The Role Of Social Workers During The Pandemic
Before the pandemic, social workers had long been an essential part of the community and helped people cope with various problems. But since the pandemic took over the world, our lives have completely changed. People are ethically, emotionally, and socially challenged like never before, and social workers’ role has elevated tremendously. Working conditions have not been ideal for many professionals, including social workers. During the pandemic, they have still skillfully adapted to the states and helped people find relief in times of crisis. Pandemic-related stress has affected almost the entire population. Still, social workers continue to report to work during and after the pandemic.
People dealing with anxiety, racial discrimination, depression, unemployment, and cultural incompetence received therapeutic support from social workers throughout the pandemic. They are still helping people come to terms with the new way of life as we slowly ascend out of it. Social workers also play a vital role in rebuilding the community as they help people cope with loss, social injustice, isolation, and hopelessness. It leads communities towards a more consolidated and fair social system that teaches stability, global rights, and equality.
The pandemic has also opened doors for future social workers and highlighted the importance of obtaining higher education and better clinical experience. For instance, many young graduates may struggle to understand the difference between lcsw vs mft when pursuing a career in social work. Suppose your interests lie precisely in dealing with family as the treatment unit. In that case, an MFT will best prepare you for direct psychotherapy. If you prefer to work around areas other than family and marriage, then LCSW is your calling. All in all, as a social worker, you will be upholding human rights for all individuals in society, which is what the world needs the most.
Why Do We Need More Social Workers After The Pandemic?
There are not many professions that impact families, individuals, and communities the way social work does. This profession resonates with all the core values that we as humans stand for. People will need help dealing with the atrocities of the past year and how to bring their lives back to normal. Respect for diversity, human rights, collective responsibility, and principles of social justice are central to social work. The world will always need more people to tend to these values. Following are a few reasons why there is an increasing need for social workers:
- Helping students to stay in school
- Working as clinical therapists for families and members of the military
- Helping those suffering from chronic illness and acute conditions in hospitals
- Providing long-term and outreach care in homeless shelters and nursing homes
- Providing therapy and support in community health centers
- Playing the role of first responders during a national crisis, health, and natural disasters
- Helping prisoners and those in drug and alcohol centers in reentering the community
What Is Family Therapy, And Why It’s Done?
Family therapy is a type of psychotherapy or psychological counseling that helps family members resolve conflicts and improve communication. Licensed therapists, psychologists, and clinical social workers with graduate or postgraduate degrees are the ones who provide family therapy. This type of psychotherapy is particularly crucial for people looking to deepen family connections or keep the relations alive while going through stressful times. We all know how devastating the coronavirus pandemic has been for many families. From unemployment to isolation and working from home, families dealt with this new way of life. Everyone was spending more time with each other than necessary. Following are a few examples of why families may need therapy:
- Families may participate in family therapy if a member is suffering from some form of addiction. It can affect the entire family, and thus they can indulge in therapy while that member takes different treatment. They can also participate in family therapy when the addict is trying to get back to life after rehab.
- Another example of why families can help from family therapy is when a member has a mental illness such as schizophrenia or depression. It can help the family understand how to cope with difficult situations and efficiently deal with that person.
The pandemic has had a pervasive effect on families and the practice of family therapy. The current times are uncertain and anxious, but therapy can help individuals navigate their anxiety safely and help understand its effects on children and other family members. When it comes to family therapy, many social workers struggle because of the demanding nature of the treatment and families undermining the clinician’s suggestions and treatments. Since family therapy is about treating two or more family members, the conflicting schedule and the abundance of individual perspectives can make the treatment difficult. If the parents respond truthfully and calmly, it can help model practical coping skills for the entire family, making the process easier for social workers. Following are a few things social workers can do when dealing with family therapy:
- Understand the family’s identity through their perspective instead of through the lens of their current living situation. Ask about their situation in detail and learn through the information they provide.
- Do not impose your therapeutic training or information onto the family because it will not serve them well on a deeper level. You need to accept their current state and respect each member’s level of functioning without telling them exactly what to do.
- Try not to get pulled into the family’s mess or chaos, especially when doing home visits. Try to go in with a solid treatment plan and best management therapies to direct the families towards a stress-free space.
Almost every person felt the effects of the pandemic, no matter how small, at emotional, social, and professional levels. The isolation, the anxiety, the uncertainty, and the personal challenges have made it clear now more than ever that every person with these challenges deserves support and therapeutic healing. Therefore, there is an increasing need for social workers and family therapy to go back to their everyday lives without losing their relations and emotional state. Social workers have and are playing a crucial role in bringing back the community together amidst the pandemic.