What are the benefits of using the services of a social worker?
By Karen Spurrier, PhD
Often people associate social workers with “taking away children” or working with abused children. That assumption is correct but social workers have so much more to offer clients.
Social workers can be employed in government organisations such as the Department of Social Services (DSD), or in non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Child Welfare or they can be employed by the private sector in companies who provide mental health services to their own staff or clients’ staff (Occupational Social Work). They may be deployed in schools, hospitals, prisons or small businesses and corporates.
Then there are Social Workers in private practice. A person cannot be called a social worker if they are not registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professionals (SACSSP). This is not an optional registration and must remain current. Anyone can check the validity of a social worker’s registration on the (www.sacssp.co.za) registration. Private Social Workers may also be registered (not required) with the South African Association for Social Workers in Private Practice (SAASWIPP).
Private social workers are able to deliver the following services (amongst others):
· Personal, family & group counselling; one-on-one by appointment or online through Zoom/Teams
· Team or personal trauma counselling
· Court reports: SWs are often appointed by the court, clients or attorneys to produce reports about the situations of their clients;
· Child visitation and access
· Home visits in a supervisory or monitoring role
· Assisting employee assistance programs (EAPs)
Some social workers expand their offerings with further training in Parenting co-ordination, supervised access visitation, family law mediation (divorce, parenting plans and Section 22, maintenance issues and more).