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What does a social worker do?

Published 21st March, 2017
Blog thumbnail - Amanda McKinnellBlog thumbnail - Jo AndrewsWritten by Therapy Focus Social Workers, Amanda McKinnell and Jo Andrews.*

In our experience, there are many assumptions and a lot of confusion about what social workers actually do. Often we’re seen as people who simply have a chat over a cuppa for example.

But there is so much more to our role than simply talking with others. Social workers help people manage difficult relationships, overcome challenging situations they’re unable to cope with alone, and help get lives back on track.

Building effective working relationships is at the heart of what we do. Social workers work with people to help them find solutions to their problems and support them to manage things more independently. In instances of families where a member has a disability, we understand that some problems cannot be solved. In this case our goal is to assist the family to remain strong and hopeful. We believe that the situation is the problem, not the person.

Social workers also work for people by advocating on their behalf. We work to ensure their voice is heard and that they have access to the services and resources they need. We also work collaboratively with other health professionals to ensure service systems work effectively for the people we support.

In summary, social workers can provide support in the following areas:

  • Relationship building
  • Identifying support requirements
  • Linking families to useful services
  • Information and referral for:
    • Financial problems
    • Parenting
    • Relationships
    • Mental health
    • Housing

If you’re a Therapy Focus client and would like support from a Therapy Focus Social Worker, please speak to your therapy team (please note that at present we are only able to support clients in the Southern and Eastern suburbs). For more information about Therapy Focus’ range of therapy and support services, contact us on 1300 135 373.

*This article was written in consultation with Dr Brenda Clare.

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