Where are social workers in South Africa

Searching for you

I am an avid social networking fan  and I find this hobby of mine to be enlightening as well as giving me an opportunity to link with individuals who think the same as me or even differently. One thing for sure is that i am always inspired and stimulated. However in my everyday runs and walk ins along the twitter streets i have been disappointed to not find any South African social workers talking about social work issues on the web. Am i missing something or is there a secret social work forum i dont know about?

Im not complaining about my increasing number of overseas social workers who tweet about their challenges in the profession everyday. My twitter profile usually consists of my everyday social work challenges and highlights too as i have seen it is a good way to interact with other social workers. But i have found the gap of social workers from South Africa or even the  African continent!!! Why is this???

I would love to hear the  social work view point from developing nations, lets be honest our challenges are different. I twatch (watch on twitter) my British social work counterparts talking about how CP (child protection) is the most brain frying type of social work one can do, the one that can easily lead you to the path of burn out. In USA they talk of mental health as the number one problem they face. I would like to engage with South African social workers. What are our challenges???

My guess….poverty will top the list and our social work will be more developmental. But this is my view!!! Where are the African social workers? I once joined the social worker forum in South Africa, thats about the only group of African social workers I have seen and interacted with.But are there any blogs?? Tweeter handles of social workers in Africa???

I AM ONE!!! but i wish there were more of us sharing the beauty and pain of this profession. If you are one of these please follow me @gettyhottie. Lets get interacting.

Mind vs Heart

It is a Friday afternoon,there goes another hectic week at the office. Still doing what I know best…. social work. On my mind is the equation of the mind over heart!!!!! I realise that there is no way one can avoid the engagement of these two in social work. Professionalism has its limits and sometimes whether we like it or not, something pulls at our heartstrings during the execution of our work.

So how much of the heart should be allowed room in social work??? No human being can switch on and off emotions at will and how then are social workers sometimes expected to put professionalism first before their human nature?If I am affected, dare I show my feelings? Dare i cry?

Often enough in social work one is moved to emotions. This is due to the nature of the work which includes, but is not limited to vulnerability,poverty,helplessness,abuse of children, exploitation of children,abandonment, neglect. All these I have encountered in my line of work, but I have had to bear with it for the sake of the children who need help. “Put your emotions aside, know the bridge between sympathy and empathy”!!!! It comes with practice. I recall working with abandoned new-born babies, picking them in fields where they would have been dumped or being called to come and remove a child abandoned at birth by the biological mother. Often  the experience of holding that child in my arms for a few moments en-route to the car and leaving them at their new home which as the social worker it is your responsibility to find…that experience leaves you with a mark. I had so many days when I wanted to bring those newborns home with me, again crossing the boundaries of attachment to the client. But as a woman you just cannot help feeling a motherly tug at your heart.

So where does one draw the line between mind and heart? Mind says these are the principles of practice,heart says “I am hurt, I am disappointed,I am human”…..but who takes care of you as the social worker?????

Well that’s a topic for another day….I am currently researching on care for the carer!!! How do social service professionals get personal care after the trauma they deal with everyday?

Stay tuned and have a lovely weekend!!!!

Hello world!

My first words have to be those of gratitude, that I finally managed to get a blog started. I love to write and what better way to do it than to start a blog.  Well, here I am, finally able to share my social work mind with the world.  As the name suggests you guessed it, I am a social worker. I love all things social work: the academics behind it (principles,methods,application),the legislation behind it (yes,the Acts) and the different areas of practice. I currently work with behavior problem children in residential care and that my fellow readers is what led me to realise that there is more to me than social work!!!!

Why do i sound unhappy,a bit cynical??It is because it drains the soul out of me, it leaves me wondering why I chose the profession to begin with. However I would not be me without the children I work with, they define me everyday,they test me and allow me to grow to my highest potential. I am fulfilled.

Dont fret, this blog is about my social work mind. It will show you that although one devotes their entire day to helping others, they are still a human being with their own life and problems that need solving. How do I handle it all? You will know on my journeys here….