Social workers are required to be selfless. Even when they are properly equipped, they may sometimes find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to meeting client expectations. Good education and the right attitude are essential for them to become successful advocates.
As a social worker, you may constantly feel that there is more you can do, but you might not be sure how to approach it. There are certain steps you can take to be a more successful social worker so you can provide help where it is most needed.
Develop strong case management skills
Your primary responsibility as a social worker is case management. Your caseload depends on where you work; social workers in big cities such as New York City and Los Angeles tend to have a bigger workload than those in rural America.
No matter how big your caseload is, you must be organized, file reports on time, follow up with cases on time, and inform management when a case needs special attention.
Strong management and organization skills mean nothing can fall through the cracks, and your clients will be less likely to complain about neglect.
Higher education in social work can help you become a better case manager. If you would like to move up the career ladder, you may want to consider going back to school. A Spalding University online master of social work program, for example, will impart the skills you need to be an effective social worker and the necessary qualifications for a promotion. This degree is fully online and gives you the opportunity to work and study at the same time.
Know your community
Social workers who know and understand their community are better problem solvers. If, for example, you understand the childcare needs of mothers in your area, you will be better placed to find the help they need to look after children while they work.
If you are new to an area, take some time to get to know the people and learn about the problems that the community is facing. Talk to those on the ground as they can provide a real picture rather than an academic one.
Be an educator
Many of society’s problems persist because people don’t know how to make effective changes. As a social worker, it is your job to fill knowledge gaps so you can solve problems.
Teach your clients how they can improve their lives with the tools and resources they have at hand. According to Resilient Educator, although teaching and social work are different, they are also quite similar.\
Learn to find resources on your own
Your job equips you with resources to achieve your goals, but being a successful social advocate requires going above and beyond that. Within the community where you are assigned, there are likely to be additional resources that can make your client’s lives easier. Learn how to tap into them to create better lives for everyone concerned.
Serve as an example
Are you the type of person who inspires others? Do you provide young people with an example they can emulate? A social work personal statement can be a great guide.
The bottom line
Despite any difficulties you may have had in your social work career in the past, you can become the best at what you do by following these tips and developing the soft skills you need to change the lives of your clients for the better.