Monday, 27 March 2017

Why am I a social worker?

By Suzanne Bezuidenhout: Social worker – Assessments and Therapy Unit at Child Welfare Tshwane

I am often asked why I chose to become a social worker.  Since I was a little girl I loved helping people. I have always enjoyed working with children and helping them and, for this reason, I believe that choosing this career I answer to my calling.

People are often unaware of the difficult and life-changing decisions social workers have to face on a daily basis. Social workers have to decide whether a child is safe in his current circumstances or whether that child needs to be removed from the circumstances.  Then the social workers are tasked with finding appropriate alternative care for that child.

Many people see social workers in a negative light, due to the difficult and somewhat controversial decisions they have to make in some cases. However, being a social worker means that one should accept that not all people welcome the assistance of a social worker. Being a social worker means that you get to meet the most vulnerable people. Even in difficult circumstance you build a meaningful connection with individuals that are often resilient and fascinating – you also learn from your beneficiaries.

Social workers choose to work within the human service field because they have a passion for working with those who are disempowered by their circumstances. Many social workers become social workers because of experiences in their own lives. This can contribute significantly to their success as they know and understand the circumstances that the beneficiaries often experience.

When we share the joy that change has brought to someone’s live or we guide a child towards unlocking his or her potential we know that we are indeed making a difference.  And isn’t that just what we all want from life?

This month I salute my colleagues in the profession who often put other’s needs above their own and celebrated celebrate Social worker’s day on 21 March.  I am proud to be a social worker!  


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