Saturday, December 28, 2013

Reflections of 2013

It has been an interesting year. As I look back I am left wondering what I have accomplished and how any of my work has benefitted my clients. I have discovered that I often become so lost in the immediacy of the problem that I forget about all the good outcomes that have been generated over the year. I am sure that of the hundreds of people I have seen this year that there were a few who benefited from the experience.

I do know that I have limited the impact of “burnout” this year, primarily by playing as much golf as I can. I have had a few very sad periods where I wonder about the efficacy of my work. I often feel tired and resentful because the social issues with which I am confronted seem to become more unresolvable. I have become tired of seeing my colleagues practice Social Work as if it is a third rate profession relegated to something similar to an insurance salesman.

I have become tired of hearing from Child Protection Social Workers that the work they do is SOOOO complicated. The little voice in my head wants to shout “the only person who makes this complicated is your inability to practice Social Work”, I usually follow this with a few expletives.

There is no doubt that this year was very tiring and I can only hope that next year will be less so. I have worked with some interesting people and organisations this year. There is a mining company I work with who have demonstrated that they value the work I do with them. For that I am very grateful. I have worked with some of the most amazing clients this year, from you I have learnt so much. To my EAP colleagues I just want to let you know that I love the work we do together and how much I appreciate the way you have continued to support me over the years.

Without my wife and family none of what I do would be possible. My wife is very busy with her career but always has the time to listen to me talk about my work. For over twenty years Dee has supported me with what I wanted to do, and I know for her that always hasn’t been easy. There have been many low points. My youngest daughter told me recently that she had put down as her University preference, Social Work. This has come without any encouragement from me, but is a nice way of recognising the value she gives the work I do. To my beautiful daughter I thank you for finishing of my year with this wonderful acknowledgement.

To those of you who read my blog, I hope I can contribute to your understanding of Social Work and that you continue to participate in my journey. Have a great 2014.


  1. I like you thoughts. I am also an older student finishing their MSW(Q). I undertook social work to give those pretentious snobs who have graduated from a school of social work the one finger salute. It has been my experience few understand what it means to be a social worker, they seem to confuse class and gender values with ethics. Hence if one does not conform to these they are viewed as deviant therefore not suitable to be a social worker. Very few have a real understanding of ethics and practice standards.
    There are some schools of social work that perhaps are no longer relevant and perhaps should be no longer accredited. Perhaps if the AASW was to place greater emphasis on the quality rather than the quantity of social work education in Australia, then perhaps some of the issues the occupation is facing would not be there.

  2. It's a pity you're in Australia. As a parent that recently moved to the UK (and quite worried about social workers being randomly involved in our lives) your blog is a breath of fresh air an hope that there are actually are social workers that really think about children, parents, and families rather than targets, paperwork, and their careers. Thank you!