March is Social Worker Appreciation Month
This month is Social Work Month, and this year’s theme of “Social Workers Are Essential” is a great reminder of the vital role social workers play in the well-being of our communities. They take on the challenging task of helping people to overcome major difficulties such as poverty, substance abuse, and, in the case of a hospice social worker, facing death.
As part of an interdisciplinary team, a hospice social worker focuses on providing support to both the patient and their family/caregiver(s) during some of the most vulnerable life experiences. The tasks they are responsible for include but are not limited to:
- Providing counseling and psychosocial education to patients and caregivers about coping skills, hospice care philosophy, and much more
- Facilitate advance care planning and lifespan planning
- Intervene in social crises, mediate conflicts within families
- Participate in interdisciplinary team meetings, care planning, and ethics consultations
- Advocate on behalf of the patient and family
- Identify and link patients and their families with resources
The Challenges and Rewards of Social Work
Being a social worker in hospice means witnessing – on a daily basis – the struggle to find meaning in the face of death. They have the unique opportunity to help people to identify, try to answer, and live with core existential questions.
While this can be a challenging role to take on, there is also great reward in becoming a social worker. They have the opportunity to truly help people and make a difference in their lives, standing by them as they face some of life’s most difficult challenges. Providing this level of support and empowerment to people is something that sticks with you and can lead to self-growth and improvement for the social worker, as well.
Social work is a versatile career path, offering the opportunity to deliver unique and effective services no matter what your interests or background may be. Whether it be as a therapist, a juvenile court liaison, or a hospice social worker, there are many directions one can go in this field. There is also great opportunity for growth, as the need for social workers is projected to increase 13% from 2019 to 2029.
So if you are someone who is passionate about supporting and advocating for others, a career in social work may be the path for you. Take it from our Social Workers Kenda and Lily, who witness the great challenges and even greater rewards of a career in social work every day.
Thank you – Kenda, Lily, and Social Workers everywhere – for all that you do to support us in our greatest times of need!