When we consider social work as a career, many shun away from the thought as the term usually connotes a job that is demeaning, low-paying and highly emotional. Not the best combination when one is in search of a job. But how many of us can say that what we currently do for a living provides a certain level of job satisfaction? Reality tells us that social work as a job is one that provides exactly that.
Much of the ideology of being a social worker has been misconstrued but with the recent widespread of advertisements broadcasted by NCSS, social work no longer depicts as an unforgiving career but instead, it is one that is empowering, inspiring and rewarding. The recent broadcasting of advertisements by the NCSS has delved deeper into the understanding of what social work truly means. Professional social work is focused on problem solving and change and as social workers, they are positive agents in society and in the lives of the individuals, families and the communities they serve.
Many fail to realize that social workers don’t just deal with social work but are very highly involved in policy making and teaching as well hence making it a very diverse yet specialized skill. But what’s truly fundamental is the goals that they aspire for which is to promote the well-being of the people and communities empowering individuals to be self-sufficient and less dependent and restore individuals, families or communities to successfully function in the society.
According to NCSS, there are 4 key social service causes, first of which is in helping people with disabilities lead independent lives through the teaching and imparting of skills for independent daily living. Secondly, dignifying the loves of the elderly as statistics show that by 2030, the elderly would constitute 19% of our total population. Thirdly, nurturing children to succeed such that these disabled children would be able to cope with the challenges of growing up, stress or dealing with difficult family situations. The last but not least would be in keeping families together by helping them to overcome problems of single-parenting, low incomes, mental stress, illnesses and the aftercare of convicts and drug addicts.
For one to become a social worker, it is highly emphasized that he or she must possess o“passion, leadership and the ability to think-out-of-the-box in order to face challenges and above all, these qualities must be balanced with compassion, empathy and the willingness to place the interest of others and of the community before self” (NCSS:2012) .
As such, these are the diverse needs that a social worker attends to and opportunities are available to work with children, youth and families, people with disabilities and the elderly. Professions in demand in the sector include social workers, therapists, psychologists, special education teachers, social service assistants and administrative personnel.
So let’s crack that traditionalist mindset and support the amazing work of social workers today. For more information, you could check the NCSS website at http://www.ncss.gov.sg.
- Deborah Foo