Is it possible to keep positive in social work at present after the amount of cuts that have already been made and the level of cuts that have not yet come? For me the answer has to be yes, why? in my second student social work placement in the youth service, I was taught that there is no money for projects so there was a clear message that was all about participation of young people.
Participation was providing a service that the young people wanted rather than what you thought they needed. The result was more young people involved in the group work sessions. The budget was zero, so resources had to be begged, borrowed or applied for cleverly from different charities and again required the participation of the young people to make the applications.
I think for me this helped me learn to have a more positive attitude and outlook to social work. My thinking became three dimensional and enabled me to be a more holistic practitioner.
However, this week I have observed within the office that several workers did not share my own positive attitude. Something that is becoming more obvious within the work place and one that is not welcome.
I guess the recent changes to their working environment, and increased pressures on budgets have changed their views and perceptions. Social work is already hard enough, so to lose the passion and spirit needed to challenge the system is worrying. Especially as we have a lot of students working and learning on the same floor. Even returning newly qualified social workers need to be in a positive learning and environment so that their own practise can develop.
It is also important to stay positive in order to ensure that communication between worker and manager is done effectively. Without this, a mistake could happen and as a result of this increased confrontation, which is not needed further creating a negative environment to work in.
However, positive change is needed for social work to inspirer workers who are losing their passion, worrying about their jobs and worrying about the service that is being provided. Votes are easy to get on a promise, lives are hard to influence without positive workers to do it.