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?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:02:39

A care manager is a social carer, not a social worker.

A care manager would come into force to decide what care needed to be administered from an LA or relevant company, not to assess that care needed to be administered in the first place.

I think they are very different.

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:03:12

I agree filee77 20k+ and no managerial responsibility is a brilliant wage.

WhoNickedMyName Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:10

My experience of social workers is based on observation of a group of SW's in a mental health setting.

They work short days, take long lunches, nearly always miss reporting deadlines, turn up at meetings ill informed and unprepared and having never completed their actions from previous meetings, they seem to do the bare minimum, and apart from 1 or 2 (out of a group of about 14) are a total waste of taxpayers money.

They're all nice enough people, but otherwise pretty useless.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:29

there are a lot of unqualified social workers in elderly care
They give them a different title such as 'care-coordinator' doing a SW job
Where I work trying to find a qualified SW is like - cant think of a suitable eg
I think its different in child protection and families services

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:04:59

I think its ludicrous to suggest otherwise, a nurse (for example) has a much lower starting wage and has just as much if not more responsibility.

I looked into it in detail as I would love to work in mental health nursing but it is just not viable for me at the moment.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:07:05

There is no such thing as an 'unqualified social worker'

KFFOREVER Sat 28-Sep-13 17:09:22

Oh op i would like to read your posts again when you have finished your degree and have been working for a couple of years. Good luck on your course. smile

gordyslovesheep Sat 28-Sep-13 17:10:03

seriously Fillee - do the job first - then come back and tell us what it's actually like - because right now I am not sure you know yourself

jasminerose Sat 28-Sep-13 17:11:05

I agree with filee its a difficult job but its still a very well paid one so it makes up for it.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 17:11:35

There is no such thing as an unqualified social worker but there are people doing SW roles with a different title
I work every day with them

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:11:41

Oh absolutely, that is why I have started the thread. I am intrigued by what other people believe a social worker to be because I am really just discovering myself! There is no need to treat me as if it should come as a shock that i know nothing, I KNOW i know nothing.

Thats partly why i am doing the degree.

bunnybing Sat 28-Sep-13 17:12:26

I do know someone who is an unqualified social worker - she does the sort of job a qualified social worker does but on 'easier' cases (although she says they don't seem easy) - as mentioned above dealing with the elderly.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:12:34

I can't see how anyone would think 26k+ a year is not a well-paid job. In my current job i would have to work constantly to get that sort of money.

What do you expect your job to be? assuming you complete your degree and become a social worker.

Which field of care do you want to specialise in?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:13:31

An unqualified social worker would not have the legal standing to implement change though, its like saying a doctors receptionist is a doctor because they can sign off repeat prescriptions.

roadwalker Sat 28-Sep-13 17:13:42

what area do you want to work in?

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 28-Sep-13 17:15:45

Are social worker regulated by a professional body, that can suspend or strike them off if they get it wrong? Like doctors, nurses and whatnot?

AgentZigzag Sat 28-Sep-13 17:16:07

If the reason for people going in to social work is because imagining the harsh reality isn't a fraction of how difficult it is, why do so many stay in the role for so long?

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:16:31

I am interested in mental health, specifically teenagers. I am interested mostly by that age group and area though to be honest, I am leaving my mind open for the next year at least and will re-address as I move through placements.

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:17:13

Yes social workers are highly regulated.

They are all about the regulation, really.

I also work for the Local Authority, filee. As roadwalker also explains, it is very common. In your position as a bright-eyed trainee you may well have been told that this doesn't happen but it does. My personal experience is only in elderly care though.
Our unqualified social worker is even called a social worker by everyone in the department, the only place where her lack of qualifications are apparent is on her official job description.

firefly78 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:21:44

That is not well paid for making life and death decisions

candycoatedwaterdrops Sat 28-Sep-13 17:21:52

There is no longer such a thing as an unqualified SW as it's a legally protected title like Doctor but local authorities just re-name the roles as care co-ordinator or social work assistant and these people do the same job just unqualified.

I am a 3rd year social work student and I'm still learning about everything that social workers do. We get a bad, bad name and my experience of work in social care sector and on placement is that there are some incredibly bad apples as well as some very good apples. However, there are numerous barriers such as; the reams of red tape and the 10% cut to the social care funding budget.

OP, have a google of "current issues in social work" and read community care. Doing your essential and recommended reading is not enough, if you want to be a great practitioner, you need to be looking at articles, current research, the news and be up to date.

One thing you will learn is that a little cynicism goes a long way. It does us no favours to constantly defend poor practice. I read the Daniel Pelka serious case review last night and there were 3 points at the beginning that said the failures came about because: 1.) the social worker/s did not follow procedure 2.) the school did not report all their concerns re: abuse and 3.) the police had visited Daniel's home around 25 times for domestic violence incidents where all adults in the house were intoxicated but not every incident was reported to SS. It's not ok for social work to sit back and say that the blame lies with the fact that the systemic approach failed and that there was no joined up working. While, it is true, we must not ignore that procedure was not followed by the SWers and this led to Daniel's tragic and preventable death. We need to stop saying that lessons will be learned and actually bloody learn something!

filee777 Sat 28-Sep-13 17:22:07

how am I 'bright-eyed'

I have asked a pretty simply question 'what do people think a social worker is'

Its not because I have a definitive answer its because I truly want to know what people's experiences are.

The fact is that a social work who is untrained is not a social worker. Just like a nurse who is untrained is not a nurse or a doctor who is untrained is not a doctor.

aintnothinbutagstring Sat 28-Sep-13 17:22:51

Regulated by who? Whats the name of the professional body? For example, my other half is a pharmacist and is regulated by the GBC, the General Pharmaceutical Council. Whats the social work equivalent?

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