“Social Work is having both the passion to help and the commitment to contribute to social causes."

Posted date: 04-Dec-2017 05:41
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When I made a mid-career switch to social work... 
I spent 20 years working in a bank and my last post was a senior director. So naturally, I had some apprehension when I first decided to change my profession. Fortunately, I’ve been in the social services for almost three years now and I’ve adjusted well. My family has also been very supportive and understands my motivation to become a social worker. My experience so far has been rewarding because I play an active role in empowering my clients to attain self-sufficiency. Sometimes, I even ask myself if I should have made the switch earlier.

 
One of my memorable experiences in social work so far...
I was working with a client – a senior with mobility issues who lives in a rented flat. The elderly man has to care for his daughter who is mentally challenged and requires frequent hospitalisation. Both of them are unemployed and face multiple social issues.
 
His life transformed only after many months of intervention, which included working together with various welfare agencies, government bodies and a church to equip him with the relevant resources. We also worked on stabilising the family’s daily basic needs and looked into helping him cope physically, socially and emotionally. Now he uses a motorised wheelchair for his daily activities and even accompanies his daughter to the hospital.
 
Some of the attributes that a Social Worker should have are... 
First of all, I would say ‘empathy’. We need to build therapeutic relationships with clients in our daily work and, to do this effectively, having the ability to empathise is paramount. Having clinical skills is important as well.  
 
As such, having the right training and a good grasp of knowledge in Social Work is imperative. It is only then that we can apply our knowledge and skills to help our clients resolve their challenges.
 
Making a switch to social work…
You must ask yourself if you really have the passion to help. Other than passion, you must also have the commitment to contribute to a social cause. As a social worker, I meet with clients from various backgrounds and work with them on a host of challenges. It’s not an easy job but it’s definitely a very fulfilling one.