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What kind of clients are the most difficult to work with for social workers and how do they cope with their attitudes

#social-worker #Family and child science

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Nate’s Answer

I have friends and acquaintances in this line of work. What they tell me is that most of their clients are indeed difficult, but it's usually no one's fault - it is what it is, and that's why they chose to be social workers - to help people. The most important thing that they do to cope is:

1) First and foremost, take care of their own wellbeing - if they are not feeling great mentally and physically, they cannot serve their clients well.
2) Personal respect for their own time - some of them cordone 'work hours' and when they are done with work, they leave work and focus on themselves and their families/friends to unwind and be ready to deal with clients the next day.
3) Meditate - there is this free app called Simple Habits, and they have guided meditation courses for social workers! Try it out.
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Patsian’s Answer

Being a social worker is a noble profession, but it is also one that demands a lot from you. There are many problems that communities may encounter, and no 2 families will have the same difficulties. As such, it is hard to say which kind of clients are the "most difficult". I have seen social workers deal with a relatively simple problem for a family but take so long to advance the case due to family dynamics and uncooperative individuals; I have also seen social workers work on entrenched problems with a very open and cooperative client.

One advice I can give is that it is important to go into any case without judgement. One often, at the beginning, cannot fully understand the depth of the issue or the challenge facing your client; the background and contributing factors are often very complex. You need to also understand the social system that the client is navigating through - sometimes that can contribute to frustration and anger on the clients who are challenged there.

Give yourself patience and time, and be patient with the client. A social worker can help someone in difficulty as a navigator, as a service provider, and sometimes, just be a listening ear. If you can understand where and how the client is in this situation, you can have some preparation to deal with any difficulty in attitude, and how to respond to it. The "difficulty" will also not seem directed at you - but directed at the problem! This is important to remember - so you can emerge from the case not feeling personally attacked/drained.

Being a social worker, like any other job, will have its difficult moments - but I am sure the good stories will outnumber the sad ones. Every single case is an opportunity for you to help someone, so I wish you the best of luck!

Good luck with your next step!

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