One of the main reasons I starting writing this is because I wanted to be reading a blog by a social worker in the UK who was currently practising as a social worker. Doing the kind of things that I was doing.
I’m pretty sure I’d have been more than happy to chime in and comment. But I couldn’t find any. So I started writing the kind of things I’d want to read about. It’s very selfish really – but very good for reflecting on some of the work as it happens. I think it’s actually something that helps me manage some of the frustrations as well as I have an outlet.
There are a few US based sites though which, the more I read and discover, make me realise that actually, though some of the details, issues and practices change, the underlying structures and reasons why, don’t really.
The first one I found was Blue Jean Social Work written by a US social worker who reflects on issues and work she (mm.. I’m assuming she is a she.. I’m not sure it is explicitly stated!) manages to draw very eloquently on the difficulties, challenges and sometimes, the joys that the work throws up.
Then, of course, Prin’s Links for Social Work Students which is well-established compendium of resources! I honestly don’t know how she has the time! But it’s much more than a list of sites – it is a personal journey and log where the character very much comes shining through – and intermingled with the social work links are links to music and my personal favourites which are the Mississippi facts and figures – for me, anyway, it’s a door into a different world – some familiar due to the work-based link but some completely different!
Amy’s Life in Brief relates Amy’s tales of a return to Social Work after a career break – it’s a log of some of the issues and dilemmas she faces in the work that she is undertaking. There is a more personal ring to her writing – certainly than mine anyway, and for that there is a lot of heart there.
Diary of a Burned Out Social Worker is a blog I found more recently. I have been enjoying reading and getting an insight into the life and times of the author. She (again, are we noting a pattern here!) brings a lot of her family into it and some of the work-based scenarios are intermingled. It’s funny sometimes to see how similar a lot of the work is, at the core, regardless of legal and cultural differences.
I only discovered Trench Warfare from Reas Kriocowl, the other day, or rather, I should say, she discovered me! But her observations have made me chuckle – no, actually laugh – more than a few times already. I recognise a lot of the conversations and interactions in the work I do possibly because of the setting she works in.
I’ve also come across Awake and Dreaming which has an interesting perspective from a newly qualified social worker who has just started the path towards..er.. enlightenment! Well, however it comes across she strikes me as having a good handle on reflection and thoughtfulness in any case which serve her extremely well in her career (I hope that doesn’t sound patronising – it isn’t meant to!).
And LA Lady, writing Real Life in Alabama who is a social work student, currently studying for her MA. Who reminds me that possibly my life revolves too much around work – some of those pictures can make me feel insanely jealous (beach, cake… )
edit (sorry.. I mixed up genders. I hope no offence was caused because it was most definitely not intended – not that being male is offensive.. I’d better stop before I get myself into more trouble)
Everyone needs Therapy. Initially I wasn’t sure if the name was ironic or not! But the quality of writing is very high. I have found the content too – dealing with both the personal and the professional.
Those are just a few of the blogs I’ve found written and compiled by social workers that I have enjoyed reading.
Then there are the blogs at Community Care.
This is a slightly different perspective as the are about social work related issues more than personal experiences.
The Social Work Blog does what it says on the tin really! Usually an issue is picked which relates to social work (in the UK!) and considered – and it can trawl up some of the more interesting or unusual pieces that might be more easily missed in the print edition.
Mad World has a similar role, but specifically concentrating on Mental Health policy and news and usually picks up on a few snippets to highlight.
Actually, my inspiration for this post came as I was listening to the Community Care Podcast which I’ve found to be useful and would definitely recommend. I know I have the The Social Work Podcast listed on the sidebar but it’s a bit drier to be honest, and having a focus that is so far removed from my own experiences, doesn’t seem to ‘speak to me’ personally. There is a more academic, therapy-based outlook.
Whereas with the blogs, I find reading about different systems interesting and thought-provoking – with podcasts in some way, I prefer to be able to relate me. Possibly the influence of having radio as a background pretty much throughout my life.
Personally I’ve found the process of writing and reading what others have written to be immensely valuable in terms of personal as well as, possibly, professional development (that waits to be seen really as sometimes I wonder if it makes me more likely to rant.. um.. I mean express my views forcefully).
Possibly because I’ve tended to be one of the younger members of the teams I’ve worked in – although that becomes more likely to change with each passing year (!) I haven’t seen much willingness to embrace technology in general in my workplace, let alone ‘new’ media.
Anyway, I just wanted to give a snapsnot of some of the links (and blogs I hadn’t got round to linking but had intended to) that relate specifically to social work and social workers – and if anyone becomes aware of any others, I’d be glad to know!