How Do Social Workers Help Vulnerable Children?

Social worker talking to vulnerable child with teddy bear
Social worker talking to vulnerable child with teddy bear

People who seek careers in the challenging field of social work come equipped with a unique passion for supporting others and advocating on their behalf. Students who enroll in Spring Arbor University’s online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program want to use these skills to help care for vulnerable children. This article examines the role of social work in child welfare and highlights how valuable social workers can be when caring for younger generations.

What is the Role of a Social Worker in Child Welfare?

Child welfare social workers are trained professionals who work closely with children and their families to resolve recurring issues that negatively impact their quality of life. These might include grappling with cycles involving mistreatment, behavioral disorders or mental health conditions. Others issues might include foster care placements and interventions for the health and safety of children and their parents. Stepping into a role as a child welfare social worker takes advanced preparation, and many pursue graduate-level training to become a licensed clinical provider.

How Can Social Workers Help Children Emotionally?

Social workers in child welfare can play a vital role in making vulnerable children feel a greater sense of safety. While children coming from situations of neglect or abuse may be fearful for their own wellbeing, removing them from those scenarios to live in unfamiliar settings during foster care can introduce another layer of trauma. Social workers are essential in helping establish a new “norm” for these children. They may cultivate a safety net by carefully monitoring living conditions and by finding the resources necessary to make these children feel at home when they can no longer stay with their family of origin.

How Can Social Workers Help Children Socially?

Part of building this sense of safety and security is to encourage vulnerable children to build healthy relationships and connections with peers and adults. Social workers are key here, too, because their role as advocates for children can reassure them that they have someone who is genuinely looking out for them. In addition, social workers can model healthy adult relationships for these children and be an ongoing source of support.

Such consistency is essential given the fact that many children social workers engage are often overwhelmed by change and uncertainty. Moving between foster homes or transitioning between relatives drastically impacts a child’s routine and can be detrimental to learning and social development. The reliable presence and support of a social worker can be the thread that keeps their youth held together and gives them the consistency and pattern to thrive.

How Can I Use my Skills to Support Child Welfare?

Though hours can be long and challenging, social workers who contribute to child welfare can transform the childhood of a vulnerable boy or girl. For those ready to be an advocate, that path can begin with Spring Arbor University’s online BSW program.

Offering a comprehensive academic preparation for the social work field, SAU’s online BSW program also provides several specialized courses, such as Social Welfare Policies, in which students can hone their skills relating to work with children. The capstone Internship advances this potential by affording students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a community social service practice to further their expertise in the field. As a result, graduates from Spring Arbor University’s online BSW are prepared for wonderful social work careers in which they can help young children and thereby change the world around them.

Sources:

“Child Welfare: Strengthen Child Welfare Service Delivery to Enhance Child and Family Well-Being.” National Association of Social Workers. Accessed 13 May 2019 from: https://www.socialworkers.org/Advocacy/Policy-Issues/Child-Welfare

“NASW Standards for Social Work Practice in Child Welfare.” National Association of Social Workers. Accessed 13 May 2019 from: https://www.socialworkers.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=_FIu_UDcEac%3D&portalid=0

“Social Work vs Child Welfare Work.” SocialWorkLicensure.org. Accessed 13 May 2019 from: https://socialworklicensure.org/articles/social-worker-vs-child-welfare-worker/