What Qualities Make a Good Social Worker?

Social worker showing files to a client
Social worker showing files to a client

Spring Arbor University offers a CSWE-accredited academic degree for those pursuing careers in social work. The highly-ranked online Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program comes stocked with a carefully structured curriculum that is designed to cultivate leaders in the social work field. The preparation goes beyond methods and best practices. This article highlights the essential qualities of a good social worker that can be encouraged during a student’s time as a member of the Spring Arbor University online BSW community.

Social and Self-Awareness

An essential quality for a successful social work career is an awareness of individual performance in relation to the needs of clients. Good social workers are constantly assessing how they perform in certain scenarios and seeking ways to improve their skills through self-critique or by soliciting feedback from their colleagues. At the same time, good social workers must maintain a sense of empathy for their clients and be aware of their client’s diverse cultural and societal demographics to best respond to their needs. Putting themselves “in the shoes,” so to speak, of their clients and being cognizant of potential challenges to communication or behavior can help social workers better perform their jobs and create a more positive patient-social worker experience overall.

Ethical Outlook

Another important quality of a good social worker is having a strong ethical core that underpins their professional practice. This can manifest in the upholding of client confidentiality and best practices for handling patient information, but it can also be demonstrated through a social worker’s commitment to being an active participant in their clients’ care. Being an active listener, being consistent with follow-up and care recommendations and being present throughout care can reinforce a social worker’s ethical commitment to their professional role.

Flexibility and an Open Mind

Many social work professionals’ day-to-day tasks in the field are far from routine; rather, the typical work day is one filled with constantly changing schedules and seemingly endless new challenges. Given this dynamic atmosphere, another key social work quality is to be flexible to disruptions or adjustments to work routines that might arise in busy practices. It can also be valuable to keep an open mind, not only to new practices that might be applied within a clinical setting but also to feedback and input from colleagues regarding improvement to the provision of client care.

Organization and Drive

Given the multitasking aspect of many social work careers and the high daily demands that can be placed on professionals in the field, it is also important for social workers to stay on top of their various tasks with a motivated mindset. Exceptional organization is key so that social workers are prepared for every patient or clinical interaction. Alongside this organization should be a deep passion for the essential guidance and support that social workers provide to their clients, as this motivation can help professionals navigate the potentially stressful and frustrating demands of the field.

Students who can combine these skills with the academic preparation offered by Spring Arbor University’s online BSW degree program can set themselves on course for pursuing their MSW and successful licensure.

About our Program

Spring Arbor University offers an online BSW program unlike many others, with no residency requirement and 100 percent online coursework. A unique experience is provided through a program mentor who supports students through their upper level courses and fieldwork internship. In addition, the GRE/GMAT is not required, allowing students to jumpstart their academic progress.

Contact us to find out more about the online BSW program.