Dear Future Social Worker,
Whether you are on your journey to becoming a social worker, or you have not made your mind up yet: this letter is for you.
We all come into this job because we want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. No matter how small our contribution may seem sometimes, we can never underestimate the wider impact we have on others. We may never know the ripple effect our support, actions and choices can have on people for years to come.
Charlotte’s letter is part of Community Care’s Choose Social Work campaign, which will champion the brilliant work social workers do every day, inspire the next generation of practitioners, and counteract the negative media coverage of the profession.
Read about why we’re launching this campaign, and the five steps you can take to support it.
Would you like to write your own letter to the next generation of practitioners? We’d love to hear from you – email email@example.com.
Positive change comes from the many amazing people we work with; it is our job to encourage and support people to recognise their abilities and their strengths when, for whatever reason, they can’t see it on their own. We make life changing and often difficult choices in the best interests of people unable to do this for themselves. It is extremely humbling to be a part of their lives in this way.
We do this job because we believe in the fundamental goodness of people and because we understand that everyone needs help, guidance or protection at some point in their lives. Adversity, deprivation or mental health challenges can affect anyone, from any walk of life. We often encounter people when they are at their most vulnerable and we show them kindness.
The job we do is unique.”
Social workers do this job because we care, because we are compassionate, because we are humans wanting to connect with others on that human level, and because we want to be a microphone for those whose voices are often lost. We want to make life a little better and a little easier for anyone who needs it.
There will be people who publicly blame us individually or as a collective, for things quite often out of our control. They don’t understand the role we have, the challenges we face and the barriers we come up against.
Times like this can be hard and disheartening, and we can take these things personally; it will seem unfair and unjust. But it would not be right to comment publicly on individual cases – we are the silent army of integrity, continuing to make a positive impact each day, and supporting each other as a profession.
It is that which speaks loudest.
Charlotte Wyles is a social worker/senior clinician and practice educator