Discuss some of the obstacles that can hold social workers back, in their efforts to achieve and maintain good practice.

Essay by ski1974University, Bachelor'sC, October 2009

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Social work is a caring and rewarding profession that involves working with vulnerable members of society, enabling them to acquire a better life for themselves. Although Social work does have its benefits and sense of achievements it can also be very challenging and stressful for the worker. There is a general awareness, of some of the barriers that social workers face in their profession, but there is also an essential need to promote awareness in developing skills and strategies in how to deal with these barriers, when they arise in practice. (www.techdis.ac.uk)The public and media often portray the Social work profession in a negative light. The media in particular usually only have interest in the social work profession when major failures surrounding child neglect and abuse cases occur within the system. These kinds of negative attitudes in general can lead to low expectations of social work practice in the eyes of the public, service users and other professional networks that social workers deal with.

Social workers are rarely recognised for the vast amount of good they do in society, it seems most of the time they are in a no win situation, ‘damned if they do, damned if they don’t’. (Thompson, 2005)One of the core conditions of social work practice is being able to develop a trusting relationship with the service user. Because of the negative misconceptions that the public and media hold of social workers this can cause a real barrier when trying to establish an effective working partnership. It is therefore essential for the social worker to take these views into account and deal with them effectively, whilst not giving any reasons for these stereotypical ideas to be reinforced. (Parton & O’Byrne, 2000)Other professional networks that social workers deal with for example doctors and nurses can hold negative...