Social workers help people to deal with personal and social problems, either directly or by planning or carrying out programmes that benefit groups or communities. They are interested in challenging the structural barriers that contribute to inequality, discrimination, exploitation and oppression within communities.
Duties & Tasks
Social workers may perform the following tasks:
- Provide therapy, casework, advocacy, mediation or group-work to individuals, couples, or families to address issues such as mental health, sexual assault, family violence, loss and grief, illness, separation, parenting, bullying, substance addiction, gambling, or relationship difficulties
- provide clients with information about services that can assist them
- provide letters of referral or reports that will help clients to obtain other services such as crisis accommodation or social security benefits
- guide small groups of people to share their experiences, support each other and learn social skills
- assist community groups to plan and carry out programmes to help themselves (assisting newly arrived immigrants to form an association, for example)
- research community problems, needs and solutions through client contact and records of welfare and health agencies
- analyse statistics and write reports
- develop policy and evaluate programmes
- manage and train staff
- attend professional meetings
- lobby to change social welfare policies and procedures in the pursuit of social justice for all members of the community.
- commitment to social justice
- emotional maturity and empathy for others
- good analytic and problem-solving skills
- able to work independently and as part of a team
- able to view other people's problems objectively
- self-aware and able to critically reflect on own practice
- good organisational skills
- high level of ethical awareness and responsibility
- respect for diversity
- good oral and written communication skills.