Social workers, especially independent ones, cannot be business people always. Their work demands a diverse list of skills ranging from professional, interpersonal and psychological skills. If you are venturing into the noble career of a social worker, read this blog to know which 8 skills are most required for freelance social workers to succeed and soar high.
The work of a social work is not easy…
Although it’s a profession and many people make it their prime source of income, a freelance social worker cannot work or deal like a regular business person.
While formal academic training, knowledge and practices are what makes a person professional, some of the core skills that social worker possesses are not externally developed.
They are internally built with passion and compassion; in fact becoming a life-long social worker needs some serious ethical skills that go beyond marketing, outsourcing and promotions.
However, the root of such skills stems within you. So, let’s read on to know exactly what skills you require to becoming at least point 5 percent of what Mother Teresa was.
8 Skills Required for Freelance Social Worker to Succeed
1. Active Listening – The More you Listen, The Better will you Understand People
Listening, patiently and without interruptions, is an art many don’t possess. But for a social worker it becomes the most important skill required.
Much of a social worker’s role is listening people empathetically. Good listening enables trust and helps you to get to the core problem acutely. Actively listening also builds a therapeutic relationship between you and your client – a basic element of a social working career.
2. Assessment Skills – Get to the Matter on Point
Case management will take most of your working time. You have to apprehend a particular case from 360 degree angle to get to the substance. In order to do this, you have to learn assessment skills.
Assessment skills reveal the inevitabilities and its extension of clients, the resources needed for fulfilling services, and finally, quality assessing lets a social worker to re-evaluate clients’ requirements periodically and ascertain whether further services are required or not.
3. Communication Skills – Right Interaction can Save a Needy
As a freelance social worker, you will have to frequently raise funds for programs and serious causes, by your own. For this purpose, you would have to effectively correspond with clients, officials and other professionals.
You have to also communicate the kind of services you can provide within the realm of your capabilities to your clients. Such conversations can be hard as you will meet endless people with extremely grave stories.
Communication for social workers during contracting is both, written and verbal. Also, as a care-provider and an intermediator between clients and officials, you will be required to document all facts and information pertaining your clients and make reports for third-party payers, supervisors, agencies and for other litigation purposes.
Effective communication ensures professional advocacy, clear and concise dealing, empathy towards clients and great crisis management.
4. Empathy – Understanding Human Relationships
Social work is mainly a field about human relationships. In your tenure, you would encounter people from different walks of life, going through serious problems, ranging from human trafficking, abusive marriage, society violation, family problems to illnesses and so on. You will be looked up as a support system.
Your role as a social worker would be embracing relationship based practices and understanding and empathising your clients. Empathy is placing yourself in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they go through.
It’s not easy to work for a cause knowing that the profit is limited; that’s why you need to have serious passion and compassion towards the needy to make this humble profession your career.
5. Courage and Inner Strength – To Cope Up With the Worst Case Scenarios
Working for social causes can be emotionally and mentally challenging. When you dedicate to a project, the circumstances can take serious toll on you. It becomes imperative to take care of your emotions and mind-set to bring efficacy to your practices and provide accurate services.
You will encounter people who have gone through worst phases (such as rape cases, abduction, trafficking and so on) and it will be your duty to lift them up from such circumstances, without draining your own emotions. You have to rather ensure to channel your strengths in the right direction.
6. Critical Thinking Skills –Arrive at Well Informed Decisions
You have to think critically and act in an ethical and professional manner, in order to serve as a reputed and trusted social worker. A life of a freelance social worker involves applying theories, norms, rules and legal laws to arrive at informed and accurate decisions on behalf of clients.
Critical thinking skills are essential when you are in the quest for finding legitimate and valid answers with an open mind, and using that information to best serve the current situation.
Critical thinking skills will help you to get out of crisis commendably and allow you to utilise available resources in best possible manner.
7. Leadership and Advocacy – You will Represent Your Clients
As a social worker, you will also play the role of an intermediator between your clients and solicitors. This means you will have to possess some degree of advocacy and leadership skills.
A well-developed advocacy skill will allow you to represent your client in a proper way and obtain as many help as you can. Advocacy skills and leadership qualities in you will empower the society and bring change within the system we all live in.
Adequate and proper use of these skills will enable you to fight for existing system or programs, create new programs and revise any law or policies.
8. Intervention Skills – Unhesitant Interference for the Benefits of Clients
You will regularly encounter situations where you have to pull your clients out from emergency and unwarranted circumstances. You have to intervene authoritatively to empower your clients and help them rise above their strengths.
One of the important traits an independent social worker should have is acting at appropriate time with diligence and unnerving strength. Your work would be empowering and motivating your clients so that they are independent and stronger. In order to make people strong, you have to create a dynamic aura around yourself.