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.