Wednesday 19 October 2016

How a Career in Social Work Is Much like Being a Parent

If you are a mom or dad who has put off getting that coveted master’s degree from a top-notch university, there is one occupation you might want to consider. While many people say that teachers and nurses make great parents, actually social workers do, too! Did you ever stop to think how a career in social work is much like being a parent? The two ‘jobs’ have much in common and once you see the list of what a good social worker should be, you’ll understand why your role as a parent can also be improved. Here are some of the main ways in which as social worker can be likened to a parent.

A Social Worker Is a Good Listener

If there is one thing a social worker is and a prerequisite for all that comes after, it would be a good listener. When studying for that masters in social work you will learn that you can do nothing for the other person, offer no help to your client if you can’t hear, or fail to hear, what he or she is saying to you. It isn’t always the words that come out of their mouths, it’s what they really mean by what they are saying.

A Social Worker Learns to Identify Needs

If you have heard what your client is saying then you can take what they’re saying in order to identify their needs. They will tell you what they need even if they don’t say it in so many words, so it’s up to you to weed through the chaff to get to the grain. That’s where you’ll find their needs. Studying for an MSW online or in a traditional on-campus setting helps you learn to identify needs. It’s a big part of the MSW curriculum.

A Social Worker Offers Problem Solving Skills

When you’ve heard their needs, really heard their needs like you would with your own children, you can help them learn problem solving skills. That MWS online course taught you some problem solving skills you can go on to teach your clients. It isn’t your job to solve all of their problems, but to help them learn coping mechanisms so that they can go on to solve their own problems. It is here that you will teach them to listen to themselves and hear what they are saying their needs are.

And above all, a social worker is a guide. Just as you guide your children, so too should you guide your clients. You aren’t supposed to do everything for them just like you wouldn’t for your children, but you can teach them critical thinking so they can find the solutions they are looking for. You guide them in hearing what they are saying their problems are and in understanding what their needs are based on what they are saying to you. You can guide them to a place where they can find their answers and that is just what a parent does.

*Guest post

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