To ask what people think a social worker's job role is?

(423 Posts)
filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:06:45

I am intrigued. I know this is in AIBU and its not really that sort of question but I want diverse and interesting opinions.

So what do you think a social worker does? What do you think a social work should do?

wheretoyougonow Sat 28-Sep-13 16:11:42

What an odd question. There are many types of Social Workers in different specialties. Which one do you want to discuss, older people, children and families, adoption, mental health, hospital, physical disabilities or educational? All very different roles.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:13:26

Well, more pertinently, which type would you like to discuss? What sort of social workers have you come into contact with?

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 16:15:37

To make sure people don't fall through the welfare net, and that they're on a level playing field?

Are you writing an essay? grin

It's just that you haven't linked it to anything specifically winding you up, which is unusual.

PolterGoose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:11

YABU

ILoveMakeUp Sat 28-Sep-13 16:16:50

I think SW's spend far too much time bleating on about their workload instead of focusing on their job. IME they often put their own selfish needs ahead of the people they are meant to help.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:28:59

Well, I am doing a degree in social work which I have just started, so I suppose I am writing a number of essays. I am intrigued because of the different reactions i get when i tell people i am studying social work. There are huge differences in what people think a social worker actually is so i am interested in as many view points on it as i can get.

I think social workers do have a massive workload but i think lots of public sector people do.

TheFallenNinja Sat 28-Sep-13 16:30:47

What Ilove said

Just a melting pot of moaning, work shy do gooders.

ILoveMakeUp Sat 28-Sep-13 16:33:24

The profession desperately needs good people. Most people work hard these days, with long hours, it is not just social workers.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:36:52

I think a lot of people dont really know what a social worker does, plus feel that social workers generally fail. I dont know if thats the case yet because i am so early on in my career but i know that as a profession it is a (relatively) new one, so there is lots that can be built on and I am really looking forward to being a part of positive change.

I agree about everyone having high work loads and for public sector work a social worker is very well paid.

AlphaBetaOoda Sat 28-Sep-13 16:41:36

How many overworked people could go home without finishing their work and someone die because of that?
How many people see cruelty day in , day out?
How many people get threatened on a daily basis?
How many of those jobs are outside the public sector? wink

gordyslovesheep Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:05

Filee - do the job for 2 years and then decide if it's well paid

this thread alone illustrates the nasty attitudes you will have to face daily sad

Chusband Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:27

I know nothing about social work. So I would say they assess and monitor people who need help, work with them to try and improve their lives and intervene where a vulnerable person (child, elderly) is at risk.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:51

All of the above have happened to me in private sector job for close to minimum wage. Never heard of the care professions alphabeta.

Social workers do an important job but it is a very well paid one.

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 16:47:59

My degree means I could go into either probation or social work, but I don't think I'd be able to deal with what Alpha's just said about the possible cruelty you'd see, and the mass cats bum mouth they have aimed at them.

But then it fucks me off because if I can't deal with it, it's a bit rich of me to expect a child or older person to live with it day in year out.

What was the decider in you choosing to go for it filee?

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:51:05

Well paid??!! How much do you think they get paid??

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:52:24

20k+ its a very good job like teaching. Im starting it next year.

imnotwhoyouthinkiam Sat 28-Sep-13 16:53:09

My experience of social workers lead me to the conclusion that they need a basic knowledge of what a normal family home looks like. Also some knowledge as to what is expected at different ages .
(its listed in my ss report that I hadn't yet taught ds2 to read properly although 'he can read basic word's and that I hadn't set aside time in the day to do his homework. He was still at pre school and wasn't expected to be able to read at all, most of his peers couldn't!)

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:54:03

Also you get used to the situations its hard seeing children who have been abused or severely damaging scenarios, but you have to detach yourself. Whether you see it or not its still happening, so you might as well be the one to help. Thats the way I look at it anyway.

My 100 year old grandmother's social worker is a nice enough woman but she has proved over the years to be rather useless. She is supposed to organise respite care for several weeks a year for us, she says that she will do certain things, organise other things, contact people, get back to us, etc. etc. and never fucking does. Ever.
She was promoted from a care assistant in a Local Authority home to her position of SW. I worry that this happens to save them having to pay professionally qualified people with degrees in Social Work.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 16:56:45

You have to do the degree to be a Social Worker wheredoall

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:56:48

The starting wage for a social worker is around 26k. That is most certainly a well paid job.

At the moment I am a home carer, I get paid minimum wage, I work and work and work and work and if i mess up people most certainly are at risk. I see things everyday that I would love to change and I can't.

What made me want to be a social worker?

I wanted a skilled job that was relevant to the field I worked in, I wanted something that had jobs available in it and I wanted something that would allow me to see my children in the evenings and at weekends.

I enjoy working with people, I am intelligent and caring and I think I will be a good social worker.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 16:58:00

A social worker is a protected title and in order to be one you need to have a relevant qualification. You cannot be 'promoted' to a social worker, you need to do a degree in it.

MerrilyMoo Sat 28-Sep-13 16:58:01

Assess risk
Provide support
Refer to other support

The LA calls them Care Managers, pays them less and gives them the same role and responsibility as a Social Worker.

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