What is Child Welfare Social Work?
The Challenges & Rewards of Child Welfare Social Work
The social work profession was founded on the premise of improving the lives of the poor, neglected, and vulnerable. Children, of course, are the most vulnerable of all when it comes to being trapped in a negative situation. There is no way out unless there is an adult who will advocate on the child’s behalf.
Child welfare social workers have a singular focus on the well-being of those they serve. Whether working in a social service agency or within a school setting, the social worker is vital to helping today’s children and families meet the challenges of modern life. The child welfare social worker needs to be emotionally and professionally prepared to experience a full range of scenarios, such as:
- Food Insecurity
- Parental Neglect
- Substance Abuse
- Mental Health Issues
- Learning Disabilities
- Special Needs
Parents are often unable to care properly for their children because of their own problems with unemployment, addiction, or spousal abuse. It is often a neighbor that calls for intervention by the police or social services, if they can tell that things are not right with a family situation. Teachers are also vital in ensuring that child welfare social workers get involved when needed.
The immediate goal of the social worker is to build trust with the child, who is likely to be fearful, angry or withdrawn. They may not want to talk about their problems for fear of retribution by a parent, or they might be angry that the social worker found out about the secrets they were trying to hide.
Using your MSW degree to pursue a career in child welfare social work requires compassion and patience with an ongoing commitment to serve. You must also be strong, resilient, and determined in the face of disturbing circumstances that no child should ever have to face.
The challenges of this profession are very real, but so are the rewards. Each child that you help today will have a better chance to grow up and become a healthy, well-adjusted adult tomorrow. There are few other careers that give you the opportunity to make such a lasting impact – earn your Online Masters in Social Work from UNE.