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What does a social worker do?

What does a social worker do?

Becoming a social worker means that you have a passion for people and wanting to help them. Social workers are there to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families and entire communities.

The role of a social worker is to assist and protect those in need and affected by a crises. They may get involved in cases that have:

  • Any form of abuse: children, women, the elderly
  • All cases of rape
  • Communities, who lack basic medical care, access to a clean water supply and proper schooling. Other Social workers assess needs on a larger scale. They may plan and administer programs and projects in the communities
  • Community social workers help communities This social worker in the community work directly with individuals and the family system as a howl. By conducting a needs assessments and making referrals to resources in the community.

That is where the Safe House comes in, by getting referrals from the community, extended programs, schools act, the Social Worker at the Safe House looks at the criteria of the safe house and if the client fits the criteria.

The social worker at the Safe House then helps to assist with, counselling on individual level, counselling and networking with family members and other interested parties when necessary. Counsel abused women from the community who are not ready to enter the Safe House. Group work in the day and/or evenings for women in the house.

Social workers can provide services in general to help people cope with different problems that occur in everyday circumstances. Then you get social workers with a special skill set and qualification that can also help to diagnose and treat various mental issues that might occur. The job does require that you live in the area or community you are helping or you should be able to travel to the community on a daily basis.

 Social workers safe house stellenbosch

There are many career paths to choose for a social worker

  • Social workers that focus on children, family and schools
  • Medical social workers: dealing with individuals and families with health issues.
  • Substance abuse and mental health
  • Correctional services
  • Therapeutic social workers.
  • Industrial social workers, working more on a business level, with fabrics, companies, educations and counseling in the work place.
  • Statuary social workers- working with foster care, the family as a howl, courts act.

 

To help the community, certain techniques and programmes can be implemented. These techniques can help build the community and help them to develop their own potential and abilities.

 

Techniques such as:

  • Helping the community with development programmes
  • By starting crisis intervention plans
  • Implementing youth programmes
  • Offering counselling and support for abused women through shelter programmes

 

By being a Social Worker in a Safe House environment, you have to do the following;

  • Individual, family and group work counselling
  • The administration of reports, statistics, clients documents, Safe House documents act.
  • To help monitor medical appointments, emergencies and helping to monitor pregnant girls in labor.
  • Statistics and report writing to Social Development
  • Help to plan programs, community projects act.
  • Help to assist women with protection orders and other legal issues, when necessary.
  • To see that all residents needs are met and rights are respected
  • To see that all residents CV’s are updated, help to look for trainings and education opportunity’s as well as job opportunities.
  • Networking with, other projects, organizations in the area.

Carla Senekal, our Safe House Social worker.

Challenges faced by a social worker

Being in this line of work is not easy and there are many difficulties that a social worker will face. There are many “fires” that need to be extinguished. Social workers are so busy putting out fires that they can’t really focus on the root of the problem.

 

  • They have to deal with the crises first hand
  • It is a high stress job that can affect health
  • Social workers have to deal with a range of different communities; this can lead to dealing with language barriers, violence and even in some cases death threats.
  • It can be difficult to sometimes provide services due to limited resources, limited finances and facilities in which to do their work.

 

There may be trials and challenges but the benefits and results outweigh any of the difficulties that may occur. It is all about making a difference in somebody’s life

You can read an interview with our resident social worker, Carla, here.

How does confidentiality work?

In the Safe House we take confidentiality seriously. We consider Confidentiality is the most important for the therapeutic relationship with the client. It helps the client understand that everything she will say will not be exposed.  Through the sharing of information, that the client feels safe, and the social worker can help the client address an issue, concern, or problem the client may be experiencing. As a Social Worker in the Safe House, confidentiality and the explanation around it, is handled in the very first session with our clients. The Social Worker does not only talk about confidentiality verbally, but signs off on it with a legally binding contract.

 

In the Safe House we address three main confidential points

  • The Social Worker X and Client Y will agree that everything they share and discuss during counselling will stay confidential.
  • That Social Worker X will not disclose anything personal that Client Y trusts her with, except if what the client reveals could possibly be harmful to herself or someone else, or, if sharing what the client has revealed with a professional will help me help the client to the best of my ability.
  • Client Y will not disclose anything personal that Social Worker X trusts her with, except if Client Y feel it will negatively affect others or herself, and only then will she disclose it to a staff member or professional.

 

Skills needed to be a social worker

Being a social worker is a demanding job and requires certain emotional and professional skills. A social worker, even after graduating will always be learning new things and skills. You are never too old to learn new skills, and with the help of a Supervisor, some that guides you in the way forward, training and a lot of research and reading your Children’s Act and Bill of Rights, you will have a guideline, to tackle situations in the right and ethical way.

 

Here are a few qualities that you should have to be a good social worker:

 

  • You must be a good listener, a lot of the time as a social worker you need to listen to people.
  • Have a level of emotional intelligence; this includes empathy and sensitivity towards other people and their circumstances.
  • A certain amount of organizational skills are required
  • Being tolerant, dealing with different cultures and people. Having respect for everybody.
  • Able to communicate effectively
  • You have to be able to set boundaries and create a healthy work and life balance

 

 

Social workers: ‘We are not in it for the income; we are in it for the outcome’

– Social Justice Solutions

 

 

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Posted in Success Stories

16 Days of Activism against gender based violence

16 Days of Activism against gender based violence

What colour will you be wearing for Paint Show Tell this year to support our 16 Days of Activism?

25 November marks the beginning of the international 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence which ends 16 December. Owing the success of last year, Safe House will be running its Paint Show Tell campaign again this year, trusting that the campaign will go viral and really put the spotlight on the life-and-death nature of gender based violence.

The idea of the painted nail as a talking point was inspired by the #PolishedMan, read more here.

So how do you take part?

It’s easy.

  1. Pick any colour nail polish and paint your left index finger nail. If you usually wear nail varnish then, make sure that nail stands out with a contrasting colour.

  2. Donate R100 to Safe House.

  3. Show it off! (post pictures and make a video!)

  4. Convince your friends (including guys!) to do the same.

  5. When someone asks you about your nail, tell them that you are against gender based violence.

You won’t be alone!

Last year, some local celebrities supported Paint Show Tell.

The mayor of Stellenbosch.

16 days of activism against gender based violence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director Regardt  van der Berg and his wife lovely Clara

Safe House 16 Days paint show tell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maties Rugby Club

Watch this adorable video that these ‘manne’ made to support our cause.

 

And well known actor Armand Aucamp!

 

You too can be a lifelong Friend of Safe House by donating just R100+ per month. Click here to find out more.

Want to know what a day at Safe House involves for the victims who find themselves there? Read this article.

Meet our team!

Donate.

Volunteer.

 

 

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Posted in Success Stories

Annual General Meeting: Progress and Determination to do even more

Annual General Meeting: Progress and Determination to do even more

The Safe House annual general meeting, held on 22 September in Stellenbosch, opened with some scary statistics. Safe House manager Lee Rossouw reported that,

“Three women are killed every day at the hands of their intimate partner. That’s one every eight hours, and South Africa has a femicide rate five times higher than any other country in the world.”

But if you believe that those are just faceless, nameless statistics, then you are very much mistaken. At Stellenbosch Safe House those shocking records of abuse against women show up at their door on a daily basis. Since its inception in 2006 and opening of its doors in 2008, Safe House has given shelter to more than 400 women and children. Lee went on to explain that Safe House is the only shelter for abused women in the Greater Stellenbosch Municipal District, Helderberg and Overberg region, and so the need for a place of safety far outweighs their capacity to take in everyone who reaches out for help.

“Currently we only have eleven beds, but we have approved plans to expand in the near future – although we are not sure where all the money will come from for the necessary expansions. We have also just learned that with our adding more rooms and beds, we will also need to upgrade our kitchen and are currently busy with that undertaking.”

As a registered non-profit organisation, Safe House relies heavily on funding and donations from the community.

Safe House Stellenbosch team

Safe House team from Left: Skills trainer Charlene , Finances Aletia, Manager Lee and social worker Blanchè  .

 

 

Main contributors to the income of the Safe House in the past year were:

Department of Social Development: 44.98%

Larger contributors >R100 000 per entity: 25.66%

Medium contributors >R10 000 per entity: 19.37%

Small contributors <R10 000 per entity or individual: 9.99%

As you can see from the financial report, nearly 10 % of the Safe House’s income comes from many smaller contributions.

“It’s our goal to grow our Friends of the Safe House initiative, where people donate just R100 or R200 per month. That little bit adds up and goes a long way to sustain our cash flow for basic necessities,” Lee says.

The AGM was also the perfect opportunity to give special acknowledgement to the regular and loyal donors and volunteers, not to mention the staff who work relentlessly and are emotionally invested in every woman who enters the Safe House. To say thank you to her team, Lee gave each one of them a crown as a symbol of their immeasurable worth to the organisation.

The new executive committee was also announced at the meeting.

Safe House’s next awareness campaign will start in November: Paint Show Tell. Click here to learn more.

The meeting was closed with these inspirational words by John Wesley.

 

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Safe House always welcomes donations and volunteers.

 

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Posted in Success Stories

We, at Safe House, recognise Strength in Femininity

We, at Safe House, recognise Strength in Femininity

Too often we see women who give up on their femininity, or start viewing being feminine as a weakness. 9 August was Women’s Day, and this month we, at Safe House Stellenbosch, want to ask all women out there to embrace their God given femininity and realise that being a woman does not make you weak.

What is femininity?

Femininity is depicted in many ways, and if the media is anything to go by, then women misuse their femininity to take advantage of others. They dolly themselves up to be flirtatious and seductive. But this is the world’s idea of being a woman – and there is much more to owning the fact that you are a woman. The strength we are talking about is an inner strength.

Safe House Stellenbosch

Finding strength in your femininity is about embracing your womanhood and allowing yourself to be authentic. It’s about harnessing the things that make you you: your kindness and nurturing nature. Although femininity is also about your softer outside appearance, it’s more about who you are in the inside.

What does the Bible say?

God has made women different purposefully. Physically, they are different, being generally delicate and crafted to bear and nurse children, and they have different emotional needs as well. In the Bible Peter tells husbands to treat their wives in an understanding way because they are different, being women, and men need to understand this (1 Peter 3:7). Women shouldn’t be yelled at, threatened physically, or intimidated by men. They should be treated with sensitivity, care, and respect. Women shouldn’t have to compete with men in terms of “toughness,” for their strength is different. Women are clearly different physically and emotionally in terms of how God has made them and wired them. They need to accept this, and men need to honour this reality.

A woman must guard her heart above all else, and she must be free to be who God made her to be. She is different than man, she is the complement for man, and she has different roles in marriage than the man. True womanhood is doing all that she does, regardless of where she presently is in life, to the honour and glory of God by honouring His Word.

women-are-like-teabags-we-dont-know-our-true-strength-until-we-are-in-hot-water-8

We at Safe House, aim to empower the women who find themselves in our shelter with their God given femininity. We provide opportunities for employment, skills training and counselling.

If you are being abused and need help, please contact us.

If you would like to become involved in our cause, please sign up to be A Friend of the Safe House. We also welcome any donations and volunteers.

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Posted in Articles, Success Stories

‘Let’s honour the fathers,’ says Safe House

‘Let’s honour the fathers,’ says Safe House

 

16 June is Father’s day. While this isn’t an official holiday, it does give us the opportunity to turn our attention to fathers the world over and honour those who do right with their children and families as leaders, providers and protectors. As a Christian run organisation, we at Safe House Stellenbosch, have a very real understanding of how vital the role of the father is the home. Above all else, a father is the earthly example of Father God (Abba Father) our heavenly Father.

 

What does it mean to be a father?

 

Does biology alone make man a father? It’s unlikely that in this day and age any person believes this fact on it’s own is true. Many factors add up to fatherhood, and biology isn’t necessarily one of them. So many more children are being raised by their moms because of divorce, but also by their mother’s new partner or husband. These men are stepping up to plate and participating in the children’s lives like a dad would: attending school meetings, supporting the children financially, disciplining them but also nurturing them in the home .

 

fathers-day-quotes-from-daughter-1

But what does it mean to be a father? Fatherhood is a privilege that comes with an immense amount of responsibility, but essentially it means is to love a child and always do what is in the child’s best interest while taking on the role of moulding them for adulthood. But above all else it is Love. It is a love that is instinctively translated into five languages, namely: words of affirmation,  performing acts of service, giving and receiving gifts, spending quality time and physical touch (Read Gary Chapman’s book The 5  Love Languages).

 

We at Safe House would like to honour the fathers this Father’s Day and say thank you. Thank you for loving your sons without restraint and giving them the freedom to express their emotions and for showing them how to be fathers themselves one day. Thank you for loving your daughters in a way that teaches them how they should be respected and treated by their husbands in the future. Thank you for striving to be a Godly example of God’s love for us by demonstrating that fatherly love to your children.

 

Become involved in Safe House by making a donation or becoming an official friend of our organisation by donating just R100 per month. Keen to become a volunteer? Click here.

 

 

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