Posted: 3/24/2023 10:00 AM by
March is National Social Work Month and Interim HealthCare is celebrating the life-changing work social workers do to advocate for others. Working with children, adults and families, social workers make a powerful and positive impact on the communities they serve. Today, and everyday, we recognise this impact and want to share with the world what the life of a social worker really looks like.
What is the First Thing a Social Worker Does Everyday?
Communication with clients is a huge part of every social worker’s day, from beginning to end. Often the workday will begin with the social worker catching up on texts, calls, voicemails and emails from clients. Primarily, the aim is to scan these messages and identify any emergencies that may have occurred overnight.
What Does the Daily Routine of a Social Worker Look Like?
The schedule of a social worker may change depending on client scheduling, paperwork, meetings with other agencies, and other factors—truly no two days are the same. On an average day, a social worker’s schedule generally includes these four tasks:
1. Meeting With Clients
Meeting a client can be done at home or in, for example, a care home, hospital, hostel or prison. Once a client’s needs have been assessed, the social worker will then organize support, making referrals to other services and agencies and listening to the client’s perspective on their progress. Among the many ways that social workers help people is by listening and giving valuable insight. By providing access to relevant resources, social workers provide their clients with the tools they need to improve their quality of life.
Detailed record keeping is also an integral part of the job.
2. Responding to Emergencies
Historically and today, social workers are responsible for responding to the immediate and sometimes chaotic events that arise in their client’s lives. During a crisis intervention, a social worker will support and advise the client in distress, keeping them from harming themselves or others.
Although crises don’t necessarily happen every day, a social worker must be able to remain calm under pressure and deliver advice that is helpful to the client. This would usually involve arranging for care and counseling following the stressful event or disaster.
3. Liasing With Other Agencies
Acting as a liaison with other agencies is a huge part of a social worker’s job. Collaborating together, social workers and other human services define their common goals, pool resources, and share responsibilities. This includes evaluating how other agencies provide for people in need, for example, how easily a client is able to access an agency’s resources.
4. Advocating for Clients
Advocacy is a key part of social work because it gives traditionally underserved clients a voice. Advocacy promotes independence, equality, inclusion and social justice—goals that are paramount in the practice of social work. Advocacy takes many shapes and forms, for example:
- Personal advocacy – protects a victim of domestic abuse.
- Legal advocacy – supports an individual recovering from addiction.
- Public advocacy – provides a voice and raises awareness for clients, a specific issue or the social work profession in general.
Why Not Thank a Social Worker this Social Work Month?
As the daily routine of a social worker demonstrates, social workers are dedicated to their cause. They do it for their clients and don’t expect to be praised– but when they are, it means the world.
To any social workers reading this, we’d like to say a heartfelt “thank you” for always showing up. No matter what the circumstance, you always prioritize the clients you serve, keeping kids, families, and communities safe.
If social work sounds like a career for you, check out our recent blog post, where you can learn more about what a social worker does (and how to become one).