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Opinions on social workers?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I've had loads of social workers myself and have mixed views on them one because of personal views but then another due to professional views.
I am planning on now going to study social work myself because of how bad some of my social workers were and i want to support young people. When people ask what i want to do and i tell them i have had a wide range of reactions. These are from being asked why im joining the scum :L to its a good job and they admire it.

After looking at peoples opinions (which were taken in a survey and presented by a social worker) in a lecture, im wondering what are other peoples views? and what do you think has shaped this view?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Social workers seem like they're sticking their nose in when its not needed and intefeering, but they're only there to help, They're not there to make the situation worse although half the time it feels like it does, they get a bad name a lot in the news because the news focuses on the bad cases for example Baby P but not the cases that have worked out well, where a child has been taken from an abusive situation and is moved into a loving adoptive home where the adoptive parents love and support the child, you don't hear about that.

    I've had up and down experiences with social workers, but they just wanted what was best for me,. My aim is to become a social worker in the future. I think they're amazing to be honest and don't get enough creddit
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've met a lot of social workers over the years. Often, individually they're all great people, doing the job to the best of their ability. They are let down by a pretty shit, underfunded system.

    It's nigh on impossible now for us to refer someone, even if they exceed the threshold requirements. I've been turned away more times than I care to remember with some quite serious cases.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yea personally i think a majority of the individuals are good people, who do the job because they care, as i doubt its for the money ;)
    But i think the high work loads and the few things that go wrong, give them a lot worse reputation than they deserve.
    Although i had a really bad one as a kid, but like i think its improved a lot since then.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Alfie wrote: »
    , as i doubt its for the money ;)

    I didn't know if you were being sarcastic or not, social workers can earn over £30k a year. The downside is it takes a long time and several degrees to get there.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Lol yes that was sarcasm :P
    Cos i know its possible to get like more money but a majority get rubbish money compared to other degree professions, especially for the amount and type of work they do too. And tbh i wouldn't try get higher in social work, its too much of a risk of being used as things like a scape goat when things go wrong, which they unfortunately do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a difficult but important job that is badly rewarded. They get blamed for problems outside of their control, and making a mistake can be disastrous. The best they can hope for is moving someone from a very bad situation to a far from ideal situation. On top of that they get paid peanuts.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    My experience of individual social workers has been nothing but exceptionally good. My experience of social work departments has been awful and frustrating at best. I've known cases where they have had referrals and just ignored them even though there was been risks to the child.

    Individually they just want to make a difference but their hands are often tied. It's a sad state of affairs at the moment :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's a difficult but important job that is badly rewarded. They get blamed for problems outside of their control, and making a mistake can be disastrous. The best they can hope for is moving someone from a very bad situation to a far from ideal situation. On top of that they get paid peanuts.

    I agree with this. We live in a socially where there's an awful blame culture, someone must always be held accountable. I'm not saying this is wrong, but I think social workers get blamed out of ease. I've had minimal interaction with social workers, it extends to when I was working in a pastoral support base in a school a few years ago. The social workers were trying to do their job, but if something went wrong, they were blamed by numerous different agencies, even if they weren't in the wrong. It seems like the organisation as a whole is blamed for their own short comings, and the individual is forgotten about.

    It's like the police, there's the assumption that because someone was treated badly by one police officer, they're all bad, can't do their jobs and are unfair which simply isn't the case.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You never hear the stories on the news about all the good jobs that social workers do, that just wouldn't be interesting. People only seem to want to know when/if things are going wrong, happily remaining blissfully ignorant otherwise. This in turn fuels many of the negative perceptions about social workers.

    In some cases, some social workers will be silent and forgotten heroes to nobody else than the children they help.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Alfie wrote: »
    I've had loads of social workers myself and have mixed views on them one because of personal views but then another due to professional views.
    I am planning on now going to study social work myself because of how bad some of my social workers were and i want to support young people. When people ask what i want to do and i tell them i have had a wide range of reactions. These are from being asked why im joining the scum :L to its a good job and they admire it.

    After looking at peoples opinions (which were taken in a survey and presented by a social worker) in a lecture, im wondering what are other peoples views? and what do you think has shaped this view?

    Experiencing them myself for different things, I find them uneducated and rude. They're useless in my opinion. They blamed myself for a number of things, which in no way (I get told now) was my fault. They broke confidentiality over something she said she wouldn't need to.

    I'm not sure why social workers have such a bad name though, I've just always hated talking to them. The most recent one I had was as dim as anything, I was tempted to actually educate her.

    I guess it depends on WHO you get though. You can get some nice ones, and you can get some arsey ones, who I always get stuck with haha!

    But if you're actually wanting to do the job because you enjoy it and WANT to help people then you'll probably be in the 'lovely' category! :)

    Probably nothing made sense lol
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My stepmum is in charge of adult safeguarding for a city council, and she says in her experience it's not the social workers but the board she get's frustrated with, because they sit down for meetings over cases and no one can ever come to an agreement so there is a lot of dallying about. It's got to the point that she's sick of the job and will happily take a demotion to get away from it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hmm yea tbh from what i found out in me lecture i was surprised because a majority of the bad comments came from the media and other health and social professionals, which some what annoyed me because everyone's "meant" to work together to support someone. Where as the better comments in fact came from children and parents (we had to guess who'd said what and i mostly got it the other way round :P).

    I guess it just surprises me how many people have this negative view of them when they haven't really had any interactions with them. I can understand why some do because social work as a careers changed in the last 20 years a lot i believe and from what i've read. But i agree with ballerina that higher authorities and boards seem to cause a lot of issues and people just assume its social workers.

    I do think its a very personally rewarding job though and personally if i can help one child to lead a happier, safer and better life then i will be happy.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    To be perfectly honest, after Having contact with both young peoples and adult social services, I feel like the best service I have received has been from support workers and not social workers. Social workers are overworked and under resourced and constantly have goals and targets to get people off their caseload. I don't have a problem with social workers as per se, but I do have many issues with the way that social services as a whole works. I find this whole substantial and critical need criteria very difficult to work with. Using myself as a example there are many things about my condition which do out me in those categories (such as needing help dressing) but then there are many other things which don't (like having help getting out and about, being sociable). I think for assessing social workers it is very difficult to get a full picture of how conditions can affect not just the person with the condition but their families as well and see what sort of help is needed that's actually going to be conducive to them still having some independence but also putting the needs of vulnerable people first. This is why I think direct payments can work really well but at the same time it can be difficult for social workers to make a hard and fast decision about removing someone from care or placing them into care.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah, usually when making an assessment it should be done in a holistic and multidisciplinary manor, but can understand sometimes time etc and influence the reality. I do agree support workers prob do help and give that much more support. And that it people should receive holistic care, because i personally believe in the socio medical model way of looking at things, where for a personal to be 'healthy' they need a generally good well being in all aspects of their lives.
    And yes, tbh to take someone (especially a child) into care long term, if its not agreed by all parties it usually has to go to court, where all this evidence and case studies and appeals have to take place. I don't think the decision to take someone in or out of care is an easy one unless someone is in an obvious abusive or harmful situation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think not everything needs to be medicalised and there are plenty of purely social reasons which require social services intervention. I just can't stand this stupid substantial or critical need thing. It leaves so many people in a really shitty situation between a rock and a hard place.
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