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Being a social worker requires time, dedication and a passion for helping others in need. It is not the type of job where you can punch a time clock and leave at the end of eight hours. A social worker performs a variety of duties and her life is never dull. While no two days are exactly the same, the essential functions of the job do not change.
One of the essential functions of a social worker is to meet and evaluate clients to determine what services are needed to help them. Usually this is done in a private office setting, but there are occasions when social workers have to travel to such places as hospitals to meet with a potential client. Depending on what services are requested, the potential client may be required to fill out forms to determine eligibility.
As with any job, proper documentation of client files is essential when performing the duties of a social worker. It is your responsibility to keep your notes as clearly and accurately as possible in case any consultation comes into question.
In addition, accurate notes on all consultations and visits helps social workers determine when the client has achieved the goals of his treatment plan and is ready to be discharged from care.
Depending on what area of social work you are in, it may be essential to schedule home visits to monitor a client’s progress. This allows a social worker to visit a client’s residence and observe her environment to be sure all areas of the agreed-upon treatment plan are being followed. If an area is lacking, suggestions are made and followed up on during the next home visit.
Sometimes it may be necessary to report progress and initial determinations to the court. This is especially true during child custody and elderly care situations. Court testimony shows how very important it is to properly notate a client’s files and follow up with home visits on a regular basis. A person’s life could very well depend upon your findings.