What Qualities Make a Good Social Worker?

A social worker is a vital part of a community. This professional may stay with a client long-term to assist them in reaching their goals toward independence. They may also be there briefly to assist those experiencing a one-time emergency. Social workers are unique professionals in the career world because they’re always looking out for the needs of others. If you think this might be a good career choice for you, read on and see if you have 5 personality qualities that make a good social worker.

1. Open-Mindedness

Social workers will come into contact with people from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. They see people living in the direst situations, and people who have customs with which they are unfamiliar. In all of these situations, a social worker must reserve judgment and instead practice acceptance.

A social worker learns to approach each situation as a time of learning about the individual’s unique circumstances. They adapt to try to fit within that person’s level of comfort.

2. Active Listening Skills

One of the most important social worker skills to develop is that of listening. It is by listening that a social worker can better understand what services might benefit a person. By actively listening, the worker is also able to more easily recall information as well as establish trust.

4. Easy To Open up With

A benefit of establishing trust is the worker becomes someone with whom their client feels comfortable revealing their issues and concerns. When a worker establishes that type of trust, the door becomes more fully open into the individual’s life with whom they are assisting.

This is important because without that openness important details could be missed. Those lost details could have been opportunities for maximizing services provided to the client.

3. Organized in Their Tasks

A social worker won’t just help one client at a time. They’ll have a caseload of clients, and without good organization skills they would never work through that caseload and meet the needs of every family or individual needing assistance.

Depending on their area of practice, this organization helps bring their case to closure, which is the end-goal for every person striving for self-sufficiency. For workers who work with people with developmental disabilities, case closure may never be the goal, but organization is still vital to meeting the needs of their clients.

5. Have a Network of Resources

For many careers, and especially in social work jobs, networking is vital to a worker’s success. For a social worker, this network is filled with potential resources. Social workers work closely with various organizations that provide support and training to benefit disadvantaged populations. As a social worker is listening to their clients, they are also mentally pulling from that list of resources to fulfill whatever needs their client may be lacking.

A career in social work is demanding but also rewarding. Social workers can be found in schools, hospitals, treatment centers, governmental human service departments and penitentiaries. For the person who enjoys helping others, it can make a great career to aspire to retire with.