In my time working at a non-profit, I have picked up a few things that I can share. Of course, you can’t learn certain things pertaining to social work/ case management through school, only through first hand experience.
- It’s okay to let them know when you don’t know the answer off the top of your head
- Wear clothes you wouldn’t mind throwing away if you end up dirty or exposed to bed bugs
- If you “keep it real” with your clients, they’ll return the favor
- Keep extra paperwork in your bag/ car just in case
- Do not put off your case notes until the end of the month/ billing cycle because you will cry
- Let your teenage clients have the aux cord when transporting them
- Someone will eventually soil themselves/vomit in your car, and it won’t be you
This is just from my personal experience, not everyone will encounter these, especially the last one ( I hope not). I think it’s important to share the unusual situations that occur in social work because most people think we only exist to remove children from their homes (it’s not the case at least 40% of the time).