Once a year we like to step back and take a look at the evolving Social Work profession. What began as a career almost strictly for women who were compelled to help their less fortunate fellow man, has evolved into a highly sophisticated profession often requiring advanced degrees that attracts both men and women from all walks of life.
Stepping into the social services field is undeniably one of the most rewarding career decisions you’ll ever take. This industry allows you to bring a change in others’ lives while improving your professionalism and skillset as a social worker.
However, we'd like to familiarize you with the essential dos and don'ts of human services case management before you take on your first case. To learn some seasoned social workers' best recommendations, keep reading!
Topics: social workers
The topic of self-care comes up frequently in social services. Perhaps because case workers are in the most empathetic profession of all. They deal daily with human frailty and willingly accept responsibility for the plight of the less fortunate. They bear society’s burden for the suffering of the marginalized and feel the pain of the innocent who don’t understand why they are suffering. Social workers suffer along with their clients when they are unable to wave a magic wand and erase the pain that circumstances inflict on little children, single mothers, mentally ill homeless, confused elderly, and those facing life’s certain end alone.
There are over 700,000 social workers in the US as of right now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number is constantly on the rise in the country, with over 1.8 million social services rendering their services to a vast clientele across different sectors.
From juvenile justice to child welfare, senior service, veteran service, and mental health case management, caseworkers in the US are at the forefront of serving humanity. With long working hours, harsh working conditions, and often underpaid, social workers are truly doing God’s work in American society.
But while case managers in social service have a whole range of skills to boast of, not many understand the importance of developing soft skills. In this article, we'll explain why, as a caseworker, you should prioritize developing soft skills in addition to your casework expertise.
Topics: social workers
Since the worldwide onset of COVID-19, social workers are burning out and leaving the profession at an alarming rate. The shocking trauma of 1 million American deaths in under three years and the mantle of grief this slaughter draped over the everyday life of surviving family members was followed by a lingering threat of severe illness, economic uncertainty, and chronic under staffing in social services. Unsettling conditions are the exhaust fumes left behind by the pandemic as it fades off into the distance, and case workers are left to calm everyone’s nerves and guide them back to a semblance of normal life. Dedicated case managers continue to show up for work, day after daunting day, but are beginning to feel - “the faster they go, the behinder they get.”
Topics: social workers
With the introduction of Chatbot/GPT to the public, artificial intelligence, like every other technology introduced since the beginning of the 20th century, is making some people nervous.
The American social service sector employs over 680,000 caseworkers. As the industry expands, record numbers of new caseworkers join the ranks. There will always be a learning curve, but in an industry, that's experiencing large numbers of job burnout and turnover, tips for newcomers can be a lifesaver. Let's share some diehard tips for the newbie case managers and a refresher for our brilliant veterans.
Social workers are mission-centric personalities who join the profession to do some good. For the most part they are idealists who gradually get caught up in the minutia of the large bureaucracies they work within, and their vision of a better future gets a little blurry. Every year we like to take a step back to help refocus the collective vision of the ideal future that inspired social workers to join the profession in the first place. We interviewed four caseworkers of varying years’ experience working in diverse specialties and asked them why they became social workers.
Employee burnout exists, and according to a recent survey, 23% of full-time workers in the United States experience burnout the majority of the time during the work week. So, if you're a nonprofit leader and you notice that your case workers aren't as enthusiastic as they used to be or are falling behind in their daily tasks, it may be time to look into whether job burnout could be the issue.
While there are numerous traditional methods for motivating caseworkers, we have compiled a list of steps that social service agencies can take on their own. This is to ensure that your case managers are not neglecting themselves or their mental health while serving their communities.
How we care for the most vulnerable among us is one of the great challenges of our time. As Mahatma Ghandi once said, “A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.” And social workers are hard-pressed to find one group in more dire need of urgent attention than children at risk of neglect or abuse.
Children deprived of a safe, nurturing family environment are entitled to special protection, assistance and alternative care. And today’s caseworkers can most effectively address this with the right social services software.