Within this essay, the role of a social care worker in contemporary, also known as modern, Ireland will be talked about under different headings. The first thing that will be talked about is what Social Care work is, along with the differences between Social Care Work and Social Care Practice then the qualities and characteristics required to become a Social Care worker in the first place along with the standards they must meet with regard to CORU. It will also cover the principles regarding Social Care work. There will also be differences between Social Workers and Social Care Workers. The final thing will be the types of clients a Social Care worker could be working with throughout his or her career.
Social Care Work
Social care workers’ job is to provide a service, mainly among members of the public that could be in more vulnerable situations. There are two types of practice in Ireland, Social Care Work, and Social Care Practice, Social Care Work is mainly based on needs and strengths-based approaches to resolving the client’s problems. While Social Care practice uses shared life space, and opportunities to meet the emotional, physical, and social needs of the clients. (O’Grady 2019)
Social Care Work focuses mainly on people and relationships, Human Development, Helping and Growth processes, Specific Needs of Particular Groups, Living and Working with Children and Families, and Individual and Interpersonal Dynamics. Comparing Social Work and Social Care Work they work on separate areas that aren’t all that different from one another, but Social Care Work is a newer profession. (Lalor and Share 2013 p.8) In comparison to a Social Worker who focuses on Networks, Organisations, and Policies, A Wide Variety of Societal Groups and Issues, knowing about Children and Families, Problem Solving, Social and Community, and Social Problems. (O’Grady 2019)
Professional Relationship and Goals
The relationship between a case worker and a client is based mainly on confidence and trust, if the client has been in vulnerable situations previously this will be critical for them to be able to open up to their case worker, even if it is only a temporary, that isn’t a mutual relationship with equality. The relationship is basically a professional helping their client who is receiving help, ensuring that there is both an interaction and that there is progress. It’s built to help with multiple purposes such as psychological, emotional, and physical problems and it has a level of being emotionally involved. Social Care Workers’ main goals are to guide, protect, support, and advocate for their client’s behavior, it is based on interpersonal relationships which require the worker to have good communication skills, empathy, self-awareness, and the ability to use critical reflection. (O’Grady 2019)
The practice with regard to Social Care work would be to be able to expand and adapt to various different groups, such as people with disabilities or residential childcare work, along with multiple settings. They in addition plan and provide professional and social needs along with planning and providing, which includes more than ensuring the plans from other professionals, that may be helping the client in some way, are being applied. Similar to the goals they support in any way possible, protect, guide, and advocate for the client, and must be able to work with different group dynamics, including interdisciplinary work which is used for discussing patient care between a group of professionals. (Lalor and Share 2013 p. 6)
CORU was set up in 2005 under the health and Social Care Professionals Act. It is a multi-professional regulator, that is made up of the Health and Social Care Professionals Council and the Registration Boards. The main role of CORU is to protect the public by making sure there are high standards of professional conduct, training, education, and competence through statutory registration of health and social care professionals.(O’Grady 2019)
The regulation reassures the members of the public that any Social Care Worker registered with CORU have met the specified approved standards.(O’Grady 2019) Within CORU they have five standards of proficiency regarding how social care workers should work, CORU (2017) stated they are the following: Safety and Quality, Professional Development, Professional knowledge and skills, Professional Autonomy and Accountability and Communication, Collaborative Practice and Teamwork. (O’Grady 2019)
There are two types of qualities needed, the more academic ones such as Field based knowledge, Research-based knowledge, Problem-solving approach, and the ability to self-start and be part of a team. There are also more personal qualities such as being open-minded, having empathy which is understanding how someone is thinking or feeling rather than feeling sorry for them, compassion which is being able to put yourself into other people’s positions, being trustworthy, reliable to be someone that a client can count on if they need it and will be there for them when they need it, mature and having concern for the happiness of others. (O’Grady 2019)
Concerning a professional relationship between worker and Client, there are various values such as Equality with regard to the different clients, empowerment which is proving the power for the client to do something, and independence such as allowing them to do things for themselves rather than taking over, justice, rights, choice, and respect. Many of the valves interlink with principles because they are very important within Social Care Work. (O’Grady 2019)
With regard to Social Care work, there are multiple principles regarding how they work on a day-to-day basis, they are required to empower the clients to achieve their full potential, and they must have respect for the client’s dignity and Social justice. (O’Grady 2019) The clients are encouraged to do things for themselves but have the Social care worker there to fall back on if needs be, they aren’t there to take over completely, if this happens the client may feel belittled or feel they have no control in their life. The social care worker has to try find a certain area where the client they are working with is happy to do tasks alone, but it isn’t too much for them.
Organizations and Career Opportunities
Social Care workers work with organizations such as TULSA or more local like Clare or Limerick Youth Service to ensure children are safe in their own homes and if not, they work to get the children to a safer environment. They can work alongside organizations that specialize in helping people with regard to their mental health such as Jigsaw or CAMHS, which stands for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service. In addition, they can work with various homeless organizations also such as The Simon Community, NOVAS, Focus Ireland, and Enable Ireland who works with clients that have disabilities along with the homeless. There are also communities such as Adapt which was a domestic abuse service along with ALONE which works with elderly people.
In conclusion, a Social Care Worker has to have various different qualities and values to work within Ireland especially now under the CORU guidelines to be up to their standards to be able to work professionally and at a standard acceptable. There is a better understanding on the differences between Social Care Work and Social Care Practice mentioned, along with what each one focuses more on. It’s also a lot clearer how the Social Care Workers’ goals link to the qualities required along with how they are all linked in together. Also mentioned is the types of clients the Social Care Worker many works with throughout their career such as disabled or vulnerable clients along with the types of organizations that work with each client group and with how a professional relationship would work with a client within an organization.