According to estimates, the United States has over 680,000 social workers affiliated with various non-profit organizations. Social workers play an important role in the American social fabric, from juvenile justice to veteran services, senior services, and child welfare.
However, in their pursuit of doing good for humanity, social workers occasionally make mistakes that add to their workload and stress. So, if you're a new caseworker about to embark on your journey, this article is for you.
Continue reading to learn about the five rookie mistakes that caseworkers make that can add stress and make their jobs more difficult.
Five Mistakes to Avoid as a Caseworker
Working Too Much
The sole reason for joining social services is to serve humanity, and we understand your motivation. However, if you're a new caseworker who has taken on too many cases at once, working overtime, and not taking much-needed time off, you're not helping anyone. Caseworkers must take adequate time to rejuvenate themselves in order to better cope with work demands.
Not Setting Healthy Boundaries
Don't let your emotions get the best of you once more. Whether you're a child and family caseworker or a senior citizen advocate, you must set boundaries. Try to assist your clients during working hours, and if there is an emergency, notify your supervisor or follow the protocols your agency has in place before meeting with your clients. This will help you avoid many awkward situations and legal issues.
Not Embracing Technology
Social services software has grown in popularity among professional caseworkers in recent years. This is due to the fact that time is of the essence, and senior caseworkers understand how to effectively use their time through the use of technology. If you aren't using technology in your casework, it's time to start.
Attempting to do Everything at Once
While it's understandable to want to serve as many people as possible, overburdening yourself isn't a good idea. If you want to fully serve your clients, you should manage your workload and limit the number of cases you take on at once.
Not Documenting Everything
Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. Are you a new caseworker who believes there is excessive documentation? Consider again! In the world of social services, there is never enough documentation. Using technology or case management software to document each of your cases can help you become more efficient, avoid legal issues, and keep track of your success.
Here are some FAMCare Blog Recommended Readings to assist caseworkers:
4 Time Management Tips for Social Workers