So, consider with me how the credibility of a social worker would rise in public opinion if the following qualities of character and attitude permeated everything that the SW did.
I want to see a social worker who possesses REALISTIC OPTIMISM and believes that even if things are difficult, there is a way through the impasse, the dysfunction, the contention to see a new beginning for this child or this family. This social worker will display a NON-ANXIOUS PRESENCE, meaning he or she is able to remain calm and at peace even when changes and chaos are occurring. This will enable the SW to bring objectivity and attentiveness to a situation which will go a long way to guiding others. Added to this quality life will be FLEXIBILITY which consists of a quality of heart and mind that permits fresh ideas and course corrections and even unpredictable outcomes. It could be a person’s most valuable asset. Okay now I am reaching for the softer side. I want LOVING TRUTHFULNESS. A facilitator must be able to stand his or her ground when that is necessary and certainly there are times that it is necessary but here is the key. It is to be done with a heart of love. Could that not be underscored in a social work curriculum? It is important. People will trust such a worker and follow counsel and direction. Finally, and this may appear odd, let this social worker exhibit CHILDLIKE CURIOSITY. By that I mean an ability first to listen, deeply, and second to ask powerful questions. A facilitator does not tell people what to do but by listening and asking, the skilled SW will guide people to their own discoveries, solutions, plans, accommodations, or whatever is required to provide a safe and healthy home environment.