What social workers do
Primarily you form partnerships with people. You help them to assess and interpret the problems they face and support them to find strength based solutions.
Sometimes you provide the service itself – you are advocate, guide, hand-holder, or critical friend. Other cases are complex and need organised and communicated 'packages of care'. This includes liaison with doctors, nurses, lawyers, police, court officials, probation workers amongst others. Whatever the situation, you need to know how the law works, what services are available and how to put them to best advantage on behalf of your client.
You have certain legal powers and duties which are in place. These protect people who cannot protect themselves. This is a job carrying significant responsibility. It requires initiative and commitment, as well as professional knowledge. An interest in people is important, but it's not enough. You also have to be:
- quick thinking
- non discriminatory
- non judgemental
- above all, committed to seeing things through
It sounds demanding and it can be, but you won’t work in isolation, you will be part of a team and have close support.
Working with adults
Working with adults involves a variety of approaches and environments. You may have to support someone through a temporary difficulty or it may be longer term. There are many areas in which to specialise. These include mental health, learning disabilities and older persons / physical disability.
You will manage a caseload on an individual basis:
- working in a strength based approach
- making assessments
- devising care plans
- reviewing progress in partnership with each individual client
What to expect if you join Adults' Health and Care
The Adults’ Health and Care department provides information, advice, services and support to thousands of Hampshire residents every year. People may need social care or support during a crisis, because of their age, long term ill health or disability, or because they are caring for others. Most of the support we give is to help people maintain their independence, so that they can continue to live in their own homes. We run our social care services from a range of locations around the county, and also run our own nursing homes.
We apply a strength based approach to all our interactions. This means that we support individuals and their carers to be as independent as possible in their lives. We enable them to find their own solutions to meet their needs and outcomes, using their own personal and family resources and those available in their communities.
The Adults’ Health and Care Department offers a wider range of training and development opportunities to its staff. We aim to enable our social workers to continually develop their skills and knowledge so that they can provide an effective service to our residents and maintain their professional registration.