Community Building/Self Care for Social Workers in Today’s Complex Times



(The archive of this chat can be found here.)


Many are drawn to the profession of social work because they want to help others, contribute to problems at every level of human interaction, and create lasting societal  change. Newly minted professionals and seasoned veterans in all practice settings give great time, service and energy  in commitment to the betterment of our society. Most social workers routinely encourage clients to set interpersonal boundaries,  tend to their needs and pay attention to the consequences of not doing so.  Unfortunately, in our zeal to do our work well, we may find ourselves caring for others while neglecting care for ourselves. The cost of self-neglect can present as ongoing, relentless stress, that can siphon away one’s overall health and well-being,  show up as compassion fatigue and even result in burn out so severe that we may find ourselves walking away from the field of work we love. Today’s clients present with multi-layered problems requiring skilled navigation through social systems that are often obsolete and ineffective. Social workers are often asked to do more with less. The results can be disastrous with personal and professional consequences.

The social work community has begun to come together to identify the obstacles to self care, assess the high cost of neglect, and has begun to develop a culture of self care, that was not present in years past. Increasingly, as a profession, the need for self-care is being recognized as necessary and  a fundamental professional competency worthy of training, research and resource development.

Questions for discussion:

  • How do you define self-care?
  • How can we develop a strong community of support in creating addressing self care in our work?
  • What personal tips can you share for self care this season?
  • What are the obstacles to self care in light of today’s professional challenges
  • in social work?
  • What are the consequences of putting our client’s (and agency’s) needs above our own?
  • What resources do you use in creating a self-care plan?
  • How do you discuss self care with your students?
  • What have you incorporated into your self care that you have added since last year?

About #MacroSW:

#MacroSW is a collaboration of social workers, organizations, social work schools, and individuals working to promote macro social work practice. Macro social work practice focuses on changing larger systems, such as communities and organizations. It encompasses a broad spectrum of actions and ideas, ranging from community organizing and education to legislative advocacy and policy analysis. The chats are held weekly on Twitter every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST (6 p.m. PST). Click here for a list of chat partners. For information about how to participate in the #MacroSW chat, view our FAQs. For chat schedule and chat archives check out:















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