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"The last few months have been busy! I had two role changes, took the iamsocialwork events to four different cities in the UK across three months and met so many brilliant students and qualified social workers. It brought home the struggles they continue to face and made me wonder what changes are ‘we’ making to ensure the same issues are not faced by them as were faced by me four years ago. And are still faced by me today.

I often struggle with my own limitations to effect change in this job. I keep little in my personal life, which I’m not 100% happy with. It’s a choice I’ve invested in and it pays off. If it doesn’t work, I can make changes easily enough and that’s the beauty of how we live. But it means when I’m placed in work situations, where affecting change is one of the most challenging things to achieve in the public sector, the daily frustrations I face, mean my motivations to do this job effectively a) take a bashing b) impact on how well I’d like to do it and c) I question if the delivery is compromised. Oh and d) I moan. I know there is a crowd that gathers on social media who mirror this frustration. So what can we all do to stop this running us into the ground?


It is often not my, or most frontline workers’ job role to impact organisational change. So why do we want to change anything? And for whose greater good are we doing this; our own or our service users? Serenity tells me I am one of those people who lack the ‘wisdom to know the difference’. Each time the frustrations occur we can choose to change roles or consider a progression to a role where we can be more influential, but the risk is that frustrations could increase tenfold. So accept the daily struggle? Hmm, that’s tough. However, if ruin really is the road to transformation, maybe this element of acceptance is necessary to support an ultimately better outcome. We can hope.

We can of course change it, leave it, or self excavate to understand what our boundaries are, which I cover in my latest double-page spread in Sanctuary Social Work News (October – December  15 issue)."

Zoe Betts, Adult Social Worker and owner of iamsocialwork

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