Being a social worker can be an isolating experience.
We have a unique role in this world, and see things from multiple perspectives. Many of us are trained to use critical thinking and anti-oppressive practices, however we are employed by organizations that ask us to do certain tasks that feel contrary to what we believe ought to be done. Often, we work alongside folks who have more power than us, and who have a very different understanding of what our job ought to be.
Being a social worker can be hard.
We care for folks and struggle to support them with limited resources and imperfect policies. We often experience emotional stress and burnout, vicarious trauma and also associated stigma. Often, we carry our work home with us − both literally and metaphorically. Our thoughts often find themselves with those in our community who struggle due to intersectional injustices.
But being with social workers can be amazing.
When we come together with others working in the same field as us, we can draw strength and resilience from the experience of sharing our stories and reflecting upon the wisdom that can be learned from these connections. We can share best practices, network, and begin to organize around advocacy efforts.
For this reason, we host regular communities of practice events online so that we can create space for folks to gather and meet. We nourish our hearts and spirits when we gather together. We build creativity and resilience, and recharge ourselves. We also consider participation in these events to be a professional development activity.
Our social justice committee is exploring ways to harness this new NSCSW practice so as to mobilize for advocacy and create a community of practitioners who are connected with folks with lived experience and community advocates, as part of our advocacy campaign to address the structural factors of health. If you are interested in learning more and becoming more involved, please contact Naj at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please plan to join one of our future community of practice events! Our next one is at noon on June 2, and will include a breakout group conversation for French-speaking participants.