There’s a crisis in social care. We have an ever increasing aging population; vulnerable families are being hit hard by the government’s tough stance on welfare; and people with disabilities are living longer and rightly expect to live a full and active life. Contributing to a perfect storm are the undeniable facts that the social care budget is being cut, organizations are expected to do more with less, and social workers are under increasing pressure. This article at Community Care highlights the stress that social workers are experiencing.
The right employee can transform the life of a vulnerable person.
With the crisis in social work constantly being reported in the media, social work organizations are finding it increasingly tough to find the right employees. What organizations value in candidates is a real desire to help the vulnerable people they support. Finding the right worker to support a vulnerable person can quite simply change someone’s life. This is clearly illustrated by the moving story of Nick, a customer of support provider Advance.
Employers know that volunteers make great employees.
Social work organizations are plagued by high staff turnover and a pool of people who simply want a job, rather than being motivated by a desire to change the life of a vulnerable person. So how does an organization determine whether an employee has a passion for social work? By seeing that someone has been a volunteer, it’s a pretty accurate indicator that they have a real desire to carve out a career in social work. What this means for job hunters is that it pays to gain volunteering experience, and it can mark you out as an exceptional candidate in the eyes of most employers. As Norman Lamb, ex Social Care Minister once stated, ‘a great army of volunteers exist who can provide some of the solutions to the challenges we face’.
Volunteering gives you an invaluable insight into the world of social work jobs.
Employers know the real value of volunteers. That’s why leading charities such as Mencap advertise a wide range of volunteer positions. For people keen to get into social work, volunteering can often act as a springboard into a paid position. Importantly, it also means that you’re better prepared when you start work, as you’ve already experienced the challenges (and successes) as a volunteer and have gained invaluable insight into the world of social work.