Social workers are important people in helping those who are experiencing difficulty or those who are experiencing social exclusion. Their primary role is to work with service users, sometimes with a care plan to assist the service user to help themselves. A social worker can act as a guide, an advocate or a critical friend providing support to service users.
Duties of a social worker
Working in social care as a social worker may involve working in a variety of settings such as the home, a school, a community centre, a hospital or in the service user's home.
Social workers will work with the following groups of people, namely:
- Young offenders
- People with mental health conditions
- School pupils who are having problems with attendance
- Drug and alcohol abusers
- People with learning difficulties
- The elderly
- Children and young people who are experiencing problems in the home Social workers can also facilitate the adoption process. The duties of a social worker involve the following: - Undertaking needs assessments - Making referrals to partner agencies, and writing up reports to be logged in the case file - Conducting interviews with service users and families in order to make a comprehensive assessment and customise an appropriate care plan - Assisting the implementation of care plans - Attending case review meetings and supervision with management - Giving evidence in court if required
The job requirements to be a social worker are primarily academic. In order to practice as a social worker, you need to have obtained a social work degree, and to be registered with the General Social Care Council (GSCC). Social care degrees will usually consist of both academic and theoretical work to learn about the policies, procedures and legislation in relation to social work.
They will also involve work placements to obtain relevant and valuable work place experience in order to practice as a professional social worker once qualified.
Skills required to be a social worker In order to be a social worker, you need to possess certain skills including the ability to remain calm in a crisis, patience and the ability to think on your feet. Other skills that you need to possess are listed below: - Resilience
- Flexibility to adapt to new ways of working, to take on new cases
- Ability to use own initiative
- Strong listening skills
- Excellent writing skills
- Capacity to absorb and to implement legal information
- Ability to negotiate and or to mediate on the behalf of the service users.