Top 15 Social Worker Skills to be best on the Job
Are you a social worker looking for how to improve on yourself and be the best you can be on your job? If you are, then this post shows you our top 15 skills you need to develop.
So, read on to discover the skills, but before we get there…
What is Social Work?
Social work is a profession that involves assisting families, individuals, communities, and groups to improve their individual and collective well-being.
It focuses on helping people build their skills and the ability to make use of their own resources as well as those of the communities to resolve issues.
It also deals with poverty, violence, unemployment, and some other problems confronting the communities.
Social workers are professionals who act as advocates to individuals and communities, supporting and directing them to the services they need.
They usually work with health and education professionals, as well as with disciplinary teams.
To be the best social worker around, here are 15 skills and qualities to develop:
1. Flexibility: There is no work that does not put in overtime – even social work. Your work may not be the usual 9 to 5 job, though office type but sometimes you may be needed to make an appearance at the court. You may also be required to pay occasional visits to the homes of different clients and their family members, their neighbors, and schools of the children of some of your clients. Therefore, you need to be flexible with your work schedule.
2. Communication Skills: Communication skills can be in two types – verbal and written. Every social worker should possess these skills to be able to communicate effectively with clients and colleagues.
3. Social Perceptiveness: Social workers should be able to understand quickly social signs, norms, and behaviors associated with their profession. Sometimes, clients may find it hard to express themselves verbally so they require a social worker who can perceive what they hide inside them and be able to interpret them.
4. Documentation Skills: Documentation of clients’ profiles, and compilation, analysis, and evaluation ability can help social workers to make reference any time possible. During documentation, social workers are supposed to be accurate and timely for them to benefit both the client and the company offering services.
5. Self-Awareness: Social workers need to know how their past experience, emotions, attitudes, values, and beliefs can affect their thinking, behavior and alliances. Social workers should be eager to notice and change their behavior while working with clients and other professionals.
6. Questioning Skills: It is good for social workers to know how to ask the right questions. Your questions must have a purpose and should not be based on mere personal curiosity about the client. Open-ended questions make clients to be open and discuss themselves and how best to be treated.
7. Critical Analysis: Data obtained through supervision, observation, research, interviews, case file, and consultation is being interpreted by the social worker, and this influences the client’s evaluation, assessment, diagnosis and treatment. Critical analysis determines how a social worker’s assumptions, motivations, assessments, and expectations can help draw conclusions from the available data.
8. Treatment Arrangement: With very tight diagnostic skills, social workers can arrange client’s treatment plan by diagnosing the client in order to identify their symptoms and finally help implement effective means of achieving a reasonable result. For instance, clinical social workers who work in a hospital setting may be required to diagnose a depressed client or patient so he/she can go back to school or work. The accomplishment of these goals is called “the invention stage of treatment”.
9. Negotiation: Social workers and their clients have to work together to achieve a common goal. The social worker has to use amicable means to convince his/her client to agree with what their problem is. By being soft on your clients, you as a social worker are building a good working relationship with them. You should let them know how much you care for their well-being and want to change their situations. Negotiation will help pin-point those things you and your client will have to work on to better their condition.
10. Organizational Skills: Social work involves handling important documents which range from medical records to case files. Paperwork of past records has to be kept safe for future reference. Organizational skills will enable you to stay ahead of others who may be busy day after day looking for one document or another.
11. Competence: Social workers should show some competence in the services they provide. For them to be confident in their job, they need to attend some online and offline training workshops, as well as lay hand on books and media information. Being competent in social work profession is a very big advantage.
12. Interpersonal Skills: It is very important for social workers to be compassionate, showing unselfish concern for the welfare of others and maintaining some integrity and respect for others. With interpersonal skills, social workers can build a very close relationship with their clients and their work will seem easier.
13. Persuasion: Social workers need persuasive means they can use to encourage people around them to accept their services. This involves making positive changes in their lives. Persuasion helps professionals with proper knowledge of how they can interpret their various roles in the lives of the individuals and communities they work with.
14. Active Listening: Social workers are required to develop the ability to listen effectively to clients. Clients would like to see you reflect back to what they say. They would begin to like your company as you engage in conversation with them, and as soon as they notice how much you understand them. By doing so, you are building trust which will make your clients respect you and confide in you.
15. Computer Skills: The present social work has gone digital, that’s just the reason why computers have come to replace the usual storage of client’s information in paperwork. Your work will be faster with excellent computer skills instead of writing with pen and papers. Even your clients will see you as an expert when you work with electronic device.
If you are a social worker who wants to be best on your job, these skills will help you to achieve your goal if you work on them.
And if you are someone who needs the services of a good and qualified social worker, you can set the highlighted skills above as requirements for applicants to meet. you can then pick those that have the required qualities for an interview.
Did you find the skills above useful in becoming a highly effective social worker? Please make your comment in the box below. You can also give additional skills you think a social worker needs to be best on the job.