Social work is a profession that is easy to criticize for people sitting at home. It is convenient to assume that social workers are wasting their time trying to help those in need because they gain nothing out of it. People often mistake it as the profession of the privileged because money can help solve every problem. However, that isn’t nearly the case.
Social work is a job for the highly dedicated and motivated people who are trying to make a difference in society. They work tirelessly against deep-rooted practices and inhibitions of people. While doing so, they shoulder the hatred and hostility of others who they are asking to change. They sacrifice their comfort and a promising future to ensure that everyone gets the same living standards. And the biggest challenge that they encounter is that they have to live through all this with a positive outlook and smiling face because their profession demands it.
Investing money is one thing, but they have to spend their time and energy equally and generously. Social workers have to learn to adapt to changing circumstances and needs of people they are trying to help. The fact that the people they are working for are vulnerable and helpless makes their job even more difficult. Not only do they have to bring about a change, but they have to do it while sustaining the minimum standards of living for them. That is why the job of a social worker requires extraordinary qualities and skills to fulfill their role.
They exhibit remarkable leadership and patience while working towards their goals. Perseverance has to be among their strong suit because fighting against society isn’t the only obstacle they have to overcome. As a social worker, they have to prioritize the people they are working for and put their beliefs after that. Keeping the team motivated is also crucial to their cause to make a visible social appearance. And besides that, they can’t afford to flinch while serving in this capacity. That is barely the surface of responsibilities and problems that a social worker deals with within their careers.
Life is often hard and unpleasant to them because of the trying circumstances. Every day is a challenge in their profession as they try to work towards a better tomorrow. And their negligence can cost not just themselves, but also the people depending on them. That is why fitting into the shoes of a social worker is no joke.
Here are some more prominent difficulties and barriers that they overcome in their daily life to better understand why their job is so demanding.
- Cultural Competence & Religious Barriers
The basic idea of social work requires every individual to provide standard care and attention to people in need. They have to meet this requirement regardless of their personal beliefs and motivations. The barriers that they are trying to shoot down include language, religious differences, cultural beliefs, and customary practices.
People are used to eating, talking, and living differently in every part of the world. But as the vulnerable and needy, they can’t expect to get all this. However, social workers still aim to provide for them and comfort them in any way possible. That is the idea of cultural competence in social work.
They empathize with their conditions and ensure that they don’t let this difference become a reason for distress to them. And they do this against their personal beliefs and opinions.
- Complying with Government Regulations
Social work may sound simple and straightforward, but that is only to the ill-informed. Individuals and institutions are not allowed to shelter anyone without meeting standard regulations. They have to complete background checks and examine the authenticity of any case they encounter.
Following long and elaborate procedures are taxing, and delay the help to the abused and helpless. Despite wanting to take immediate action, they have to hold back and comply with the standard protocol outlined by governments and authorities. Hence, adding another obstacle to their line of work.
- Care in Diverse Roles
A social worker has to accommodate people of every age group and background. That includes abused children and wives, depressed adults, and trauma patients from all backgrounds. To help them, they have to start by understanding them. Identifying their needs is the stepping stone to connect with them and guide them out of the wilderness. It’s only possible to achieve that as a friend, mentor, son, or someone just interested in helping them. Social workers have to adapt to them so that they can assist those struggling in their lives.
- Working with Trauma
A challenge in the careers of social workers is learning to work with trauma patients. It can be easy to help a rational person who hasn’t lost his moral compass. But trauma patients are unique and distinct.
The suffering and pain scar them for life and might leave them in an abysmal pit of distress and anxiety. In all likelihood, there are chances that they might never be able to lead a regular life. However, despite knowing all this, social workers can’t choose to turn a blind eye to them.
They try to restore their faith in humanity and regain their lost selves with care and compassion. Involving them into activities and exercises is one way to finding their way back to sanity, but there’s no guarantee of success. Finding the motivation to work against such odds is also a barrier they overcome.
- Struggle with Oneself
Besides all the other people they deal with, the toughest rebellion to tame is the one from within themselves. Accepting the differences and consequences before taking on this role is the biggest challenge.
Like every other person, social workers are not born with distinguished beliefs. They develop them, which means that they are aware of their unorthodox nature. They can foresee their share of opposition before they face it from society.
Also, it isn’t like they can muster the courage and determination to perform these roles for a lifetime. They think about quitting more often than anyone can imagine. But they have to overcome with their resolute mindsets to continue making a difference.
These are the most significant battles and prominent challenges that social workers overcome in their careers. They don’t have any room for complaints or regrets towards their life because they choose to lead it this way. That perhaps is another barrier they have to overcome while serving in these capacities for the greater good.