What makes a good social worker? – the Youth Advisors ask

For kids in care, their social worker is very important. So for this edition of the Youth Advisor’s page we asked a few people, ‘What qualities make a good social worker for children and young people in care?’

First, we asked some young people…

  • honesty
  • keep us informed when access changes – tells us why
  • do stuff for us – find me a new placement when I need it, make sure I see my family
  • visit me at my placement – don’t just talk with me on the phone • call us back after we call you • spend time getting to know me
  • ask me what I think about stuff – school, placement, family, the people I live with
  • help me sort out problems at school or in my placement
  • talk to me about how the decisions are made

Then, a youth support worker’s perspective…

  • communicate regularly with youth support workers about changes in arrangements such as access and worker allocation
  • have regular face-to-face contact at their placement, not just in the district centre • show honesty and integrity
  • follow through with promises
  • be fair minded and realistic with expectations
  • be willing to follow up on necessary funding to cover basic needs like education and health
  • provide the necessary support with life decisions

Finally, a social worker themselves…

  • find the time to get out and about to have face-to-face contact with children and young people, rather than just by phone or email.
  • give the children and young people the chance to express their opinions and takes the them into consideration for decision-making. For example, consult with them before annual reviews and when writing case plans.
  • make calls or visits for significant events like the first day at school or to go out for lunch to celebrate a birthday.
  • make regular contact
  • links with as many stakeholders as possible and keep in regular contact to communicate the views of the child or young person in care.

(c) 2021 Guardian for Children and Young People. Terms & Privacy Policy.

We acknowledge and respect Aboriginal People as the traditional owners
and custodians of the land we live and work on, their living culture and their unique role in the life of South Australia.