If you are reading this, you might already be a BSW/MSW or you are a student to become one, perhaps you are a curious travelor looking into this most mystrious profession. Here are some questions to get the series started.
What is social work? What is the draw besides the obvious connection to people, to want to help, to make a difference, to see social justice occur and/or to provide individuals in society with the basics and beyond….No individual goes into the field of social work for the money. No individual goes into the field of social work to be glorified. One choses the field because of a passion to make a difference and the draw to see social justice occur.
If you are a student or thinking of becoming a student, what next? What population will you work with and why? Hopefully, your internships will provide you with a few answers or a direction to go, but this will most likely change over the years. Do you want to do clinical work as in therapy or counseling? Case/Care Management? Is licensure or certification required? Are you interested in Macro level social work? Management?
How are you educated at school-is it a ‘just the facts’ orientation or an empathic, client-centered model? Is there room for both? Sometimes we have to be stoic, impassive helping professionals, but I would like to think most of the time we are empathic, compassionate and ‘in the moment’ with our clients. Even more important is being tuned into ourselves, our own internal dialogue and feelings BEFORE meeting with a client. The ability to adapt and change, to make sure our own internal dialogue or feelings are kept in check is important. We are there for the clients.
What is most important is to enjoy the journey, try new techniques, continue to learn and grow as a future or current social work professional. Do not be afraid to take chances, to stand up for what you believe and to advocate for what is right.
This is the first post in a six part series where each SJS Staff Writer will write on this important topic. Please share your thoughts with us.
*Written by Victoria Brewster, MSW
SJS Staff Writer in Canada*