The Big Question

What would you say is the single main attribute of a good social worker?

Jaya Kathrecha – Carer
Being person-centred. It’s important to look at the circumstances of carers and users: the difficulties and barriers that prevent them being part of their communities, in terms of culture, age and understanding, and how the social worker can help them to overcome these. If we knew more about how social workers operated, we could influence them more.

Len Smith – Gypsy activist
The ability and willingness to listen and absorb. A social worker with this skill is more likely to work with the client to evolve solutions than to impose their own ideas. Some professionals forget they are working for the clients and treat them as if subjects on which to try out their theories. A client who feels involved and in control is likely to respond positively.

Karen Shook – Disability equality adviser
The ability to be creative. When social workers assess service users’ needs, views and wishes, they need to be creative to ensure that the user meets the criteria for getting services. And they must be creative when faced with services that do not “fit” users’ needs or when a lack of money makes it difficult to provide them.

Eve Rank – Inspired Services
Knowing how to support people with learning difficulties who use direct payments. They need to know what they are talking about and what the money could be spent on. They would need to know about support and where it could be found. This would replace vouchers that can only be used with an agency that sends supporters dressed in nurses’ uniforms.


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