Sunday, 19th May 2019


People in a variety of less-than-ideal situations can benefit enormously from the care and attention provided by a social worker. Social workers work with people, known as service users, of all backgrounds and age groups; children, teenagers, adults and the elderly and with people going through all types of difficulties, including addiction, rehabilitation, learning difficulties, social problems, domestic maltreatment, homelessness, criminal proceedings and victims of crimes.

Some social workers will specialise in one or more specific area, such as childcare, whereas others might work with a whole spectrum of service users.

Typically, a social worker will be assigned to a particular job. They meet patients or service users either at the service user’s home or in a controlled environment, such as in a school or hospital. The first thing a social worker needs to do is assess the user and quickly try to build a bond of trust in order that progress can be made.

They will usually work with people close to the service user, for example, with a teacher, a parent or a doctor and get as much background information as possible on the user. They maintain relationships with other social and healthcare contacts, lawyers, teachers, police, members of the service user’s family and anyone else who is involved in the care or rehabilitation of a service user.

They will give all relevant advice and suggest the best courses of action for the service user to take in order to make improvements to their life; one of the primary responsibilities of a social worker is to encourage service users to help themselves.

They write progress reports and care plans for regulators and, depending on the situation, a social worker might be expected to appear and give evidence in court.