On World Social Work Day 2012, I find myself reflecting on Social Work practise. From all over the globe other professionals are engaging with Social Work on a daily basis. And in a recent conversation with a social worker from Nigeria I found myself mesmerised by the tales of practise and the different work that is trying to be achieved. By tales of practise I mean good practise, and how culture can impact upon the message that Social Workers are giving to vulnerable people.
On this day the 20th of March World Social Work Day passed quietly in my office, Social Work still happened of course. For me though I found myself in a position where today I learnt something new about post traumatic stress disorder, and infants and their early attachments. The session aimed at Educational professionals screamed out at me on many different levels and left me wanting to learn more.
Now although I did already know about this subject the presenter delivered it in a manner that summarised my previous learning. There was no information hidden or impact reserved the message was clear and aimed at professionals.
There was criticism of the impacts of the cuts and the likely effects this has on services to prevent this from happening. And I wonder whether the Coalition has calculated the impact of the cost of PTSD on students and young adults in the future because of the cuts made now. With less free child care facilities, Children resources being cut, Drug and alcohol services being cut, Education and schools having to cut back on training and Teaching Assistants.
Being young and vulnerable is a challenge already, but to be suffering in silence with the effects of abuse and trauma can further impact on this. If professionals can not have the right time to assess and identify the right need then young people can be misdiagnosed with ADHD rather than PTSD. The impact is that the young person can then associate the effects of abuse and relying upon a substance to control this first of all ‘Ritalin’ or ‘Concerta’ then Alcohol or illegal drugs.
So on World Social Day it is important to remember Social Work and Champion the work we do. It is important to continue with our learning and remember why we become Social Workers. It is to make a difference and help other to bring about the change they need. In order to do this first we must be able to stand up ourselves to those who want to bring about change in Social Work without understanding the consequences of doing so.
But also remember in doing this that as Social Workers we must protect ourselves from secondary Trauma and remember that this is why it is important to promote today (the third Tuesday of every March) For Social Workers. To supporting others who make everything we try to achieve possible.
Picture Credit: utexas.edu and blogs.sfweekly.com