Thursday, April 18, 2024

Promoting Resilience in Children and Youth: Strategies that social workers use

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What is resilience?

Different people respond differently to hardships and challenges in life. Some give up easily and surrender to the challenges that life throws at them. Others keep moving forward and get back up whenever they stumble and fall. Such people are highly motivated, ambitious, and resilient.

Resilience is the capacity to recover from hardship. It refers to one’s ability to deal with, overcome, and emerge stronger from the unavoidable difficulties, crises, and setbacks you encounter. Resilience depends on various skills and sources of support, including good reasoning abilities, mental and physical well-being, and connections to others around you. We all confront several challenges daily, for which we must tap into our reservoirs of resilience. Thus, resilience is not always about conquering enormous obstacles.

Resilience is based on four different characteristics that are described below:

  • Awareness: having awareness is being conscious of your surroundings and your thoughts.
  • Thinking: being able to comprehend what is happening rationally requires thinking.
  • Seeking help refers to how we seek support when we need it since resilience also involves knowing when to do so.
  • Fitness refers to our capacity to handle difficulties on a mental and physical level.

Some humans are generally strong-headed and do not need additional support to build resilience. However, many people will require professional guidance to help them recover from a certain hardship and the emotional damage it causes. If you do not have enough resilience, you may linger on issues, feel victimized, get overloaded, or adopt destructive coping mechanisms like addiction to substances, eating disorders, or harmful behaviors. It is important to note that resilience does not prevent people from going through stress, mental turmoil, or suffering, and it is vital to remember this. The ability to endure emotional anguish and grief is a sign of resilience.

What is a social worker?

Social workers are knowledgeable individuals who teach people different methods and skills for making informed choices and navigating life. They provide aid and the necessary tools to help people of all origins, ages, and life experiences overcome emotional, social, and behavioral challenges.

Working in hospitals, schools, clinics, elderly centers, and other civic organizations, social workers engage with individuals, groups, and families struggling with ongoing common issues. Many of these professionals can make a positive impact on the lives of their clients.

Social workers can be direct and clinical based on the type of services they offer. The roles and duties of both of these social workers are explained below in detail:

Clinical services social workers: Clinical social workers have received training in diagnosing and treating patients’ emotional and behavioral issues. They provide therapy for illnesses including depressive disorders and anxiety through private practice, medical facilities, and mental health organizations, where they visit individuals, families, and groups.

Direct services social workers: People dealing with challenging daily issues and significant life events can get support and assistance from a direct service social worker. Some common problems people might seek help from direct social workers include domestic violence, drug abuse, addiction, divorce issues, educational support, etc. Sometimes, the government employs social workers during natural disasters and similar crises.

Skills necessary to build resilience among youth and adults

Challenges frequently occur in various life situations, whether at home, school, or the job. It would be best to have the resilience to overcome those obstacles and succeed. You can use resilience as a skill at every step of your professional development. Below is a list of abilities that can help you increase your resilience.

Staying connected with other people One of the key components of resilience is connecting with others who can support and care for you. By forming new relationships, for example, having various interactions that provide love, support, and reassurance can help build and sustain resilience.

Being adaptable is, by definition, an important part of resilience and a major contributor to emotional growth and maturity. To achieve this, one must be flexible in ideas and behavior, for example, by attempting something new.

Being able to create practical plans and implement them by taking action. This talent includes focusing on what is rather than what you would desire. This ability includes being forceful rather than aggressive or quiet and proactive rather than reactive.

Being able to control intense emotions Action-taking without being impulsive or reacting emotionally is necessary for this. It includes setting feelings aside when reason and action are called for. A crucial aspect of this talent is the capacity to control one’s emotions through thought. Think things over before acting, for instance, if you are upset or irritated.

Being assured of oneself If someone is to be able to face and handle fear and anxiety in life, such as through assisting someone else, they must have a positive self-image.

Being Self-confident The faith that you can achieve is known as self-confidence. It is a special kind of courage that enables you to take on a problem confidently in your ability to perform, no matter how difficult. Numerous professional settings can benefit from self-assurance. When managing a significant project at work, having self-confidence can prevent you from getting sidetracked by potential setbacks and instead help you concentrate on producing a high-quality final product. If you have this skill, you might be able to focus on your strengths during job interviews rather than comparing yourself to other applicants.

Being capable of discovering meaning and purpose It is essential to interpret what is occurring and find meaning in it if one wants to control the emotions triggered during a crisis. This feature frequently includes practicing one’s religion or one’s spirituality, as well as living out one’s principles.

Being able to look after oneself, including one’s food, exercise, and financial situation. Major offenders in this sector are frequently first responders and healthcare workers. The rules indeed apply to them, despite their frequent assumption to the contrary. Create a SMART Plan for your workouts.

Being Flexible The ability to handle stress without negatively affecting your health is referred to as flexibility as a professional quality. You can handle challenging situations if you are versatile. Suppose a client asks for substantial changes to the project’s schedule after it has been prepared, for example. In that case, flexibility might help you endure the stress of additional work. You can face difficulties and discomfort with elegance and emotional control with patience. A patient appreciates the value of delayed gratification and knows that putting up with suffering now might result in later rewards. Your ability to remain calm under pressure will help you stay centered on your career and personal objectives, and it will encourage your coworkers to see you as a resource they can rely on.

Why is it important to build resilience in children and youth?

Children go through developmental phases as they mature into adults, and what happens to them at different stages might affect the outcomes. Resilient children grow, spread out, and bloom when the mechanisms that promote their healthy development—such as good families and environments—work together. These children are more likely to fight challenges, overcome them, learn from them, and go on to grow and succeed in healthy ways.

Nobody can promise that children and young people will live without difficulties. Young people require protective factors to young people require protective factors. To help shield them from potential problems. Young people’s resilience can be encouraged and facilitated by caring and socially conscious adults, such as family members, neighbors, teachers and other school personnel, spiritual leaders, healthcare professionals, and social service workers).

Resilient children often have empathy or the capacity to comprehend and empathize with others’ feelings. They frequently have strong communication skills and problem-solving abilities. They are committed to studying and have a keen interest in education. Goal-achieving motivation drives them. They are engaged in worthwhile pursuits. They have optimism for the future. They have a close bond with at least one adult. They also reside in households and communities that are secure and productive.

Resilient children might be motivated to become even more resilient. Additionally, resilience can be developed in kids who appear to lack it.

What are some useful strategies for social workers to promote positive outcomes?

A social worker may encourage successful results by fostering a culture of kindness, compassion, and trust. To effectively communicate, the social worker must be honest and open with their client.

A social worker must establish a secure environment where clients can express themselves without fear of rebuke or criticism. The social worker will thus be better equipped to comprehend the client’s situation and offer targeted interventions and assistance suitable for their particular requirements.

The social worker should also collaborate with the client to create attainable objectives and plans to yield fruitful results. Some of such strategies are described below in detail:

Care management

The implementation of community care addresses the requirements of adult social and medical care, which is directly related to care management. Earlier performances had a top-down management structure and relied on the benefits system, which increased the government’s social security costs. Throughout time, more freedom has been granted to neighborhoods, promoting independence, personal preference, and local authority.

Strategies that are strength and solution-based

Social care practices that are strengths-based and solution-focused foster relationships with service users while respecting their individuality. These social work techniques emphasize people’s intrinsic capacity to develop by expanding on their abilities rather than on risk management and what they lack.

The strengths-based approach is founded on several fundamental ideas, including the following:

  • Adversity and trauma may provide opportunities and serve as a source of endurance,
  • It is important to avoid making assumptions about a person’s ability to develop and change.
  • Everyone has strengths, including each person, their family, group, and community.
  • The ideal practice is collaboration.
  • Resources abound in all environments.

Importantly, these strategies focus on resolving issues at hand while developing assets and abilities for the future. Additionally, they are adaptable and effectively blend with other social work techniques and methods to improve outcomes.

Group work

Group work is an effective strategy and method in social work and has been a mainstay of the discipline since the 1930s. Numerous advantages of group work exist, including social control, education, and treatment. Others are more organic, enabling the group’s purpose to evolve through time, in contrast to those with predefined results or aims. For instance, a social worker may start a support group for local women with major mental health problems or veterans.

When participating in group activities, being conscious of individual and group dynamics is critical. Along with the stages they go through, it considers the relationships and communication within the group.

Narrative social work

The narrative technique adopts a different strategy from that of professionals, viewed as experts who enter the scene and offer their (often constrained) perspective on the circumstance (Cooper, 2020). It acknowledges that issues are frequently discovered in the larger system of interactions rather than with a person.

In narrative therapy, it is acknowledged that deeds are only deeds and do not define a person. As a result, they are modifiable. Asking the person what guidance they would offer a buddy in a similar position is a frequent tactic in narrative social work. Asking the person what guidance they would offer a buddy in a similar situation is a frequent tactic in narrative social work. Asking the person what guidance they would offer a buddy in a similar case is a frequent tactic in narrative social work.

Specific social work strategies to bring positive outcomes among young children

Intervention techniques used by school social workers might change based on the institution’s requirements and the particular kids. These interventions often entail helping kids in various ways, including with their academics, behavior, mental, social, and emotional growth, drug avoidance, college/career preparation, and more. Therefore, when working with children, social workers make use of some specific intervention strategies, which are:

  • Collaborating with educators to develop individualized education programs for kids.
  • Working with other experts, such as psychologists, counselors, and healthcare specialists, to create treatments specific to the student’s requirements entails health concerns with evidence-based methods, such as dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT).
  • Teaching pupils the value of taking care of themselves and learning coping mechanisms.
  • Offering advice and resources for chances in higher education or the workforce.
  • Assisting families in finding local resources for support, such as food banks or financial aid programs.

School social workers can assist students in realizing their full potential and achieving their academic objectives by using the above-mentioned efficient intervention techniques and offering personalized assistance to young children and adolescents.

What are the characteristics of an exemplary social worker?

Social workers need to possess a particular yet broad range of personal traits and professional standards since they deal with such a wide range of individuals and in such a diversity of settings:

  • Social professionals must have compassion and care for others.
  • Since they are trusted with confidential information, they should also have a strong sense of integrity.
  • Social workers ought to consistently fight for their patients’ and clients’ rights in the social justice arena.
  • When dealing with challenging situations, they must be kind and patient.
  • Social workers must be disciplined and ready to establish limits to prevent burnout.
  • Professionals in social work must also thoroughly understand behavior, the impact of social, cultural, and financial structures on people’s lives, the interactions between individuals and institutions, and the significance of interpersonal relationships.

How to pursue a career as a social worker?

The most common questions that might arise in your mind after reading this information are, “How can I become a social worker?” or “How can I pursue a career in this unique field?”

The answer is easy. Like every other profession, you must get the right education and qualifications to become a social worker. The most common degree that will help you career kick-start your social work career is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree, which is the basic requirement for all entry-level social work positions.

Students enrolling in a social work bachelor’s program are prepared for entry-level or case administration jobs; for students who enroll immediately after high school, finishing the core subjects, general education, and optional curriculum takes around four years. To get a BSW degree, students must complete available education courses to improve their communication, ethics, and fundamental academic abilities; electives to explore their particular interests; social work-specific coursework; an extensive research project; and clinical rotations or apprenticeships in real-world settings.

Similarly, a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) opens doors to more work opportunities for aspiring social workers. Since it offers the chance to become a licensed social worker, an MSW degree is typically necessary for more specialized social work positions, such as those in clinical settings.

Depending on the student’s educational background and the subject of study for the bachelor’s degree, a certain amount of time may be needed to complete this degree. Keuka College also offers a well-designed and unique online MSW option, allowing working professionals to continue their education from the comfort of their homes.

William J. McGoldrick
William J. McGoldrick
Passionate beer maven. Social media advocate. Hipster-friendly music scholar. Thinker. Garnered an industry award while merchandising cannibalism in Gainesville, FL. Have some experience importing human hair in Minneapolis, MN. Won several awards for consulting about race cars in the government sector. Crossed the country developing strategies for clip-on ties in Washington, DC. Spent a weekend implementing Virgin Mary figurines in West Palm Beach, FL. Had moderate success promoting Elvis Presley in Ocean City, NJ.

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