social welfare

Social Work

Ashley L. Agar
Wagner College

…Brittany walks into her room and slumps on her bed. Although she knows tears should be running down her cheeks, her face is dry. She clutches the envelope that she received in the mail today with the results of her blood test. She just found out she is HIV positive four weeks after she was hit with the news that she was pregnant. If her brother was here, he could help, but he died in a car accident four months ago. “What am I going to do? What are my parents going to say? Who is the father of this baby?” Without a job or high school education she feels like she has not hope. She is trapped. “Maybe I should just end it all right now. This is too much for me…”
There are people in our society that have committed their lives to helping people help themselves. Emerging as a profession in the early twentieth century, social work has become a vital component in society. The main goal of all social workers, no matter their area of expertise, is aimed at enriching and enhancing an individual’s or a community’s social or economic condition. Social workers interact with people and attempt to enhance the quality of life that people in a community live. They help people find the resources they need to help them out with problems they might have on a physical, emotional, or mental level.
The Profession of Social Work:
Social workers are special people. They spend their lives assisting others in their life crises no matter how large or small someone else might perceive them to be. The have unique qualities that are a prerequisite to be successful at the job and at relating with the people who come to you for help. Personal qualities make a significant difference in one’s ability to interact with others on a social and professional level. Social work professionals are warm, personable, and compassionate. They make a person feel like they are relating to someone who understands where they are coming from. The client is made to feel equal to the social work professional rather than inferior. Probably one of the most important qualities that they possess is their ability to appreciate one’s inner worth. There are always potential and positive qualities in a person no matter their present situation. A social work professional knows how to bring out those positive qualities and work with their potential.
The social workers have four main goals to accomplish when working with people. These goals are the skeletal structure of how they will deal with each individual case. The specific problem that a person has is the meat for those bones. The first goal is to enhance people’s capacities to resolve problems, cope, and function effectively. To meet this goal, the social worker must know and understand the specific problem. They also establish with the client the resources that they have within themselves to try to improve on this problem. The might also have some additional solutions for the problem, for instance, outside counseling. The second goal would be to link clients to outside resources. The social worker is looked at as a professional “helper.” They are there to give the people places to go so that the person’s goals can be met. Whether it is an Alcoholics Anonymous session or an unemployment agency, these are all outside resources that a social worker can direct a person to. The next goal is to improve the social service delivery network. This means that all social workers must work together to insure quality service and compassion for all clients that come for help. Advocate planning that focuses on clients does this. The last goal of the social services community is to promote social justice through the development of social policy. The social workers will make suggestions for new policies that will improve the system or the community based on their experiences in the area that they work in. In seeing a wide rang of people a social worker can develop some generalizations that can be very helpful in solving problems that are wide spread in a community.
The History:
The social work profession has been evolving for many years. It has its roots in the