Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Why do Social Workers have a Negative Rep?

Posted by on May. 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM
  • 67 Replies

 My thoughts are: most people who come across those in the "profession" are not social workers at all although perhaps they carry the title. These are actually para-professionals who lack true skill and training in the field of Social Work. Due to lack of funding, scant grant monies, poor work environment overall, etc......those that carry the tittle of social worker are in fact rarely degreed and therefore lack the ability to be true helpers. They give the Profession of Social Work a negative reputation. Thoughts? 

The Truth About Social Work

What people think they know about social work is often a myth, according to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Contrary to popular belief, social workers are trained professionals who have bachelor's, master's or doctoral degrees –- they are not social services employees, caseworkers or volunteers. Only a fraction of social workers are employed in public or child welfare, and social workers are the nation's largest providers of mental health and therapy services.

"The diversity of roles for social workers is enormous," says Ruth W. Mayden, MSS, former president of the NASW and former dean of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College in Philadelphia.

Social workers practice in a wide variety of settings, and their presence is constantly evolving. According to Mayden, five arenas in which the demand for social workers is growing are:

  • Aging: As the population of elderly Americans explodes in coming decades, social workers with expertise in gerontology will keep busy. They'll provide counseling to seniors, help them maintain their independence at home, plan for future care and generally help improve their quality of life.
  • Human Resources: Businesses hire occupational social workers to help manage on-site workplace conflict and to make workplaces safer and more family-friendly. A growing practice area for occupational social workers is in employee assistance programs.
  • Schools: Social workers are often part of the interdisciplinary teams that school systems set up to help children with emotional, developmental or educational needs. Some schools now serve as community centers and offer classes and social services for adults, too, which is spurring further demand for school social workers.
  • Healthcare: Social workers are vital members of the healthcare team in many hospitals and clinics. Licensed clinical social workers provide direct counseling services; other social workers serve as patient advocates by coordinating medical and emotional treatment, managing services a patient may require for recovery and planning for care after hospitalization.
  • Institutional Giving: Corporations that place an emphasis on employee volunteerism and community service are hiring social workers to coordinate their efforts. Private foundations with money earmarked for community development also place a premium on social workers because of their inside knowledge of worthy causes.

Despite the diversity of settings, the common thread joining all social workers is their motivation, Mayden says. Social workers are part of a professional community "dedicated to social justice and empowerment," she explains. "It's not about the individual, but about how the individual can use his or her skills and talents to help other individuals or communities grow and thrive."

"As social workers, we view clients within their own environments," adds Miriam Oliensis-Torres, MSW, co-owner of Geriatric Support Associates in Milwaukee. "That's one of the things I like most about social work. We get to approach situations from a holistic perspective."

Would You Make a Good Social Worker?

According to veteran social workers Oliensis-Torres and Mayden, you'll succeed in the field if you have:

  • The ability to accept (and not judge) people who are different from yourself.
  • Patience and a sense of humor.
  • An interest in the dynamics of interpersonal and organizational relationships.
  • An interest in social policy.
  • The capacity to be self-critical and always alert as to whether you're taking the proper steps on a client's behalf.
  • Good listening skills.
  • The ability to put situations in perspective, which will help you avoid burnout.
by on May. 1, 2013 at 7:35 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
PestPatti
by on May. 1, 2013 at 7:42 PM
2 moms liked this


  Maybe because of the sensationalized cases of kids falling through the cracks, and then they end up either hurt or dead.

 I am thinking about one such case in my county here in NY.  They always had the evidence in front of them, they did nothing.  A 6 year old died.  

  

meriana
by Platinum Member on May. 1, 2013 at 7:55 PM
7 moms liked this
The social workers I've run into have been arrogant and had the attitude that one should simply do as they say because they know best. They've also pretty much tended to make mountains out of mole hills. Oh and then there was the one who KNOWINGLY sent foster kids back to the exact same environment they were taken out of in the first place: still drinking alcoholic mom, living with the man the state had proof he had molested the girls on several occasions. Yep, gotta love those social workers...NOT
kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 1, 2013 at 9:19 PM
3 moms liked this
I don't know, but I know when a woman walked into my room after I had just had my baby the night before, an introduced herself as a social worker, I swear my arms clenched just a little bit tighter around my baby. Lol turns out she was there to offer me a pamphlet about wic.
lga1965
by on May. 1, 2013 at 9:25 PM
1 mom liked this

 I didn't know they had a negative rep. Hmmm?

I thought Social Workers had a degree. I respect and admire social workers because they try to help people and too often the people they are trying to help are suspicious and hostile toward them . I was told when I was a senior in high school that my personality tests indicated I would be a great social worker and it appealed to me but I am glad I didn't pursue it. It's too dangerous nowdays.

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on May. 1, 2013 at 9:29 PM

IMO social workers take things too personal and that to me is a downfall.

All those Ive met are either totally inept or overly passionate.

One thing they all have in common....

long skirts with books, short quirky hairdo's, black rim (or red) glasses, a large silk scarf...

oh and the ability to nod a lot.

Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 1, 2013 at 9:40 PM

I work with many social workers. My niece is a LCSW.

I have nothing but admiration for MSWs- the waiting list for degree program admissions is quite long.

Sisteract
by Whoopie on May. 1, 2013 at 9:41 PM
3 moms liked this

Licensed social workers have Master's Degrees

Quoting lga1965:

 I didn't know they had a negative rep. Hmmm?

I thought Social Workers had a degree. I respect and admire social workers because they try to help people and too often the people they are trying to help are suspicious and hostile toward them . I was told when I was a senior in high school that my personality tests indicated I would be a great social worker and it appealed to me but I am glad I didn't pursue it. It's too dangerous nowdays.


stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on May. 1, 2013 at 9:59 PM

I don't think I have ever met a social worker.  I did think they had degrees.

lga1965
by on May. 1, 2013 at 10:07 PM

 Yes, that's what I said, that I thought they had a degree...at least one...which was the case back in 1960 when I went to college..

It seems that some have a bad attitude toward Social Workers, Medical professionals...anyone with a degree or advanced degrees and I am finding that hard to understand.

Quoting Sisteract:

Licensed social workers have Master's Degrees

Quoting lga1965:

 I didn't know they had a negative rep. Hmmm?

I thought Social Workers had a degree. I respect and admire social workers because they try to help people and too often the people they are trying to help are suspicious and hostile toward them . I was told when I was a senior in high school that my personality tests indicated I would be a great social worker and it appealed to me but I am glad I didn't pursue it. It's too dangerous nowdays.


 

DestinyHLewis
by Destiny on May. 1, 2013 at 10:09 PM

I didn't know social workers had a bad rep? I know CPS as a whole doesn't have the best reputation, but I don't think I have ever heard someone single out a social worker. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN