1.1 Social worker resilience
To help you think about resilience for yourself as a social worker, in Activity 1 you will see three videos featuring Cassie, a children and family social worker. In the first video you will see a snapshot from a typical day in a busy children’s social work team and a referral that comes in concerning an allegation of sexual abuse by a grandfather. This is the sort of very emotionally upsetting and challenging task that social workers may have to engage in. In the videos that follow, you will hear from Cassie about her approach to social work practice and how she handles some of the stresses she faces. As a student you might not have experienced this kind of referral directly but it is highly likely that you will have faced other kinds of challenges, uncertainties and dilemmas. This activity will help you explore how Cassie and the team deal with these aspects of social work practice and to begin to identify ways of developing resilience in your future career.
Activity 1 Developing resilience
Watch the following videos and note your comments in the table below.
Video 1: A referral
This video shows you a referral coming into a child protection team and it will help you think about the resilience needed for social work.
Transcript: Video 1 A referral
Video 2: Carrying out home visits
In this clip you will hear from Cassie about how she approaches going out to see a family.
Transcript: Video 2 Carrying out home visits
Video 3: Managing workload
Cassie talks about some of the ways in which she copes with pressure and how she maintains her own emotional resilience.
Transcript: Video 3 Managing workload
Note your comments here.
Table 1 Your answers to Activity 1
|How did you think you would feel dealing with a referral like this?|
|What might be some of the tensions and stresses for the worker who will go out to see this family?|
|What support might they need?|
|What emotions does Cassie express (verbally or non-verbally) when talking about her work?|
|What are some of the uncertainties she faces going to see a new family?|
|What supports Cassie? Is this enough or would you like to see anything more?|
You probably came up with a substantial list of actual or potential things that might make any social worker, however experienced, feel anxious or upset. In the film, Cassie talks about the ways in which she copes with this pressure and tries to support her own emotional resilience, including seeking support from her manager practically; you might have also thought about emotional support. Cassie also discusses the importance of looking after her own well being and setting appropriate boundaries to support that. Do you agree?