Qualities of a Social Worker

Successful Social Workers All Have a Lot in Common

“It takes a special person to be a social worker.” You hear it all time the time. That’s because it’s true. Clinical and practical knowledge can only take you so far. You have to be qualified in terms of personality, attitude, and demeanor. Some of the absolutely essential characteristics for success as a social worker include:

How can social workers help?


As a social worker, you are working with individuals who need help taking responsibility for their own lives. You can be a positive role model by being fully accountable in all of your professional duties. This means conducting yourself ethically and engendering the trust that comes with being dependable, punctual, and sensitive to confidential issues.


Social work is a caring profession that requires an empathetic approach to dealing with other people. Understanding individual needs and concerns is an important part of being able to make the right choices for your patients. Taking the time to listen and gently asking for clarification will help you get to the real issues.

Good Judgment

A big part of your job will be helping your clients make the proper decisions about their treatment plans. This is particularly true if you are working with children who need you to be their advocate. Using your good judgment will keep you from reacting emotionally, and make it easier to provide evidence-based social work services.


Some cases are going to be frustrating and try your patience as a social worker. Being able to stay centered on the well-being of your clients can help you persevere during trying times. No matter how hard it may be to deal with someone else’s life problems, it is far more difficult for them to need your help. Don’t give up.


Flexibility in a social work career comes in many forms. You need to be adaptable to changes in the profession, and focus on any new education or training you might require. You’ll have to be comfortable working in different environments with new people over the course of your career. Most important, you must be open-minded and able to deal with people from all walks of life.

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