- Social Work
An in-depth interview that may help you decide whether you'd like to become a support worker.
Note: Social workers and support workers both play a vital role in looking after adults and families dealing with problems ranging from drug addiction through to physical disabilities. Support workers tend to be based in one or a small number of locations, such as hostels and community centres, often living with the people in their care. The biggest difference is that support workers do not need a degree, unlike social workers. Officially, no qualifications are needed to be a support worker, therefore starting salaries are lower than for social workers.
The interviewee wishes to remain anonymous. The name 'Susan' is used as an alias.
I meet Susan on Commercial Drive, one of her rare afternoons off, to learn about the world of support work. Right off the bat, she tells me that she doesn't like interviews; she finds it strange acting as the expert, the one doing all the talking. But as soon as she starts telling me about her work — about her clients, her coworkers, her crazy all-over-the-map schedule — Susan comes alive. Her passion for what she does is obvious.
What does she love most about her job? "Every single day through our work we make tiny little changes," she smiles. "I can't really say that I would do anything else."