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Social workers mark social day

Published: 22 March 2019

The Department of Human Services (DHS) marked World Social Work Day on Tuesday (19 March) by highlighting the contribution Departmental social worker, Lisa Valli made to the Townsville community following its devastating floods last month.

Ms Valli (pictured) was part of a team of social workers who helped locals claim disaster recovery payments, contact insurers, or just help them deal with the situation.

“Traumatic events are so overwhelming,” Ms Valli said.

“It can be hard for people who’ve been through a natural disaster to process what’s happened.”

She said that for most people the experience was very different from anything they’d gone through before.

“And if they aren’t supported correctly, it can lead to feeling their world is no longer safe.”

She said a key part of her role was to support people to feel safe and secure again and help them access the range of assistance available.

Between 5 and 19 February, there were close to 300 face-to-face referrals to Department social workers, and more than double this requested over the phone.

Ms Valli said the team focused on encouraging people to make an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment claim.

“We also connected people to local services and support networks,” she said.

DHS said World Social Work Day recognised the important role social workers like Ms Valli play in helping people in times of crisis.

This year’s theme is Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships.

National President of the Australian Association of Social Workers, Christine Craik told DHS that World Social Work Day was important in raising awareness of the vital contribution of social workers.

“Social workers are very important to Centrelink customers,” Ms Craik was reported as saying.

“Their work includes helping them access other services to address the complex issues which often contribute to them needing Centrelink assistance in the first place, such as in times of crisis like natural disasters, family violence or mental health,” she said.

Read the full article on PS News.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers