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Are there any social workers here on cafemom?

I am wanting to go back to school and I want to do social work but most family says stick to the medical field its safer and more money. I really am not in it for the money I want I job that gives me deeper satisfaction in life. Do you like your job and what do you like or dislike and why. I have a hubby and 3 kids as well so I want to be able to do it all, like most of us... Thanks mommas

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Melissa0930

Asked by Melissa0930 at 12:14 PM on Jul. 18, 2010 in

Level 3 (19 Credits)
Answers (24)
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    BlainesMommy09

    Answer by BlainesMommy09 at 12:15 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • I work part time for a vets office. I am considered a veterinary assistant but if I was motivated I have been working in the field long enough all I would have to do it take a test (a hard test) to be a Technician. I love my job most days. There are a lot of rewarding parts to my ob. There are a lot of sad parts to my job and there are a lot of frustrating parts to my job. I would have to say the pluses ou weight the minuses 99% of the time. I would never want to work any where else.
    But_Mommie

    Answer by But_Mommie at 12:20 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • Before I even get started. Let me tell you know. This may take a few replies to get out... LOL

    I was a SW for many years. A case manager at both the state and county levels at different times. I have my MSW. I left the field 8 years ago. Social work is a mixed bag really. It has an extremely high burn out rate. I do not know a single person who started in the field the around the same time I did 20+ years ago, who's still in it.

    I started out in medical. Then switched to Social Work after a stint in the Peace Corps. I truly wanted to help people, do my little part to make the world a better place, try to help others have a better life and future that they may not other wise be able to have. I became a social worker (and so did every other one I've ever known) with the best of intentions, the best hopes, and with a bright eyed view of helping.......

    Here's what I experienced.......

    (cont. Next reply)
    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:24 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • I went to work in a system that is very flawed, very broken and the worst part (IMO) a system that is reactive and not proactive.

    The case loads are huge. And they grow larger all the time. And sadly, that's part of the "game". With large case loads, it makes it even harder to really give each client the attention, and all the service assistence that they may need. Clients get frustrated and upset, and the Case Worker/Case Manager is usually the target of their ire. Understandable in some ways, when you or your children are in desperate need of help, for whatever reason, but you can't get it because of wait list, people not being able to return a phone call immediately, not being able to get an appoinment immediated, not to mention the ages it takes to get paperwork processed,.. It's frustrating, it's scary and in some ways makes you feel more helpless.. But still all of that in most cases. NOT the CW's fault.

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    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:28 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • Dealing with situations that literally can rip a person's sould out if they are not prepared to deal with them. And after dealing with enough of them, you do start losing little pieces of yourself. Even worse. Is dealing with these situations and KNOWING that there is NOTHING you can do, for one reason or another. You experience cases that will drive you crazy because you won't be able to provide or give the help that some may very desperately need. You will experience cases that will not qualify for help, no matter how desperate the person may seem or actually be. It's the system and the way it's set up.. After looking at 100's of people over the years and saying 'I'm sorry. I understand. I can see what's happening here. BUT.. I can't help you".. It wears on you. Especially when you have to say that to someone. And you see them on the news for some horrific reason not long after..

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    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:31 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • The system is Reactive.. NOT proactive.. So many times, you will see a problem with a client that's on it's way to happening. Maybe it's someone that you know is in desperate need of some counselling before they hurt themselves or someone else. Maybe it's an MRDD adult who's say 30 with the menality of a 12 year old. So that 's who they relate to, and they are beginning their "sexual awakening" so you wish to get them classes to help guide them to appropriate behaviours.. Sorry.. In most cases. Help can not be received UNTIL someone actually breaks a law, or does something that the state/county deems bad enough to prove that they need help or education or whatever. You can not be proactive in many cases in order to help people avoid troubles,. In most cases you have to wait until trouble actually happens before you can get help.. There's nothing worse than seeing a problem coming. And not being able to stop it.

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    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:34 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • The resources in the system are slim to begin with. Contrary to what many believe. That actual amount of tax dollars that go into our social support systems are quite slim. So resources are slim, and they are dwindling more and more each day. It's hard having to explain to someone why they can't get, or why the service isn't available, why there is a wait list..etc.. And many people in a bad situation, do not take that well. Some get angry and take it out on you. Some just become devastated and you get to watch them cry and wonder what they are going to do. And you can't get to personal with a client. They are your client. That's it, not your friend. Not your family. You do not get inpersonally involved with them. So you get to come off like a cold uncaring person who has to just write this person off. While your insides are being ripped out.

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    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:37 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • They system is flawed. The people in the system know it's flawed. The people who work in the system know it's flawed. The people who run the system know it's flawed. However. Those who have the power to actually make changes to the system can't &/or will not do so. For different reasons. Mainly because, well, who want's to rock the boat, who wants to fight the government when you work for the government. And many others have just become so jaded and cynical that they know the system is screwed but they just do not care. That leaves the people on the ground, your CW/CM' s dealing with the reality of the people who have to be in the system. And that can and does at times get ugly.
    Sometimes you have to deny help to someone who you know really needs it.
    Sometimes you have to give help to someone you know doesn't need it at all

    That's they system.

    NExt
    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:40 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • The hours are long.. The pay is not that great.. And appreciation/respect for what you do, is pretty much non existant.

    For some people you are a saviour. To others you are the biggest burr in their butts and problem in their lives.

    Yes it can be dangerous. I myself had some pretty unpleasant encounters over my time in the field. Sometimes that depends on what area you are working in (Children's services, MRDD services, Sex Offenders...ect.)

    Sometimes you will get clients who you must defend, care for, and do your utmost best to make sure they are getting everything that they have a right to and are guaranteed, and you must stand up for their rights.. When you know they are a boil on societies butt and should get nothing. I ran into this a lot with some sex offenders. I damn sure didn't want to fight for their rights, help them to live where they wanted..etc. But it was may job.....

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    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:44 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

  • One of the absolute WORST parts of the job. The amount of absolute Bureaucratic BS that you have to wade through every single day. The BS red tape takes up way too much time, and most of it is pointless. And in many ways it keeps you from really being able to help some people. That's frustrating as hell at times. But there is no way around it.. Because.. THAT'S the system as it is.

    When you have to look at a woman, who you know is being abused, you know that her children are suffering, you know she needs help. BUT.. There is a single snafu with her paperwork, so you have to tell her. Sorry. I can't help you. You have to go, redo these papers, bring me "X" information, we will file everything again, and see what happens.. It's a horrible feeling. But it is something that happens regularly.. But see, you can't get emotional about it. If you do, the job will eventually kill you ..........

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    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 12:48 PM on Jul. 18, 2010

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