How would you describe what being a Social Worker is?

Being a Social Worker is about providing holistic care and working with those who require additional support. Supporting positive change in people’s lives, which often includes problem solving, is a big part of our job.

Whether we are supporting people through pressures in the short or long term, our services can include a variety of things from assessing need, to signposting to services, sourcing care packages and working together in a human-centred way.

 

What does being a Social Worker mean to you?

Being a Social Worker is something I am proud of. I enjoy working with different people and promoting choice, change and independence, which overall is an empowering thing to do.

 

What is your favourite thing about being a Social Worker?

Working with people and supporting them in all different situations to make positive change in their lives. I like how every day is different and we are always learning from the people we work with.

 

What inspired you to become a Social Worker?

Being a Social Worker is something I always wanted to do. I enjoy working with all different kinds of people and I am particularly passionate about the area of mental health support.

 

What would you say to others aspiring to be a Social Worker in the future?

Enjoy the training and placements, you learn so much and this is where you will discover your area of interest. Never be afraid to speak up and ask questions when you need to, it’s all part of the process.

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