What is social work? Social work is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversities are central to social work.
What more can we ask for from these three ladies? And what more needs to be said as these three ladies epitomize the very definition of Social Work?
We sat down with Ilana, Alanna and Diana to learn more about them:
Ilana is relatively new to Reena and has leapt in with both feet, but is very passionate about her work.
Being a social worker means being a voice and an advocate for those who are vulnerable or have fallen on hardship. It means helping individuals, families and communities to navigate complex social service systems and helping those individuals understand their entitlements and rights. It means working within a system which upholds values of equality, individuals’ worth and communal responsibility.
What would you like to share about yourself? “When I’m not advocating for the vulnerable sector, I can imagine myself swimming in a lake in Zurich, Switzerland. After the swim and watching my favorite movie, “Annie”, I would welcome the simple life: where houses self-clean, the fridge is self-stocked, and the kids inside the house would be super well behaved and tidy”.
I think there are a few of us that would sign up for that Utopia.
Diana, who has been with Reena since 2015, believes that being a social worker means advocating for people who are marginalized and might not be able to advocate for themselves. It means using evidence-based practices to provide support to those who need support the most.
What do you do outside of Reena? “When I’m not at work you will find me training for a half-marathon or day dreaming about travelling. I can’t wait to finally travel to Greece or Cyprus and eat pizza all day long. My plans would also include my dog and the calendar on my phone: both of which I can’t live without.”
Social workers are so organized!
Can you tell us about your first client? “My very first client was a woman who lived alone in a high-crime area of the city. I picked her up from her home to take her to an appointment. As we chatted in the car, she told me some of her life story, which had no shortage of hardships and pain. Suddenly she then broke out into song. She sang a Gospel song about waking up every day feeling loved and feeling free.”
Regardless of what goes on in life, this woman still wakes up every day and is grateful for just being alive. It was a moving moment for me: one that taught me about the strength and resilience of the people I support.”
Alanna believes that working together with others to help maximize the quality of life for individuals is what social work really means.
Joining Reena in January 2015, Alanna successfully worked on the cross sector complex care model, and was part of the process that brought five individuals with complex health needs to live and flourish at the Reena Community Residence – simply amazing, Alanna!
What do you like to do outside of work? “You can find me watching basketball, hoping the Raptors win the NBA championship again…and I do love eating chocolate.”
Whatever you do don’t ask her to go skydiving!!! Alanna prefers a warm, exotic, sunny beach or in her dream home, a mountainside house in Hawaii.
Join me in saluting these three amazing staff members, who make up the Social Work Department at Reena.
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