Social workers advocate for children, elders and vulnerable adults while empowering others to take charge and overcome obstacles to personal or career goals. Knowledge of community resources is critical to helping clients access needed services, such as a homeless shelter, food bank or addiction treatment center.
Earlier this year, UCONN Magazine brought together a distinguished panel of alumni from the School of Social Work to discuss current issues and challenges in the field of social work.
Catherine Havens, associate dean of the School of Social Work, moderated. What do you see as some of the major challenges for social workers today?
One of the most significant challenges is this concept about doing more with less. Each social worker has to be both a micro and a macro person.
The struggle of social workers is to put into words the work that needs to be done on cases. People Challenges social worker face to assign a dollar amount to the caseloads so that the [budget] dollar declines as the caseload declines.
Where does social work fit into helping manage populations and helping to create accountable care organizations? The work that social workers do is hard work because you interact with so much pain. Whatever realm the social worker is in, they end up connecting with a lot of difficult experiences.
Our degree is a multifaceted degree. When you get an M.
I think that the schools, the academic institutions, are being challenged more and more. What are some other issues that you think are particular challenges across all your various experiences?
It impacts social workers, but it impacts all of our entities as well. We know that data drives the budget. It drives billions of dollars. But for social workers, trying to translate it [into helping clients] is what we struggle with the most.
Social workers can help frame the questions appropriately. I worked with gay, lesbian, bi- and transsexual youth, and for a long time they were viewed as a monolithic group.
We began to discover that not all gay kids are at risk; that a subset of gay kids are the ones that are at risk, and this is where the resources should go.
Having grown up in Hartford in a family that benefitted from social service programs, you [can] often [be] disconnected from the rest of the world. One of the core responsibilities of a social worker, or it should be, is to help give voice and help folks find their voice.
We need to help them find that voice. How do you think your social work education at UConn influenced you? I still remember the first thing my field instructor asked me.
Unless you do a lot of introspection and really consider why you do what you do, it really minimizes your effectiveness. I was working full time when I got my social work degree.Challenges in Social Work Today August 19, - Combined Reports - UConn Communications Catherine Havens ’74 MSW, ’84 JD, center with back to camera, leads a roundtable discussion on current issues in social work with alumni from the School of Social Work.
It is not simply having lived through challenges that makes you a good social worker, but rather how you use that experience.
I do not mean to assert that young female workers face more challenges than male workers or older workers. Of course, there are many advantages to being a young female. The Biggest Challenge Facing Social Work Today I f the profession of social work was a client we might say that she was wrestling with the psychosocial crisis of identity versus identity confusion.
Jun 30, · The rewards of helping clients can outweigh the problems faced by social workers in this potentially stressful occupation. Social workers advocate for children, elders and vulnerable adults while empowering others to take charge and overcome obstacles to personal or career goals.
Another challenge social workers face arises from perceptions others carry about social work and clients. According to “ashio-midori.com” many people, including those in positions of authority and those who control financial resources, assume that clients can be “fixed” in a certain amount of time.
Workers also have to overcome preconceptions like biases against people who engage in domestic violence or substance abusers in their own lives that affect the way they interact with others.
Another challenge social workers face arises from perceptions others carry about social work and clients.