To continue with the theme of my socialworkavery month, today I am sharing with you my experience as a community social worker. My very first job out of grad school was as a community social worker. Community social work was never part of my plans, and while in school was the one level of work I was sure I wasn't going to work within, but it always ends up being what you don't think, that what you do think, isn't it? I worked within community social work for about 6 months.
As a community social worker I worked for a local non-profit agency, that worked with the homeless and with those at risk of homelessness or who were housing insecure. While working there I had two main jobs, the first one was as a case manager for families who were making the transition from homeless, to getting and supporting them until they were able to maintain rent and bills on their own. The other job I did was helping homeless individuals or those facing eviction help pay their rent balances or first month's rent. A small part of my job was also helping people with utility bills, I was also involved in thanksgiving dinner giveaways and Christmas toy giveaways as well. So many parts of the job and a basic salary......`
I learned a lot at this job but at the same time I realized within my first week of working there that community work wasn't the type of social work for me. But as life goes sometimes, I need to paycheck and the student loans were knocking on my door.
Anyway, one of the biggest things I saw play out because of this type of work was being faced with the inequalities of the world. In various different forms from general inequalities like who is more likely to be improvised but also in other ways whereas who gets the help that is available. I also found it interesting in the ways that entitlement transcends class.
So what did I like about this job? I liked helping people. One of the things I didn't need was praise or anything like that. But at the end of the day, I will always remember the way that I was able to help families who really wanted to get back on their feet and do what they needed to do. The way one woman cried of relief at the help that was being provided. That's the part of the job I liked and the moments I will treasure the most.
So what didn't I like about the job? Honeslty most of it. I knew going into the job that community social work wasn't for me and this job confirmed that. I didn't like the way I was expected to harasses clients, and stalk them. I hated traveling around and having to go from house to house to check if someone was home. Peeping into windows and being all PI-private-eye about those things. I wasn't to key on pressuring people or stalking people. My style has always been to let people do as they please. I struggled with the attitudes of massive amounts. of people and started not liking people which is horrible to do as a social worker.
That's that. That's the facts of my experience as a community social worker. Stay tuned for my next installment sharing my experince as a therapist!