“Social Care Workers are professional practitioners engaged in the practice of social care work. Social care work is a relationship based approach to the purposeful planning and provision of care, protection, psychosocial support and advocacy in partnership with vulnerable individuals and groups who experience marginalisation, disadvantage or special needs. Principles of social justice and human rights are central to the practice of Social Care Workers.” – Social Care Workers Board, CORU
Simple, yes all the above makes sense. However, the reality of being a social care worker is to be the above and then some.
A Social Care Worker is human and brings to the position their own capabilities whether you are creative i.e. crocheting, artistic – ceramics, painting, mindful- being present in the moment, these are attributes that a definition does not encapsulate.
Working with people as a Social Care Worker is fundamentally one of the most enjoyable, challenging and rewarding areas of work. There are days of elation, days of concern and there are every other day.
Social care work is enjoying activities with the people whom you support, watching goals from their personal plans being achieved and working to establish a new goal. Being present with the person you support to watch them excel even beyond their parameters.
Social care work has days of concern where you may be coming to the end of your shift and a person whom you support may be unwell but you know you need to be somewhere else as there is another part to your life than being a Social Care Worker. However, your instinct is to make the G.P. appointment, support the person to the appointment, ensuring the person’s needs are tended to. This is the extra step, however small, that makes a difference between being an anybody, to being a social care worker.
The other days are the small but still meaningful pieces that make the people we have in our lives empowering, supportive, and enhancing. These are the days where time is given to support the people we work with to understand life skills – boiling a pot of water and not hurting themselves with splashes or the heat from the hob. The days when the person we support sits and takes time to embrace the flora and fauna. Helping to assist their growth just as we do with the people we support.
Finally, being a Social Care Worker takes people who are true, kind caring and encompass the importance of every individual, living a fulfilling life.
‘Hope is not optimism, which expects things to turn out well, but something rooted in the conviction that there is good worth working for’ – Seamus Heaney