Understanding the essence of life and living is important in attempting to engage and opined in this discourse. I believe that the identity of an individual, safety and the pursuit of happiness are central to human beings. The fluidity and uniqueness of every social problem inform that social workers should be flexible and open-minded by addressing the issues with the most effective strategies. The application of theories to practice and the interconnectivity of both, through critical analysis, is a starting point. The social and inhumane issues faced by these incredibly brave women taught me to focus holistically and be empathetic by riding along on social issues that I’m meant to address and live the experience with the individual or group. Equality, safety, fairness which are encapsulated in the human right is an integral part of life to every individual. Showing true concern through effective communication while employing conversation focus strategies can help build trust and a sense of belonging. I think recognizing and identifying the issues with them is important and the effect on them could better be understood when compared with the fairway of treating people in general – especially children. Thinking outside the square and critically analyzing the issues by looking beyond how the problems/issues presents will give a better understanding of the issues. This is to help critique the social problem and understand the underlying issues.
Their stories also taught me that social justice is core in social work practice and the route to social justice is by addressing the social issues. The ability to critique social issues and relate those issues with an individual ecological system or unique experiences while actively involving person involved is key to achieving social justice. The process of addressing these issues through service delivery have opened opportunities for social workers to become more informed and involved in fearless critical analysis and advocacy.
I did learn to identify the reason behind the social problem people are facing or may face which may be one or many. Good understanding of prevailing social issues like denial, abandonment, loss and grief, loss or feeling of loss of identity, loss of loved ones, low self-esteem, the dignity of risk, feeling of exclusion and isolation etc are key to the successful tackling of these issues. The methodology used when trying to build trust and confidence of clients is just as important. A good way to engage with people facing social issues of this nature is to identify their strength and focus on these areas through interaction but intervention focused, which is aimed at shifting focus away from the problems and any form of label.
It is also very important to understand the usefulness of social activities when addressing social issues – especially of this nature in discourse. As a social worker, employing the use of specific social activities when necessary, will help to achieve a goal or set of goals. This should be explored in line with areas of interest of the person or group involved. This process is better with inclusiveness in mind as this will help create a common language or communication avenue for a better result. Acknowledging the reality of people being abused and chastised in different ways and in varying degree implies that collaborative effort from relevant professionals will help yield a better result. This means that as a social worker, it is important to identify, recommend and involve other professionals.
I also think that these brave women stories informed me to understand that social issues happen anywhere, from any class in the society and social workers should have a staying power and focus on the issue. This also means that qualities like resilience, goal oriented and attention to details are invaluable.
I can argue that the biggest lesson learned from these outstandingly courageous women stories is for social workers like myself to identify and recognize that there are social issues and that these issues are part of victim’s life experiences and to note that every piece of information is vital in attempting to be that positive change agent.
My ideas about social work were reiterated in the study of community work which recognized and emphasized the importance of a relationship. Our commonness which is our shared humanity is like the baseline to commence meaningful conversation while attempting to solve social issues. To be pragmatic, it might be difficult to eradicate the social problem completely, but recognizing that by nature, our job as social workers brings hope is an encouraging factor to keep and believe in the vision of making the world a better place.
Another area that was interesting is, understanding the challenges in diversity but, more importantly focusing and exploring strength in diversity by finding ways to co-habit in peace and tranquillity and promote wellbeing. I believe critiquing the socio-cultural system with a view to integrating will help checkmate social issues – especially diversity related. There is the need to engage in a debate that will yield a sophisticated goal-oriented result that considers the well-being of an individual irrespective of socially constructed differences. Information and orientation of the populace to respect the commonness of humanity perhaps would have made a reasonable difference in the way these brave women were treated.
The five stories monograph was rather an unfortunate experience. It reiterates the importance of enlightenment, freedom of choice and respect for individuals. The need for child-centered practices even before birth cannot be overemphasized. The government of nations and international organizations for human rights and freedom, as a matter of urgency, need to prioritize and enact laws that focus on the wellbeing of individuals as early as possible. The reality that child abuse is still prevalent in our society is troubling and justifies my profession’s interest in child rights. Therefore, implementation of child-centered practice holistically in its ecological perspective provides and promotes comprehensive orientation to children and children services in a society which help children to realize their individuality, confidence, potential and other possibilities for a responsible living.
In cessation, proactively preventing and addressing social issues is very important. Also, as a social worker, painstakingly piecing information together through critical thinking and information gathering while living the journey with the people or person involved to help obtain social justice and wellbeing for client(s) is crucial.
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