What’s so rewarding about being a Children’s Social Worker?
There’s no denying that Children’s Social Work is challenging. But no other job in the world could compete with the personal rewards you get from knowing you’ve helped keep a child safe or a family together.
Every day is different because the difficulties each family faces are different. The biggest challenge is often getting a child to open up and trust you. We have to analyse situations and assess the risk factors to recognise the triggers that might indicate that a child is at risk.
To help us do this, we use a number of techniques like the Hot Air Balloon. We ask the child to write their name and draw a picture of themselves in the balloon. They’re asked to imagine they’re going for a ride in a hot air balloon, but only five people can come so it’s not weighed down. This shows us who the child is closest to and often helps us begin conversations about why they’ve picked certain people. We also use Life Stories for children who are being long term fostered or adopted. Life Stories record important things like the hospital they were born in, which house they lived in and a letter a parent may wish to write for when the child gets older.
It is a challenging job because many of the children and families we work with are dealing with difficult issues like alcohol and drug misuse, sexual abuse, domestic violence, family dysfunction, mental health and neglect. So we have to work with parents to help them recognise that their child is at risk. We give support and guidance so we can keep families together – for us placing a child in care is always a last resort.
What’s so rewarding about being a Children’s Social Worker? It’s the privileged position of knowing that you’ve kept a child safe – free to flourish and achieve so much more.