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How do social workers contribute to the development and wellbeing of people and society?

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Robert J.’s Answer

Hello Alexandra C.

Social workers are enormous contributors to the development and well-being of people and society. Social work encompasses a broad field of professionals with deep knowledge of theory, program evaluation, mental health, public policy, etc. Social workers provide direct service and oversight in areas that include assistance to individuals, families and communities in behavioral health settings, schools, hospitals, criminal justice and much more. As others have suggested, I recommend communicating with more social workers get an overall feel what we do; and the educational preparation to get into the career track that may be right for you.

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Kate’s Answer

In my experience, I found that I was acting as an advocate for someone who was not able to speak up or act for themselves-- to seek services or support, education, training or employment. Social workers of various types are often the bridge between where an individual is now with the difficulties or challenges they face and integrating with services, people, and opportunities which will allow them to have a better experience.

Kate recommends the following next steps:

Request an informational interview with someone in the role. You could meet in person or over the phone and begin by asking them about what their typical day is like, what is their favorite thing about their work, what is the most challenging thing about their work, what type of schooling or training they had to prepare them. This could be as short as 20 or 30 minutes. Think of it as a conversation rather than a question/answer session and just show interest in the person and what they do.

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as a social worker your role and responsibility is to support, promote and encourage an individual’s sense of identity, self-esteem and well-being.in order to promote an individual’s well-being, you should do your best to support them to ensure that they are happy and content with as many different aspects of their life as possible by ensuring that your own attitudes and behaviours are positive and supportive. This can include:
•listening and understanding
•being non-judgmental
•being compassionate and empathetic
•offering encouragement
•not imposing your own views that may be very different from theirs
•assisting them with finding groups or activities they may wish to participate in
•helping them to make the changes to their lives that they want
Setting a good example in your own practice helps to contribute to a working environment and culture that promotes well-being.