I must admit something to you all... I'm frustrated.
I'm frustrated by how many times I read news stories about children who are abused for years without a teacher/neighbor/friend reporting it, I'm frustrated by the lack of safety provided for social workers, I'm frustrated by the lack of chosen learning in uncomfortable or uncommon areas among social workers, and I'm frustrated that it sometimes appears that no one else cares.
Granted, I know the latter can't be true. I know that I'm among a professional group who have chosen this profession because we do care. I also know that much of the former may not be technically true either, or at least that it isn't so cut and dry. I know that agencies don't have more safety precautions because they simply cannot afford such, not because they don't care. I know that social workers may be uneducated or out of date on some topics because there are just too many topics to remain consistently updated on. I know that reports go unmade because people fear being wrong or they're afraid of the repercussions of filing a report.
I just feel like there has to be a better way. We live in a world where we can connect with each other through the click of a mouse, where we have access to communication with the leading experts on most everything! Rather than having to know about social work websites on our own, we can shoot a quick email to Susan Mankita or to Linda Grobman (the gurus of socialworkchat.org and The New Social Worker magazine, respectively). We don't need to know every detail about how to proceed with a client who has a transgender child, we can hit up Kim Pearson's facebook page (Executive Director of TYFA -TransYouth Family Allies). I don't know if a self-defense class could ever be counted for CEUs, but I'd venture to guess it'd be a great substitute for a gym workout for those who are working to stay fit.
My point here is this... let's all be more frustrated, let's get ridiculously frustrated even. Because we're social workers and by nature, by formal education, and by the way we work every day, frustration = results.
I encourage each of you to think about where your professional, personal, and safety knowledge is lacking and to get frustrated enough that you take a step or two to fill in those gaps.
Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog
The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.
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