Changing times, same values
We now find ourselves in a period of uncertainty and worry for many. With this in mind, we may not necessarily celebrate the day itself but instead reflect on what it means to be a social worker and how we can best prepare ourselves for the challenges to come.
Given everything that is happening in the world, we feel that sharing our World Social Work Day video would not be appropriate at this time.
The importance of human relationships is this year’s theme, one thrown into even sharper relief by the viral pandemic affecting communities around the world.
Many people we support will have difficult experiences over the coming months and many more not currently known to social work will turn to us for support, care and understanding.
Relationships will be impacted and, in some cases, loved ones will sadly be lost. However, we know the importance of relationships is also the one thing we can all hold on to, the emotional strength for many to continue and the core to sustaining families, friends and communities through difficult times.
But beyond families and communities, relationships can be forged and relied upon as we collectively respond to COVID-19 and the impact it will have.
Social work is fundamentally built on the principles of human connection, enabling and understanding relationships and bringing hope when things seem hopeless.
There will be many people who may not have relationships they can rely on, or where the complexity of their situation may make social connections fragile or in need of additional support to thrive. It is in these contexts that our practice is vital.
So, as we all mark World Social Work Day in our own ways, let’s do so together in the areas we practice, in offices, over the phone and with colleagues across our organisations and sectors.
Let’s bring all that we are as social workers as we respond to the crisis and ensure that the skills we have are used to best effect for our communities and support all those charged with responding to the virus.
We will get through this crisis, but the social work response must go way beyond that point. Working with people through times of grief, helping them re-build their lives, livelihood and supporting the communities they live in will be core to our profession’s effectiveness.
Our fundamental understanding of the value and importance of human relationships will make that journey a more positive one. Look after yourselves.