The five characters you find in every Social Work office

The five characters you find in every Social Work office

The one who goes off on mysterious ‘home visits’ at 3pm (but you all secretly think is getting their hair done or going shopping)


This Social Worker is an enigma and some of the newer members of the team may doubt they even exist. Rarely seem before 10am in the morning and always out on ‘home visits’ by 3pm, the office rumours are that they are actually skiving off early and getting up late every morning. They have somehow managed to avoid the manager’s wrath because everybody else is so busy working.

The one who threatens to quit all the time (usually the longest-serving member of the team)


First thing on a Monday morning, when asked to take on a new case or when the duty phone rings for the hundredth time that day, this worker will confidently proclaim to one and all ‘that’s it, I’m handing in my notice!’. They will regularly contact recruitment agencies, search local job listings and talk about moving to neighbouring authorities where the grass is greener. Of course, they never carry through on this threat and have usually been a stoic member of the team for a decade or two.

The super enthusiastic bright young worker who gets all the Court work (manager in training)


Usually first in the office in the morning, late-night visits and regularly working from home are the norm for this bright young thing who is destined for the top. Their name never appears on the ‘naughty list’ of late recording and they are regularly heralded by management as being an example to all…. With management conveniently forgetting that this Social Work champion works 30 hours free overtime a week to keep on top of things.

The one who can’t use a computer properly


This worker has a canny knack of buddying up with someone in the team who considers themselves ‘good with computers’ and will spend at least an hour a week on the phone to IT. If you’re a neat and organised worker, looking at this worker’s computer screen will give you heart palpitations as you see their desktop crammed with a collection of random files.

The one who’s great with service users, but is always late with paperwork


If you needed a Social Worker, you’d want it to be them. They are lovely on the phone to service users, always go the extra mile to make people happy and everyone speaks of how committed they are to helping others. The only problem is that they are so busy actually spending time with people, that their paperwork is always out of date.

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  1. Sounds like an office that has little or no training and no training in self care. These are all signs of traumatized workers who are using inappropriate behaviors for self care.