What’s Social Work… Really?

What’s Social Work… Really?

Social work is one of the most challenging career choices a person can make. You can’t do it for money nor popularity because frankly those things just don’t exist in the field. There are other pitfalls as well, but if you have a heart to help people, along with thick skin and a solid faith base of some sort, then this may be the career for you. If you are considering the field, here are some essential tidbits to help you on your journey.

First of all, people that don’t have a personal relationship with you are possibly going to see in a negative light because of stories like this.

Boy killed by social workersFour social workers have been charged in connection with the torture death of Gabriel Fernandez, the 8-year-old Palmdale boy who died in 2013 after he was allegedly beaten by his mother and her boyfriend, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Stefanie Rodriguez and Patricia Clement, along with their respective supervisors, Kevin Bom and Gregory Merritt, have each been charged with one felony count of child abuse and one felony count of falsifying public records, prosecutors said in a news release. The arrest warrant was filed on March 28, the release stated. Rest of this article…

This is the type of story that makes my blood boil. It is by far a terrible exception, but cannot escape the public consciousness because of its sheer horror. For every story like that however, there are 10 stories that will eventually have a positive impact on the family and our society. One social worker explains the stigma very frankly.

The profession of social work is grossly misrepresented and poorly portrayed in mainstream media. It is not surprising that most people are completely clueless. Though most days I still feel pretty clueless myself, here is my attempt to put into words what being a social worker means to me.

It means having an honest dialogue with people. It means talking openly about trauma, addiction, suicide, homicide, rape, abuse, homelessness, mental illness, poverty, sexual deviance, criminal activity, racism, sexism, aging, illness, abortion, gay marriage, religious freedom, euthanasia, finances, issues related to military combat, and gender identity—among other topics. It means discussing these matters in the complete absence of judgement.

It means early mornings, late nights, and hours spent sitting next to someone who mostly cannot stand you in an emergency room, a food bank, or at the Department of Human Services. It means finding a bed bug crawling on your pants, having your car tire slashed in a dangerous neighborhood, and finding a needle in an unconscious person’s arm. It means watching two years of sobriety get washed down with cheap vodka or go up in smoke. More Here…

Like any field that involves intense stress, there are also potentially physical consequences. Keeping healthy is truly related to our emotional health.

One of the issues I experienced with child protection teams was that there were too few experienced workers. The unmanageable workload, along with a myriad of other issues, needs addressing.

My passion for social work remains, but my threshold for my health and wellbeing has irrevocably changed. I have made an effort to slow my pace of life, relax, and do more of what I enjoy. More…

In summary, social work is a sacrifice. There are those who are called to do it, and many others who are not. That said, I wouldn’t change a single thing about our choice to start Social Work Unlimited.

Next Social Worker article on WordPress Site.

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