As a social worker it is very hard to not accept change, after all it is what we try and achieve on a daily basis within the communities we work in. Sometimes the changes are small, others maybe life changing – but all are equally important.
However, more frequently it appears as social workers we are beginning to be asked to define are practise, forced to choose an approach and disregard years of learning and experience in order to support the organisation during this time of austerity.
But if we are to change for the better and if we are to decide on a model of practise to define what Social Work is in today’s society and furthermore what the role Social Workers play within this. Should we not start from the position that Social Work is a growing profession that should be respected by all professions. Moreover rather than Social Care being an organisation that deals with the parts of society that we do not want to acknowledge or accept. That practise and interventions should be a positive sign within families to make positive changes, it remains to easy blame social workers for events, crises that lead to tragic circumstances such as family breakdowns or death.
However, despite these changes that are occurring and to a large extent mostly these are positive changes there is still a contradiction between demand for a service and the ability to practise as taught and developed through safe practises. Making the most effective tool in the social work tool kit as the social worker themselves, and without the time to spend with the families and young people this becomes ineffective.
Therefore if the Governments are serious about social work changing then serious decisions need to be made in supporting the work that is done with families that are in crisis, with young people that need a genuine targeted, direct meaningful impact from the social worker. A skill that can not be gained from inside the office behind the computer. That only by providing the right funding, training and support can social workers provide the right interventions to the right people and develop as a profession.