As most of you involved in the social care profession will know, one of the key requirements of our working is in the ability to complete significant volumes of work within a very short space of time. Extreme multi-tasking in short. As a result, we have become experts in the field of ‘spinning plates’. A very tricky thing to do for those that haven’t tried it.
Unfortunately, every now and then, one of the ‘spinning plates’ will fall and break.
Now I agree that for every one case reported in the media with failings or baby/child/vulnerable adult deaths is one too many. However, as a collective, let us not lose sight that working within in this sector is one of the most challenging (and rewarding) careers you can be involved in – Yes, I appreciate I am biased!
It has to be acknowledged that the Social Work profession does not work with stationary or benign objects. What it does do is deal with on a day to day basis working with societies most vulnerable – often presenting in crisis or need for support. As such, I believe we are only ever facilitators of change with our goal being to promote positive outcomes for those involved in our services. Yes, we can provide all the ‘tools’ needed to support such service users and yes, this profession will bend over backwards to help those deemed in need.
However, we can only work with what is presented to us at any one time and for those of you that understand the dynamics and complexities of the human being will understand, this is a very difficult task to take on. Especially if, as a front-line service, we do not have 1) the backing of government and most importantly 2) have the backing of society as a collective. As a profession, we need public perception of our work to be accurate so as we can get the full support and recognition we deserve.
So for those that are not involved in this sector – remember – at any one time a Social Worker has about 20-25 spinning plates…
With this in mind, let us praise this profession – because I can guarantee you that each Social Worker will have a large case load of successful stories. Let us give them the confidence and tools that they require in order to promote positive change in people.