A social worker role is to provide a rangeof services such as support, care, protection, advocacy and it also includesadministration tasks. They must adhere to the Northern Ireland Social CareCouncil strict code of ethics when providing services.
A social worker workswith individuals, families and communities of all ages, race,religion and background. Service usersmay be experiencing difficulties in their lives due to addictions, age, physicalor learning disabilities, mental ill health, abuse or bereavement. To supportservice users, a social worker carries out an assessment, planning,implementation and review. Their aimis to promote empowerment, enabling a service user to achieve independence. Providingsupport to an individual with a substance abuse is a more specific example of asocial workers role. In these situations, the social worker helps the individualand family including children cope with the personal and social problems. Thesocial worker takes a holistic approach to respond effectively, arrangesdiscussions about goals, carries out risk assessments, plans and organizesupport in partnership with other professionals. Family members are alsosupported in understanding and dealing with the individual’s substance abuseproblems.
An individual and their family are linked to support such as housing,education and Addiction NI. To conclude, the social worker seeks feedback froma service user and family involved in relation to effectiveness and impact ofthe service they received. Social work training involves a satisfactory ACCESS NI check. A studentwill complete a three-year degree programme and one assessed year in employmentbefore being eligible for registration as a social worker with the NISCC. Thedegree consists of a module based study and some of the units include law forsocial workers, social policy, psychology, and sociology. Two practiceplacements will need to be undertaken in Year 2 and Year 3 of study.
These willprovide students with opportunities to apply theories and knowledge gained in aclassroom to real-life situations. When pre-registration year in employment issuccessfully completed social workers must register annually with the NISCC tomaintain their registration. It is a requirement of a NISCC for all socialworkers to comply with strict standards of conduct and practice.
From a degreein social work, I am expecting to gain skills, values and knowledge needed for safe and effective practice withservice users. For example, enhanced communication and analytical skills,ability to distribute resources on a limited budget, resilience, advocacy andskills for prioritising. I amlooking forward to gaining a knowledge of legislation and policies affectingsocial work practice and to studying social work theories.A desire to pursue a career in social work came naturally for me. While growingup I was able to gain an insight into family and child social work activitieswith the help of my aunt who worked in children’s orphanage.
I witnessed howchildren coped with a death of a birth parent and this experience created agenuine desire for me to help and make a difference in the lives of vulnerablepeople. Furthermore, I hadrelationship problems with my partner and these problems had a negative impacton our son. A social worker assessed our situation, offered a listening ear tous and recommended relationship counselling through Relate NI. This invaluablesupport enabled me and my family to cope with difficulties and gave me anincredible insight into some of the issues that service users may face in theirlives.
By qualifying as a social worker, I will be able to empower individualsand families to tackle problems and support them to the best of my ability.