Respond by Day to at least two of your colleagues’ postings. Be sure to respond to a colleague who chose at least one different setting than you did. Respond in the following ways:
- Propose a deeper explanation for how the approach selected by your colleague supports social change for the profession.
- Explain a different approach for professional education programs to meet professional standards related to advocacy.
Use the resources, current literature, and your professional Code of Ethics to support your response.
Response to Nicole
Importance of Advocating for Self-Care
Kori, Leila, Kristin and Hea-Won (2016) reported that self-care is a protective measure against the stressors within the field of social work. Social workers listen to traumatic stories, complete countless hours of paperwork and have the professional responsibility to assist those in need (Kori, 2016). The effects of all those requirements of the field create compassion fatigue, burnout, vicarious traumatization and eventually those social workers may leave the field because they did not advocate for self-care. The provider is just as important as the client, so we need to take care of ourselves too. There are numerous studies that support self-care strategies as a way to prevent or heal from vicarious trauma, burnout or compassion fatigue. Lee and Miller (2013) stated that self-care is not only a way to prevent workplace distress, but it is the empowering of employees to take control of their health and well-being.
Proposal and Positive Social Change
Professional education programs will meet the professional standards related to advocacy. If social workers cannot advocate for their own self-care, how are they supposed to advocate for their client’s needs? Social workers cause more harm than good if they are not keeping up with their self-care (Lee & Miller, 2013). The social work code of ethics explains that social workers must provide appropriate care to the individual and if the professional is not taking care of him/herself, the client suffers.
Creating educational programs that explain the ways self-care help the profession/professional and educate on how the lack of self-care hurts the profession/professional will help social change. I think I say this in most discussions but increasing education can never do harm. Making self-care a normal part of the profession will decrease the shame/guilt professionals have when they take time off for their self-care. In addition to creating a more positive social change in the profession, increased education creates professional supports. Lee and Miller (2013) reported that providing staff with support calls and structuring workloads will promote job satisfaction. Scheduling employees two 15-minute breaks every day and encouraging them to take vacations/self-care days will increase a positive working environment.
Kori R, B., Leila, W., Kristin, F., & Hea-Won, K. (2016). Self-care and Professional Quality of
Life: Predictive Factors among MSW Practitioners. Advances In Social Work, 16(2), 292-311. doi:10.18060/18760/p>
Lee, J. J., & Miller, S. E. (2013). A self-care framework for social workers: Building a strong
foundation for practice. Families In Society: Journal Of Contemporary Social Services, 94(2), 96-103. doi:10.1606/1044-38944289
Response to Mackenzie
Post a brief explanation of the importance of advocating for self-care for helping professionals in professional programs.
The importance of advocating for anything in general is to be the voice for those who do not have one. In social work we are often get very involved in trying to be the voice for our clients by advocating for their wants, needs, and what is fair for them. This leaves out a very important part in the role of a social worker which is advocating for ourselves. “Social workers practice in a variety of settings including child welfare and family practices, schools, mental health and addictions, and health care” (Bloomquist, Wood, Friedmeyer-Trainer, & Kim, 2015). The field of social work is extremely versatile which offers an abundance of exposure to “individuals , families, or groups who have experienced significant trauma and recent crisis” (Bloomquist, Wood, Friedmeyer-Trainer, & Kim, 2015). It is easy to see how we as social workers can become so consumed with our work that we forget about ourselves. Self-care is necessary for the sanity of the workers, but also as mentioned above the organizations which employee the workers. When we do not advocate for self-care by taking time off or participating in a self-care day where we can enjoy relaxing activities, or we are not only harming ourselves but our clients as well. In the end not advocating for self-care can cause, “compassion fatigue, secondary traumatic stress, and burnout are potential consequences of these emotional demands and can lead to feelings of exhaustion and incompetence, turnover intention, and actual turnover from one’s organization” (Bloomquist, Wood, Friedmeyer-Trainer, & Kim, 2015).
Then, propose how professional education programs can meet your professional standards related to advocacy.
When it comes to determining a client’s needs, we often do that by having the client complete assessments that are provided by the agency. For example, I work with the mentally ill population and we complete assessments with our clients that looks at the last 30 days and assesses how much difficulty they had in completing specific tasks. The score provided allows us to determine what services would best fit the clients needs. Assessments is a tool that can be utilized by the agency to check in on their employees as far as their own mental health and how they are feeling regarding their job. The assessments used with clients and professional can sometimes be the same, but they can also differ, it just depends on what type of information the agency is looking to receive. When I look at educational programs, I think of the ones we are taking now during our time at Walden. The programs are designed to introduce us to different areas in social work and to provide knowledge in those area that we can then take back to the field with us. As we have been cruising through this quarter some of the information that has been provided and also information I have found on my own has given me the tools I need to utilize in being more active in advocating for my own self-care as well as continuing to be and advocate for my clients. If an educational program was designed to meet my professional standards related to advocacy, it would be a program that would continue to grow with me as I grow through my journey as a social worker. I believe that education is going to and always will be key to professional standards and self-development.
Finally, include an explanation of how your proposal might affect positive social change for your profession. Support your response with the resources and current literature, making sure to reference your professional code of ethics.
My proposal of continuing education and continuing to advocate for our clients will promote positive social change in my profession. “Pro-active outreach on the part of a provider to a collateral system provider can go a long way in creating a respectful connection and safe pathway for your client to the referral agency. This particularly rings true in environments, such as police departments, emergency rooms, or child protective services, where crime victims are easily overlooked, lost, or misunderstood” (Gomez & Yassen, 2007). As a social worker we look to gain guidance from our social work code of ethics. Part of the section regarding the social workers ethical responsibilities under the code of ethics discusses the commitment to the client, self-determination, informed consent, competence, cultural awareness and social diversity, conflicts of interest, privacy and confidentiality. Theses are all things that is provided through education in school and at an organizational level.
Bloomquist, K. R., Wood, L., Friedmeyer-Trainer, K., & Kim, H.-W. (2015). Self-care and Professional Quality of Life: Predictive Factors Among MSW Practitioners. Advances in Social Work, 292-311.
Gomez, C., & Yassen, J. (2007). Revolutionizing the Clinical Frame: Individual and Social Advocacy Practice on Behalf of Trauma Survivors . Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 245-263.