All social worker jobs are unique one way or another. However, there are of course a multitude of similarities as well. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at what to expect in these sorts of roles. The idea being that this allows a better understanding of the sector, and it is easier to see whether your own specific skill set is applicable to the world of social work. It is important to remember that a social worker is just one type of role amongst many, if you feel your skills don’t match up to the role of social work, but you are interested in the sector, it is worth exploring what other roles there are.
Firstly, the majority of your working hours as a social worker will be based in an office setting. Alongside this, there will often be frequent visits to service users. The structure of your organisation can vary massively from one area to the next. Adapted around each specific geographical location and cases in that area. This might mean you are the main professional working with a service user. What is more likely, is that you’ll be part of a larger multidisciplinary team, such as HCPs and therapists. Alongside the police and educational professionals. Liaising with these different sectors harmoniously is vital in ensuring that successful social work is carried out.
Sadly, it is often the case that the social work sector is under-resourced. This means you should be ready to receive a heavy caseload throughout your career. The very nature of social work is highly demanding, in terms of both physical and emotional energy. Emotionally though, it can also be extremely rewarding, seeing first hand the difference your work is making to service users. There will be many troubling cases,high levels of resilience and perseverance in these sorts of cases will be needed if you are to carry out your role to the best of your ability. These characteristics are nurtured by a strong support system within social work. Usually this will take the form of regular supervision sessions. This is when a social worker will meet with their supervisor, manager, or a more experienced member of staff to discuss their caseloads and specific problems they are having. The wealth of experience of those around you is something you need to learn from constructively to be a successful social worker. Then later on in your career, it is paramount you are able to pay this forward and pass on this wealth of experience to those entering the social work sector.