Today marks World Social Work Day, an important awareness day for social workers worldwide to stand together and celebrate the achievements of their profession within the community.
This year, the theme of World Social Work Day is ‘Úbuntu: I am Because We Are’, which aims to promote social solidarity and global connectedness, while facilitating universal rights, opportunities, freedom and sustainable well-being for all people nationally, regionally and globally.
At The Royal Children’s Hospital, our Social Work Department provides a range of services to help children adjust to their health condition. Our social workers have specialist knowledge and skills in a range of areas, such as children’s genetic conditions, transplant, critical injury and rehabilitation.
In recognition of this day and as part of this week’s #ChampionForChildren profile, we spoke to social worker Anna to hear about what this year’s World Social Work Day theme means to her and to learn more about the work she does each day that may surprise our community.
What does a typical day at the RCH look like for you?
The great thing about my role is that no two days are the same! I start the day early to receive handover from our evening shift colleagues and determine priorities for the day ahead. My role means I have a mix of clinical work on the wards with patients and their families, sometimes phone calls to check in with families, as well as meetings with the multidisciplinary team and liaison with broader community support services. I also lead a team of social workers so provide supervision to staff and consultation in relation to their work.
How did you get into this field?
I loved the idea of working with people and being in a helping profession-I went straight into social work course after high school and I have no regrets!
Given the year we had in 2020, can you tell us why the theme for this year is so important?
Interconnectedness of all people and their environment is a philosophy that resonated with social work-never has connection been so important than over the past 12 months.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The children and families that I work with. As a hospital social worker I have the privilege of supporting families during very difficult and challenging times in their life and I am constantly inspired by the families I meet.
What is something people not realise you do in your department?
The perception of social work is sometimes providing practical support but so much of the work we do is therapeutic intervention to help children and families navigate complex psychosocial challenges at different stages of their journey.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love boxing and spending time with my family.