Do You Have What It Takes?

So welcome to lesson two. In lesson two, you have the basic facility to learn, grow, develop into an effective social work role, because what we have to recognize is, social work isn’t for everybody, there will be some people who were just not cut out for social work for one reason or another. So first thing want to look at in terms of the habit, he takes his knowledge, skills and values. Now, the knowledge skills and values framework or care to be framework, as it’s often called, is an important basis of social work. What it means is that to be an effective social worker, you need have certain knowledge, you have to understand certain things about psychology, about sociology, about social policy, about the law and various other things, there is a significant knowledge base. Now, of course, you’re not expected to have this knowledge base when you start, but you have to be prepared to engage with it, you have to be prepared to do the learning to actually take the trouble to find out more about what makes people tick, what is it about society and how society works, thank you to people that you will have an impact on the problems that they are experiencing, and the potential solutions to those problems. So engaging with that knowledge base building up over time, is an important part of social work. Now link to that as well is a set of skills, that are the basic skills that I like to call people skills, for example. So communication and interpersonal skills, you have to be able to get on with people, of course, you need a whole range of other skills as well, you need thinking skills, for example, to be able to take sending letters and want to be able to engage with complexity to make sense of complex situations, so that you’re better equipped to manage those situations to address the issues that arise in them. So a whole range of skills to accompany the knowledge things that we need, but they’re also values as well. There are basic things like dignity and respect, we need their issues around confidentiality, for example, you’ll be leaving as a social worker with very sensitive personal issues. So things like confidentiality are really important. But there’s not just those what I call traditional values are also issues around recognizing a high proportion of people that we will be supporting and helping in social work will have been experiencing discrimination of one form or another, they will be facing challenges around oppression, marginalization, exclusion, and so on, they will be often on the receiving end of some aspects of society that can be harmful to them. So we have to have a commitment fundamentally, to social justice, we have to have a commitment to promoting equality, valuing diversity, and inclusion, encouraging inclusion wherever we can, and so on. So we have to learn about these values, because they’re complex issues. It’s not straightforward matter of saying these are my values, we have to think about what does that mean in practice? What difference does it make in terms of how you work with somebody who perhaps is from a different cultural background from your own? What are the issues involved in in that for, for example. So a lot of it is about questioning our own values, looking at the professional values involved, and seeing how best we can move forward. So in terms of having what it takes to be a social worker, you have to have that basic foundation of knowledge, skills and values, and be prepared to build on those foundations. Not just while you’re at university as a social work student, but throughout your career, for that continuous professional development that is so important in terms of being a professional social worker. So that’s the first thing to want to emphasize is that what’s involved is knowledge, skills, and values. Now what you also need is commitment. You have to be prepared to make a strong commitment in social work. Many people see their job as just a way of putting food on the table as it were, it’s a way of earning money, earning money making a living, and so on. And, of course, these are important issues, we do have to make a living. But the thing is that often people will not go beyond that their work experience simply an instrumental matter of the need to earn money. So they do the minimum necessary to keep their job and to earn the money. I mean, social work, that’s basically not good enough, because we’re dealing with some of the most vulnerable, the most disadvantaged, the most distressed, members of our community. And we have to have a commitment to making a positive difference. However, tough, challenging, difficult, may be at times, we have to have that fundamental commitment to making a difference. Now, that may sound as though that’s another layer of challenge on top of the ones I’ve already mentioned in lesson one. And that is certainly true. But it’s also another layer of reward and job satisfaction. The more we put into the work, the more we get out of it. And this is an important part of social work, it’s not the sort of job that you can go into in a half hearted way to just try and do the bare minimum. The way that situation works in service workers who will really struggle to keep up your morale, you’ll really struggle to get through the challenging day to day work, if your heart isn’t in it, if you’re not committed. So social work is not the job just to earn a living, there are other ways of earning a living, if that’s what you really need. Social Work is about. It’s about people who are committed to making a positive difference. And that’s the key issue, that commitment has to be there if you’re going to have a successful career in social work to have a worthwhile career. Now, what’s also important to highlight the call the three R’s. Now this isn’t reading riting and rithmetic. This is about resourcefulness, robustness, and resilience. So to be an effective social worker, you need to be resourceful, you need to be robust, and you need to be resilient. Thanks, have a look in a bit more detail. what that actually means. In practice, being resourceful means that you’re not interested in this following set patterns, following instructions, doing things in an unthinking way that you’re prepared to be imaginative to be creative, to look at a situation and not just go for the first thing that comes into your mind. But to think about the different possible ways in which you could move things forward where you could make a positive difference. So it’s not about being creative in sort of the artistic sense. But it is about being resourceful. It’s about being able to think things through to look broadly at situations rather than as I say, let’s do the first thing that occurs to you. So that resourcefulness is an important basis of practice. And it’s a lot to do with you as a person, are you a resourceful person, are you able to find ways of moving forward? Now, because with support, of course, you won’t be on your own net on a team, with a manager or supervisor to support you and with others as well being supportive roles. And it’s something that you can learn and develop and build up over time. But you need that basic foundation of resourcefulness or at least be prepared to develop it. So that’s the first part. And that’s the robustness we do something I’ve already touched on, is about the idea that social work isn’t for the faint hearted. It’s tough, it’s challenging, it’s difficult. That’s one side of it records. The other side is that the more difficult and challenging it is, the more able we are to make a positive difference to people’s lives. So the more the more rewarding, and the more satisfying. It can be as a way of earning a living as a career as a profession. So that’s the idea of the robots nurse. It can be tough, but we can be tough without being heartless. That’s the idea of being robust. finding that balance, as I mentioned, between not being overwhelmed by situations, but not on the other hand going to the other extreme. being cynical and heartless about retaining after humanity, that is a key part of social work. That’s a key part of robustness. And then the third is resilience. And this is about bouncing back to all the things that go wrong, there will be things that will have an adverse effect on us. But we can learn from that we can bounce back, we can pick ourselves up, we can try and do better, we can try and move things forward positively. And not just for ourselves. But we can, that’s a big part of what we do in Social Work is helping other people to develop resilience to get over difficult situations they’ve encountered, perhaps learn from them to grow, develop, be empowered by their experience. And as I say, move forward positively. So those are the three R’s, result, resourcefulness, robustness, and resilience. Again, you’re not expected to have these well established at the beginning. But you have to recognize that these are things you will need to build on things that you’ll need to develop over time. That’s the key part of what social work is all about. And last but not least, in terms of what we’re going to cover in lesson two in terms of you have what it takes is the idea of courage, that could be a social worker needs a certain degree of courage. I’ve already talked about the challenges involved, and the other side of the coin, the reward and satisfaction, but focusing for a moment on those challenges. If you’re the sort of person who runs away from challenges, who is not to face not prepared to face up to difficult situations, he would rather find an easy way out, you’d rather pretend the problem doesn’t exist, sweep it under the carpet, for example, if you are the sort of person who is not prepared to try and deal with things constructively, then you’re going to struggle in social work, so worried about is having courage. And this, again, is one of the great things about social work. It’s one of the advantages. It’s one of the things that makes a career in Social Work attractive, as well as challenging, that it’s about having the courage of your convictions, it’s having a commitment to your values, it’s about being prepared to roll your sleeves up, and do your best in difficult circumstances to make a positive difference. That’s basically what it’s all about. That it’s courage is about having the heart If you like to be prepared to write sort of challenges and do the best you can in difficult circumstances. And in doing so be part of a group or network of other people doing the same. You can feel that social work, it’s something you belong to, you’ve got that commitment to the profession, as well as the commitment to making a positive difference in the work itself. And that, to me, is part of the courage part, have the courage to do what’s necessary to do a difficult job in difficult circumstances. But be prepared to give it your best. Okay, so that brings us now to the End of lesson two, where we’ve looked at Do you have retakes? Do you have an awareness of the knowledge, skills and values that are needed for social work? And are you prepared to build on those to develop them? Not just as a student while training to be a social worker, but throughout your working life? throughout your career? Are you committed to making a positive difference? Are you committed to social justice? Are you prepared to build on the three R’s to be resourceful, to be robust, and to be resilient? And finally, to have the courage to make a positive difference in difficult circumstances? Hope you found this helpful. Hope you can appreciate that. While this all sounds very challenging, it’s also about the reward and satisfaction that comes from it. As I said before, if you want a simple, straightforward ego, then social work is not for you. So I look forward to seeing you in lesson three when you’re ready. Thank you