As established members of our community will know, we’re all about promoting positive social work, and try to offer an honest account of what it is truly like doing the job we do every single day. It’s what has driven One Stop Social since day 1 – we’re passionate about supporting practitioners who are dedicated, committed and work selflessly with those who are often considered societies most vulnerable; whether children or adults.
Those in social work will know, there is a lot of negativity surrounding social work. Misinformation and misrepresentation can give practitioners a bad rep; misleading the public about the sector and the genuine compassion that is at the heart of social work.
Therefore, in true One Stop Social style, we seized at the opportunity that World Social Work Day provides to connect with our community and ask student social workers, ASYEs and experienced practitioners two simple questions about why they love social work, and what makes a good practitioner.
Why did we bother to do this, we hear you ask?
Simple. We want those outside of the sector to understand that social workers enter this line of work truly for positive reasons. The responses show that we are all driven by a desire to make a positive and lasting difference, for entirely unselfish motives. Practitioners will go out of their way every day to support those assessed as in need, not for the glory or the acclaim, but simply just because they care.
Here’s what they had to say…
What's the best thing about being a social worker/student?
“Best thing is to be able to travel part of another human being’s life journey when they needed someone to be there with them.”
“No day is the same- feeling privileged to have a job that allows me into the lives of others. I have made some very special friendships with work colleagues that will last forever- we’ve shared our tears and frustrations together-I have never had this in any other job.”
“The best thing about being a social worker is being able to come into contact with so many different people and to keep on learning from them, we can never know enough!”
“The best thing is the camaraderie of my team”
“Best thing to me about being a SW is having the opportunity to bring change not only to individuals lives but also to wider society.”
“The look in a child’s face when you have made a positive change in their life”
“Getting inside people’s head and helping them find options for change.”
“Making a difference to a child and their family”
“When a child knows your fighting for a better life for them and it happens.”
What qualities do you need to be a good social worker/student?
“Understanding the importance of self care.”
“You need humility to listen, courage to change, confidence to challenge and competence (knowledge and skills) to implement. The ability to think critically and analyse in order to reflect with purpose and constantly grow/improve.”
“Being genuine and caring to others.”
“To really like people, even when they might not seem that nice. To be able to look for that diamond in us all and the human potential that’s there too. To treat everybody with dignity and respect and to fight for the right thing to be done even if it makes you unpopular.”
“Courage, hope, compassion, integrity, solidarity. Using theory to seek solutions to causes, rather than chasing symptoms. Being prepared to walk besides those we serve, even if that means walking hand-in-hand and tip-toeing through the darkness occasionally.”
“Unconditional positive regard & Empathy.”
“Being able to step back and go through the facts and the reality of a situation and self reflect are good qualities to have”
“My personal experience of qualities of a good SW is….my personal experiences. I think its important for clients to know that SWs are human too and that infact the reason why many of us chose to work in this field is because we have also experienced difficulties and hard times in life.”
“Unconditional positive regard for others, genuine empathy, creativity, open mindedness, patience and determination.”
“I think you need lots of patience and to be VERY flexible”
“Qualities of a social work student or social worker is patience, self-belief, courage and humility.”
And the award for our favourite quote about the best part of social work goes to Mogly Yassin for the following:
“The best thing about being a social work student is thinking you know about practice then starting final placement and finding out “you know nothing John Snow!” but still turn up willing to make changes every day.”