Return to Krista's Korner

"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dispelling Myths

I know Patrick professionally- he is a medical Social Worker. Tonight he tweeted something that struck a nerve: "I am tired of doctors and people today acting like I have a worthless degree... so I am out of here... It has been a real hard day!!!" (Sorry, Patrick for copying without asking first).
This struck a chord with me.
I remember when I went to school, when people asked me what I was getting my degree in, I would get these sighs and "I'm sorry" or "you are a better person than I" when I said Social Work.
I also deal with the lack of respect for the degree, which is considered a professional degree and a type of licensure in and of itself.
No one seems to know what a Social Worker is, or what we do. I think it is hard because there is a lot of variety in the preofession. I know that people assume that Social Workers take kids away, and the archetype of the bad or burned out Social Worker is ever present and reinforced in the media.

According to the National Association of Social Workers, the definition of a Social Worker is:
Social Work is the professional activity of helping individuals, groups, or communities enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and creating societal conditions favorable to this goal. Social Work practice consists of the professional application of Social Work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve processes. The practice of Social Work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interactions of all these factors.

Wikipedia has more on standards:

You have questions, I want to hear them. Doing my part to promote my profession and have people congratulate me instead of pity me.

And yes, I had a bad day too....