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Personal self care and honesty

This article raises many good points and it is important for agencies to think about how workers can practice self care. However, I have found that the nature of many underfunded and understaffed agencies works against a balanced life style for workers. There tends to be a lot of rewards and recognition for self sacrifice and going above and beyond. Social work is still viewed as a job people should do out of an endless pool of passion and self sacrifice. This mentality is very damaging and not sustainable. When I feel safe and healthy, I am better able to serve my clients.

Sarah 10 days ago

Burnout and self care

I read this article and feel it offers a plethora of knowledge, experience and skills to the reader. I have worked as a private Psychotherapist and although I did not combine it with Social Work practice at the time, the risks of burnout (e.g.) self-neglect as a professional are always there.
The author describes, in great detail, the importance of consciously making decisions and taking appropriat actions to take care of ourselves as Social Work Practitioners.
These days I am working as a Safeguardig Social Worker and I enjoy this specialist area in Social Work because it gives me a sense of gratification and achievement in the knowledge that we are protecting and educating our client(s), the service providers and ourselves in the process.
I am still guilty of forgetting how fragile we are as Practitioners and often forget to take care of myself in the ways that the author has described.
I am glad that I read this article and will refer to some of the authors in her bibliography, however most importantly, this has reminded me to take seriously the need to value ourselves as social work practitioners and to take care of ourselves.
I suppose it is really about aiming for and trying to achieve that internal balance, allowing for 'slippages' here and there and knowing that it is our very humanness and vulnerability (internally) that allows us to empathise and show compassion and use these in our practice with our clients and service providers.
Sometimes it is not such a bad thing to acknowledge our 'soft spots' and understand how these are touched when we are working with our clients,; in fact this can be a very useful way of facilitating deeper understanding not just for the client but also for ourselves (e.g.) through self understanding comes greater understanding of others and through self healing comes the potential to facilitate self-empowerment not only in ourselves but with our clients and service providers.
This article has given me a lot of food for thought, and an opportunity to revisit certain internal areas for reflectionm, connection and balance.

Suzanne German 43 days ago

A different approach to self-care

While I definitely agree that social workers need to learn and PRACTICE self-care, I also believe that our human service organizations (and our culture, really) need to have some responsibility in making sure we are well taken care of. Does weekly (or whenever) supervision include a self-care check-in? What about staff/team meetings? Are there organizational policies that promote healthy living and self-care practices? What can we do as social workers to advocate for better practices at the organizational level that can help us better help others? These are just some questions I think about as a current MSW student & former practicing BSW getting ready to re-enter the market.

Brad 44 days ago

I completely agree with this research and tips that all social workers need to learn to take care of themselves. However, what was not mentioned is te fact that SW are burn out because not only we deal with stressful situations, but we barely get a fair, living wage. We are as poor as some of the population we advocate for and the NASW keeps ignoring that passion is the main drive for us SWs, but we need fair pay and great representation by NASW. Please sign my petition on change.org on fair pay and universal licensure by Kerry B.

https://www.change.org/petitions/social-workers-and-advocates-fight-for-fair-market-compensation-equal-pay-and-one-uniform-national-licensure

Kerry 49 days ago

Follow the model of the teacher revolution

I agree, Kerry. Working at a school as a social worker, I am amazed at the self-advocacy journey that the teaching profession has gone through. They too, were once extremely under-appreciated, underpaid (although, they will not get rich, at least their salary is decent, speaking for Texas specifically) but they organized themselves and demanded more. Social workers have not done that. We are too busy advocating for our clients. I am not even one year into the profession and I get it. I get the burnout, especially in working with non-profits. The amount of documentation is cumbersome to say the least and I find myself worrying about my paperwork more than I do providing quality services to the children. I feel sick when I feel accomplished for having finished my monthly paperwork, yet my clients are the ones to suffer.

Kristen 27 days ago

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