Saturday, January 13, 2007

Liberal Social Workers

According to this article on social workers' political beliefs, only 10% are conservative. I would have thought it was less, frankly. The study seeks to find out if SW's who are not liberal feel less affiliation with the profession. It's a good article and all that, and those who are interested will find it rewarding. But I want to get to the fun stuff. If you scroll down to Section 5.1 Diversity, you can read the comments from social workers in general about whether conservatives should be welcome. (That's what 'diversity' means in this context.) To be fair, many said yes, different opinions are good, though we can't guess whether they felt that's what they should say. But among the other comments, by people knowing they would be quoted:

“I don’t think conservatives have social work values.”
“By learning about social policy and inequalities that exist in society, an intelligent person may find it difficult to avoid becoming liberal.”
“I think liberals are sufficiently unselfish to be social workers.”
“It helps to have empathy [working in social work]. If one is too far to the right, there goes the empathy.”

I love this one:
“even conservative people may have something beneficial to contribute to the profession…It doesn’t mean that a conservative person has to inflict his values on the client.”
I could tell you a few things about inflicting. There are some even more radical statements (one respondent thought the NASW was too conservative), and there were some voices of moderation.


Joseph said...

Some social workers become conservative after they've seen enough.

Old Wacky Hermit said...

About 10 years ago or so I saw a PBS documentary on social workers for DCFS that scared the crap out of me. I think it was supposed to paint their "plight" in a positive light, but to me it only showed how insane and corrupt the system is. One woman whose case the documentary followed had a daughter accuse her boyfriend of sexual abuse. The woman promptly got rid of the boyfriend, even though the girl had a history of false accusations, and did everything the social workers told her to. They made her go to appointments every day, and when her van broke down and she couldn't get to the appointments and she couldn't get it fixed because she had no money (having quit her job to go to all their appointments), they threatened to take away her children. The social workers were laughing and happy about a woman going on her first child-removal visit, where they removed a child because his home was not in the best condition. I shudder to think what a social worker like those pampered, middle-class brats would think of my home.

jaed said...

I wonder how some of the quoted social workers deal with conservative clients. Is it possible to deal fairly and compassionately with people you have this sort of attitude toward?