When you think of social worker jobs, your mind will often turn to those roles on the frontlines, dealing with young people or adults who are at particular risk in society. To help these people though, a whole range of different roles within social work are needed. In this article, we’ll look at one of these roles, and see why the support staff are so necessary to a well functioning social work team. If you’re looking for newly qualified social worker jobs and entering the profession for the first time, it’s well worth taking the time to understand the framework of support that underpins the whole system.
Safeguarding is a key area of any type of social work. In short, it ensures protection of health and well-being to the most vulnerable in our society. Safeguarding is a reactionary measure to an incident occurring that puts these type of people in harm’s way, or in some cases, have already been harmed. Social workers are often the first on the scene once an incident like this has occurred. Yet, if there’s incidents like this happening all the time, in all shapes and sizes, you need a competent team of people to review and assess each of these situations, and work out how to proceed. This is what a safeguarding team will do away from where the incident has occurred. Usually, the first job is to make an immediate rough prioritisation of cases, before cases are gone over more finely to find out precisely what the next steps need to be.
Most teams that involve social workers, will have a team of social workers (or those trained to be a social worker or care practitioner at least) working in an office to support them. The reason we don’t often think about these sorts of roles is that their interaction with the public is a lot less than that of social workers working in the field. Just because their job might be based in the office, rather than constant direct interaction, it doesn’t mean there is less training to reach those positions. In fact, this support network is what makes it possible for social workers out and about to cover as many service users as possible.
This support network allows social workers the chance to have the immediacy and urgency that’s needed, if those who are most vulnerable are going to be properly protected. It also means that there is a lot less chance of things being unnoticed, as it means there is always a minimum of two sets of eyes looking at a situation rather than just one. Overall, these roles are of equal importance to one another and both allows the other role to succeed.