Why did you become a social worker? it is a weird question and each of us have our own reasons as to why we trained, studied and qualified as a social worker. The reason I am now wondering this is because I was asked or I suppose told that the reason why social workers do this is because they care! Now, this is right, but is it why we trained and worked hard to become social workers?
Being on twitter and reading the feed stream of tweets the answer to this is clear that caring does not get close to describing what social work is or should be doing. Reading articles in Community Care (now online – Boo!) and in the daily news print highlights some of the issue that as social workers we have to deal with on a daily basis.
Poverty, Unemployment, lack of Education, Drugs, Domestic abuse, Services being cut, Budgets being cut. This is also without Benefit changes, Mental Health, Physical health issues and other social issues. As social workers there is a need to challenge these changes, challenge societies views of discrimination, racism, and abuse and neglect. Sadly this is always going to be a difficult subject, as profit and greed are big motivator for all business, including banks and the current government.
And so to make the changes necessary to promote everyone’s improvement in poverty, housing, employment and their mental health this profit will need to be eaten into. Something, that know one wants to do as they enjoy their own benefits of being in power and the profit that can be made during this time and afterwards.
Caring is not enough to describe the work that is undertaken, it may fuel the passion and fight. For the long hours of reading, assessing and visiting to ensure positive outcomes for the clients that they are working with. Often this work is unpaid, undervalued and not rewarded. Caring may ensure the report is finished and done well for the person it is about, but it will not always get the service you want or where you want it.