AWIC interviewed different local professionals for an inside look into their work. You can learn more about Social Worker (NOC 4152) through a detailed Career Profile.
A typical day in our office would entail; Engaging with clients, all of which come from different upbringings and have different challenges they are trying to overcome. We assist our clients with their basic needs (housing and financials), while also supporting them by referring to partnering, community agencies and offering support any way we can.
A Social Service Worker diploma is the minimum education needed to obtain a Client Service Worker position at Algoma District Social Services Administration board. I have previous training a Primary Care Paramedic, as well as other courses such as mental health first aid, crisis intervention, etc.
I enrolled in the Social service worker program as a mature student in my early 20’s. I initially chose this career because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. One thing I have learned is that, it’s the little things that really make a difference in peoples lives. Things like the respect you show, a listening ear. Initially I thought I would save the world and make big life altering changes for my clients but it’s actually the small victories that occur most often and that lead to real, positive change in our clients.
Some skills I have that make me great at my job are; I feel I am able to be empathetic with my clients and that I am a good listener. I also feel I have the ability to build rapport with my clients quickly, which then leads to a trusting client/worker relationship.
The biggest thing I have learned is that no one client is the same. You have to meet people where they are in order to best serve them.
The best part of my job is the client interaction. I also enjoy working with the dedicated group of co-workers that I have. The workplace environment makes coming to work easy and enjoyable.
Not every client you work with ends up as a success story. Many clients fail and often fall back into old patterns that brought them to us in the first place. That’s what’s challenging.
Advice I would give to someone interested in pursuing this career is to go for it. If you enjoy working with people in challenging situations and in a field that is constantly evolving, then a career in Social Services can be a very rewarding and fulfilling career.
COVID-19 has forced us to break from the face to face engagement that we previously had with clients. Now all intakes, assessments and planning is accomplished over the phone.
Honestly, I’m not big on the term essential worker, I feel all workers are essential in their own way. What I will say however, is that I’ve felt extremely blessed to be able to keep on working throughout the pandemic, when others have not been so fortunate.
I think everyone at one point and to varying degrees has struggled with being in lock-down. Working with a group of caring professionals (co-workers) has made it easier to get through these trying times.
Being an essential worker throughout this pandemic has made it clear to me that I am in the right profession. A helping profession. A profession where I can make a difference in others peoples lives.
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