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Social work is more than just a title

Being a social worker is more than having the title and being professionally registered, said BASW’s Chief Executive Bridget Robb.

Speaking at BASW Cymru’s annual conference, Ms Robb said it was a “proactive choice” borne out of set of values, principles and beliefs that was not defined by employers.

She described how a passion for social work had guided all her career decisions.

“For me social work isn’t just about who I am employed by. My employer requires me to be called a social worker, but that’s their choice.

“I am not defined by being registered, although I am. I am not defined because I have career long friendships in the profession, though I do have. I am not defined because my professional body supports me to be one, although I believe passionately in my professional body.

“I chose my employer, my job, my professional body, because they are committed to social work. Social work is who I am, it is what I am. It has shaped all my choices in life.”

Ms Robb said whenever she found herself in environments that did not share that passion, she moved on.

“It is easy sometimes to say the employer will decide what my job title is, what my career is, who I am allowed to mix with.

“But being a professional is a proactive choice, not a passive acceptance of the demands of others. We are not social workers because the registrar says we have to be – we are social workers because we chose to be social workers. It is a real and positive choice.”