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The Role of Faith in Social Work

Introduction

Challenges in everyday life are inevitable, and social work involves taking action to alleviate the adverse outcomes associated with these negative encounters. Therefore, social work utilizes a humanitarian and compassionate approach based on the professional knowledge base and skills to institute social change by helping vulnerable people resolve everyday challenges (Thompson, 2020). While social work is not associated with Christianity, social workers have found ways to integrate faith into their profession. Chamiec-Case identified different integration models that social workers can use to incorporate faith into their discipline, including latent integration and calling or coping and sustaining frameworks. The coping model describes me best because God called me into a different career path that involves taking care of others in the last year.

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How Social Workers Integrate Faith into their Careers

The significance of faith in social work dates back to the beginning of the discipline. According to Harris et al. (2017), professional social work developed from Judeo-Christian initiatives in charity and community service. Religious groups and churches owned numerous agencies such as children’s homes and shelters to help vulnerable people. Social agencies such as Catholic Social Services and the Salvation Army inspired the beginning of helping people as a profession by introducing social work to higher education (Harris et al., 2017). Therefore, social workers are inclined to integrate faith into their careers because of this background.

Latent and sustaining models are some approaches that social workers can integrate faith into their careers. Social workers with a Christian background practice latent integration consciously or unintentionally (Chamiec-Case, 2008). Such employees relate their work to the Christian faith based on the tenets of the religion. The social workers practice latent integration by adhering to Christian teachings like kindness, honesty, and respecting other people’s faiths.

The calling model, also known as the sustaining or coping framework, is another model that social workers can integrate into their profession. Many social workers admit that they select the profession because they feel “called” to serve others (Garland, 2015). The model involves upholding the standards of the profession despite the challenges by finding motivation through faith (Chamiec-Case, 2008). Faith helps social workers cope with the profession’s challenges and motivates them to continue serving others like God served humanity (New International Version, 1973/2011, John 3:16-21). The workers use Christian teachings to confirm, clarify, and support their work.

Chamiec-Case’s Model that Describes me Best

The sustaining or coping model of integrating faith and the social work profession best describes me because it resonates well with my rationale for selecting the job. I believe that my career choice is not a coincidence but a divine intervention by God to help me achieve my calling in helping others. Enrolling at Liberty University was part of God’s plan for me to pursue a career that involves serving others. I believe that I am called to serve humanity, just like God served us by sacrificing his only son. God’s strength motivates me to complete my undergraduate degree, and the same zeal will make me help people effectively.

Conclusion

Social workers integrate faith in their profession using models like the latent and coping integration frameworks. The latent model involves the intentional and unintentional incorporation of faith into practice to facilitate service. At the same time, the coping framework motivates social workers and helps them cope with the profession’s challenges. I resonate more with the calling model because I believe God called me into a different work last year to fulfill my vocation to serve human beings.

References

Chamiec-Case, R. (2008). Exploring the filtering role of Christian beliefs and values in the integration of Christian faith and social work practice. Social Work & Christianity, 34(4), 498-512.

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Garland, D. S. R. (2015). Why I am a social worker: 25 Christians tell their life stories. North American Association of Christians in Social Work.

Harris, H., Yancey, G., Myers, D., Deimler, J., & Walden, D. (2017). Ethical integration of faith and practice in social work field education: A multi-year exploration in one program. Religions, 8(9), 177. Web.

New International Version Bible. (2011). Biblica. (Original work published 1973)

Thompson, N. (2020). Understanding social work: Preparing for practice. Red Globe Press.

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