World Social Work Day is a chance to shine a light and give thanks to Social Workers for everything they do to improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable children, families and communities across the globe.
Here at FosterTalk, we have a wonderful team of experienced Social Workers who do an amazing job at supporting our members through their fostering journey.
To celebrate World Social Work Day 2022 we spoke to our team to find out what social work means to them and to find out their hopes for the future.
Social work to me is about support, protection when needed, and empowerment. In my role as coordinator, I want to support advisors and Foster Carers to provide the best care possible to vulnerable children. This is about active listening, being non-judgemental, and able to recognise and respond to any issues raised by staff and callers. .
For the future , I would wish to see a better-resourced and trained workforce to respond to the post-pandemic challenges. I would like to see the number of placement moves for vulnerable children reduced by improved matching and more opportunities for siblings to be placed together when in their best interests. I would also like to see a wider range of support for Foster Carers to meet the challenges that the role often brings to improve outcomes for young people and improve retention rates. Many resources are put into the recruitment and assessment process; we need to better understand why we lose experienced carers and take action to address this issue.
Social Work to me means empowerment and supporting those who need it most and making a real difference bringing about change for the better which can be achieved with a little creative thinking.
My hope for the future is for the focus of social work to change instead of practice decisions being based on budgets to instead being focussed on everything that is needed to make successful fostering families.
Social Work to me means improving people’s lives by helping with social and personal difficulties. Social workers protect children and adults with support needs from harm . A key part of the role is empowering people and promoting human rights and wellbeing. As a Social Worker I want to make a difference and be that person that a child, young person or adult looks back and says ‘they really helped’.
I have a lot of hopes for the future of Social Work and support for Foster Carers. Years of austerity and now the issues following the pandemic mean that life for Social Workers and their service users is a real challenge. My daily wish is to have a magic wand so that the skills, experience, support, and resources that are needed to support society’s most vulnerable children, families, young people and adults can be provided without restriction; but that is just not realistic. My priorities would be; better resourced, trained and supported Social Workers who can do the job they came in to social work to do and who want to stay in the job not leave after a couple of years due to lack of support and resources. For Foster Carers who work tirelessly day in day out with vulnerable children and young people I hope to see a wider, perhaps more bespoke range of support to help them to meet the challenges that fostering often brings and to enable them to remain as Foster Carers. This will help improve outcomes for children and young people through more stability, and consistent support and by improving the retention rates among Foster Carers.
Despite a vast range of evolving challenges, Social Workers seek to enhance people’s well-being; empower the vulnerable, oppressed, and poor; and change environmental forces to achieve social justice.
My hope is that the daily fight to fulfill their professional obligations to the people and communities they serve is better recognised, and supported, by improved government and local policies which endorse and uphold the importance of the profession, by providing the time, emotional sustenance, and resource social workers require to undertake their vital roles.
Do you have know an amazing Social Worker that deserves more recognition? Why not nominate them for ‘Outstanding Contribution by a Social Worker’ category in this years FosterTalk Awards! You can find all of the details and submit your nomination here
To find our more about World Social Work Day 2022 and the this years theme ‘´Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind´ visit The International Federation of Social Workers