Every social worker makes mistakes. I’ve been told that when we are new social workers it takes a while to figure out where we went wrong and as we gain experience and wisdom the time between making a mistake – and knowing we made a mistake becomes shorter. However, it doesn’t mean we stop making mistakes. I encourage you to embrace your mistakes! Growth as a professional comes from learning from the times we struggle. To help you know what to look for here are some of the common mistakes many of us make.
Summer is the perfect time for self-care and to enjoy a bit of downtime. Of course, you should find time to read your favorite, thriller, romance or mystery book but what about getting a bit more attuned with social work and maybe discover a new area to pursue.
I could ask social workers for recommendations of the best professional books but instead, I am going to pick of few of the titles on my own bookcase! Any of these books are worth a social worker checking them out.
Congratulations if you just graduated with a BSW or MSW. You have your diploma in hand and a party to celebrate but now what?
Now it is time to be a social worker! A few thoughts for new graduates to consider. (And a great reminder to us who have been around a bit!)
It is the time of year of graduations and spring.
A next step for many is to work toward their social work licensure. Licensure lends credibility to your career and shows you have the knowledge to be a social worker. Sometimes the steps can seem overwhelming but you can do it! Just take one step at a time. Here are some expert tips to keep you on the right path!
March is designated Social Work Month. Social workers are a diverse group but share so much in common. Social workers share a passion for helping others, fighting against oppression, a belief in the inherent worth of each person and each person’s right to self-determination. If you know a social worker – wish them well this month. If you are a social worker – Happy Social Worker month. Thank you for your contribution to our world!
If you are at a loss on how to recognize Social Work Month – here are 13 ideas to get you celebrating.
Traditionally, social work is a female dominated career. Although there are some amazing male social workers, there aren’t nearly enough. For Social Work to thrive, a balanced, diverse mix of people is vital to the field. I was curious why some men brave the waters of social work and others pass it by so I asked 3 male colleagues of mine about their jump into the social services field. Each of them gave me passionate and considerate answers.
See if you see some similarities – if you do maybe social work is for you.
Many people go into social work with an eye to eventually provide therapy in their own private practice. When I went for my MSW, I was working in child welfare and thought I would be a terrible therapist. I thought therapists were people who were academic and made leaps of intuition that were almost magical. It turns out therapists are just trained individuals who listen, provide empathy and assist clients with finding solutions to the struggles they encounter. Social Workers have a unique perspective because we look at the person in the environment – we look at the whole person and the systems within which they interact. We also are strengths-based practitioners, so we help clients find the positives they can build on. When I realized that I didn’t have to fit some preconceived mold to be a private practice therapist and identified and valued my own clinical skills – I embraced having a private practice and currently it is my favorite work as a social worker. If you are thinking of starting your own private practice sometime in the future, here are some things you can work on now during your journey.
One of the best things about starting a new year is not only the possibilities for the future but the motivation and energy we have to start projects and bring new ideas into life. As a social worker – I love having new tools to use in my practice, new ideas to try and interesting readings related to the career I love.
I’m guessing most of us use social media, either personally or professionally, but I bet a lot of people overlook Pinterest as a place to gather idea to use in their everyday social work practice. I use Pinterest all the time when I am looking for an idea or intervention or I’m looking for inspiration. I find that perusing Pinterest makes me more excited about the work I do. It also gives me an easy place to save websites I may want to check out again or resources I may need at a later time. I have created many boards to organize all the pins I want to save!
I can’t vouch for everything on these boards but here are some favorite Pinterest Boards for Social Workers.
One of the unique aspects of social work is that we are not just counselors or therapists, we are also advocates. We understand that the environments individuals live in have an effect on how their lives may be playing out. We advocate on both the level of individual client and at the larger macro level. We are encouraged and even expected – as is written in the Social Worker Code of Ethics– to fight against exploitation and ensure people have access to their basic human rights. Being involved in social justice issues and policy is all part of being a social worker. I have always thought it was a bit freeing that not only can I question authority and status quo but that it is expected!
People are complicated. As a social worker, you are often working with individuals in immense emotional and often physical pain. One of the best aspects of being a social worker is when you help someone heal. Other times, a client can have difficulty moving out of their pain. It can be scary for a social worker (new or experienced) to have a client indicate they are going to irrevocably harm themselves. I know a lot of therapists who say they don’t take clients who are at high risk of suicide but anyone you work with may be at risk. It is essential, to be willing to be aware that suicide might be a risk.