Honestly, being a social worker makes me feel privileged – because people are entrusting me with some of the deepest, most personal, darkest moments of their lives. I get to hold these moments with them, to reflect, to realise how it shaped them into the people they are today…both the good and the bad.
So when I saw this picture, I knew that I had to share it. It is so true. We all (or most at least) have a somewhat difficult past. It’s something we grow and learn from…but honestly, some people needed to have someone to help them, but didn’t.
So as social workers (and anyone who works with people on such a personal level), it’s important for us to realise our role in helping clients process their past, and get through it. And for professionals working with children, the role becomes even more important.
So as social workers (and anyone who works with people on such a personal level), it’s important for us to realise our role in helping clients process their past, and get through it. And for professionals working with children, the role becomes even more important. Because they are the ones who help shape the child’s character.
So kudos to you! And keep on fighting the good fight!
The majority of my classmates started working in their respective agencies a while ago – but right as soon as we got the call to start work, I was on a plane, jet setting to a foreign land for 2 weeks.
Ok it wasn’t as exotic as that. But 2 weeks in Ireland, travelling by bus across cities is quite an adventure, I’ll let you know!
And that holiday was utterly amazing. I saw so many beautiful places, and made friends with so many animals (have any of you held a red fox, have you?!). But following this holiday I was more than ready to start at my new full-time job, doing the work I was trained to do for four years.
So how are things going so far? Pretty awesome. I have a bunch of interesting cases, all with their own very diverse and specific needs. And I couldn’t be happier. Of course, the waking up at ungodly hours is not a favourite of mine, but hey, at least I’m getting paid.
At some point in the past few months, the Government of Malta decided to amend the Social Work Profession Act. It was slightly outdated so hoorah! Unfortunately, the process itself wasn’t that…well…great.
As with any decision to change a law, people are going to complain. It’s difficult to appease everyone. But what we saw in the past few days was an uprising by local NGOs and professionals. Why? Because the proposed changes were bordering on the ridiculous.
First off, the definition of who a social worker is was going to be changed. Unfortunately, the proposed amendment was not the international definition – instead it was some made up definition which was not even discussed with the Maltese Association of Social Workers. You know, the actual organization which knows what the role is about. The good news is that the Government has agreed to change the definition. Though one has to wonder why it wasn’t done properly in the first place, especially when considering that other professionals do have their international definition in their legislation.
The second very big change was that all newly graduated social workers would have to work for two years with a state agency before they could apply for their warrant. This would ruin NGOs in the long run because they would end up with a shortage of social workers. And let’s face it, after two years within an agency, where you would have got used to the system, you’re not likely to leave that agency unless you’re going to continue studying for a Masters. Definitely not to go work at an NGO – which incidentally, would give you a lower wage, and less concrete hours.
Two points I’d like to make here:
- By working within an NGO, social workers are still serving the state. NGOs do the work that the government cannot afford to. Imagine if all the abuse rehab centres had to be taken care of by the government? And all children’s homes? And let’s not mention the fact that the state doesn’t actually have an agency which deals with LGBTI+ issues.
- When taking into consideration the lower wage, and less concrete hours when one works within an NGO – it begs the question why graduates are still preferring to work in NGOs instead of the state. Maybe the state should be reflecting on this aspect first before trying to force new social workers to work for them.
Thankfully, the Minister has said
(after many complaints) that this clause will be stricken from the amendments – once again this should have been discussed first and foremost with the department of social wellbeing at the University, with the students themselves and with the association of social workers.
On a brighter note, some of the proposed amendments are needed, so I’m glad that the Act is being updated. I just wish the process had been more transparent and inclusive…before the Bill passed through its second reading.