Social Work Spotlights
Sam Wilson, April 1, 2014
Social Work remains to be a profession that most are aware of but few truly understand what is actually involved. Over the coming weeks on Jobsgopublic.com we will be hosting our third ‘Social Work Showcase’ during which we will be working with a variety of employers to promote their Social Work and Social Care vacancies. At Jobsgopublic we have a firm focus on helping employers fill vacancies for vital roles that make a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable people and hope that we can continue this work throughout the Showcase.
We will also be making a special effort to promote awareness of the profession, the different aspects involved and the skills, education and training required to be a success. The aims of the ‘Social Work Showcase’ are not solely based around filling vacancies but raising awareness of the work that Social Workers do and help ensure that a new wave of committed, hard working and caring individuals are entering training, volunteering or genuinely considering Social Work as a potential career. Those that do will find that it is a challenging but highly rewarding profession.
What is a Social Worker?
Social Workers provide essential services for vulnerable children, young people and adults requiring significant knowledge and emotional intelligence in equal measure. They play an integral role in safeguarding people’s rights, using their unique education to support them in challenging situations.
Put very simply, the very basics of Social Work involve assessing an individual’s needs, planning and delivering the required services and finally reviewing the outcomes. This process can often be cyclical, depending on the complexity of the individual’s needs.
Services provided must always centred around ensuring that an individual’s needs are met and their wellbeing is ensured. It is also important that wherever possible the individual has an involvement in the decisions that are being made about them. Social Workers will often be required to work closely with families to ensure that they are aware of specific needs, the support services that exist and the opportunities that that individual has available to them. Again placing the individual at the centre of their work, Social Workers should always promote the ways in which individuals can live independent, prosperous and fulfilling lives.
Social Workers are required to have a distinctive and varied knowledge base including Social and Legal policy, keen analytical skills, strong emotional resolve and compassion. Often required to work in collaboration with others including healthcare professionals, therefore excellent communication skills are essential.
Social Work Specialisms
There are a number of specialisms in which Social Workers can operate, these specialisms will be based primarily around either the age or the specific need of the people that they will be working with. Specialisms include Children, Adoption and Fostering, Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Physical and Learning Disabilities and Mental Health to name a few.
For some the choice of specialism is easy due to a motivation to work with a certain group, this is often the reason for entering the field in the first place. For others the choice isn’t as easy and in this situation it is essential that information regarding the different specialisms is available so that informed decisions can be made. It is not uncommon for professionals to move between specialisms throughout their career undertaking further training to do so.
Over the coming weeks we will be running a series of articles aimed at raising awareness of the variety of specialisms available to Social Work professionals. They will cover the different aspects of the work, the individuals that professionals in these areas will come into contact with and the skills and training involved,
It is my hope that these articles will help serve as a source of information for those that need it. Whether that be helping some of you make your choice of specialism, raising awareness or maybe even inspiring some of you to enter this exciting, varied and gratifying profession.