5 Skills Every Social Worker Should Have
Social workers are an essential facet in both school and hospital settings. They can also work for independent agencies operating cooperatively with state organizations. The individuals in this position must address a myriad of domestic issues from an unbiased perspective while remaining emotionally unattached. Social work is no simple profession but can be highly beneficial for those well-equipped for the position. Anyone considering the field of social work should have these five skills.
Exceptional Organization Skills
As a social worker, you may have over a dozen cases to manage at a time. You must have current reports regarding child welfare, living conditions, and the legal standing of parents and guardians. You may also be summoned to appear in court occasionally to testify in relation to an incident or to help decide child placement. If you are unorganized, such an instance can catch you by surprise and disadvantage the children under your observation.
Depending on which setting you choose to conduct social work, you may need to perform home visits as a part of your job duties. Home visits are often necessary when a situation arises in which the living conditions of a child require inspection. Your role is to ensure that the home is safe for the child and is free of any hazards or legal violations. Missing something as simple as a restricted visitor can be severely damaging to the child and your job security.
Empathy with Boundaries
You will face many heart-wrenching situations that may be overwhelming for the average person. There will also be times when you feel as if you are personally responsible for providing some sort of aid. It is important to know that you are only there in a professional capacity and any involvement outside of your scope may be inappropriate and detrimental to your job.
Active Listening Skills
Social workers must be able to listen actively while taking notes. As simple as it may sound, many individuals find it difficult to do so. Having this skill is most beneficial as it allows you to keep an accurate account of all conversations that you can reference and add to reports. Many individuals would rather not have their voices recorded which is why being an active listener and taking careful notes is a valued trait for social work.
Ability to Facilitate
Your ability to keep a lid on tense situations will be put to the test as a social worker. A major part of your job is to set up and facilitate conversations between individuals who may not necessarily like each other. On many occasions, you may even need to get them to work cooperatively to achieve a common goal. Having the ability to facilitate can help calm volatile situations and mend relationships.
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