Realizing that the social worker's role is strongly influenced by the current trends and changes shaping the 21st century, this paper will look at the current role of social worker. The first part will generally discuss the important functions of social worker in the society. Afterwards, this paper will specifically expound on the crucial part played by the social worker in multidisciplinary teams.
Generally, social workers carry out six basic functions in the society. Firstly, social workers are often seen as counselors who help various individuals in addressing their personal dilemmas. This counseling role has been a "powerful and recurrent ideas throughout the history of social work" and "has been closely associated with its core values of respect and recognition of the inherent role of the individual." Social work is often linked on how successful these agents are in extending their wisdom on distressed people. Second, social workers are expected to act as advocates of the poor and socially excluded, serving as a voice that will inform specific societal institutions of their needs and demands. Social workers also partners with abused and "disempowered" individuals and group with the core objective of empowerment. These agents are also irrefutably tasked to assess the needs or risks faced by groups and individuals. In order to efficiently carry out their role, social workers also function as care managers who arrange care for individuals. Lastly, social workers are agents of social control who aids in maintaining the social system "against the demand of offenders" or other individuals possessing problematic behavior (Asquitin, Clark, and Waterhouse 2004).
With the aforementioned roles carried out by social workers, they are, in fact vital in maintaining a healthy, efficient, and well-functioning society. Social workers are essential forces which shapes each society by ensuring that they help preventing the rise of societal problems. If problems are already present in a community, social workers are there to give solutions to these problems. These are the basic roles of the social workers in the general society. This is also the reason why they are often a part of multidisciplinary teams for child protection, family care, and patient care. Thus, in order to fully see how these general functions are carried out, this paper will look at a closer milieu which features the workplace of social workers-in multidisciplinary teams.
Multidisciplinary teams are "groups of professionals from diverse disciplines who come together to provide comprehensive assessment and consultation" (What is a Multidisciplinary Team n.d.) The primary purpose of multidisciplinary teams is to help team members resolve difficult issues and fulfill a variety of additional functions according to their disciplines. In the case in child protection teams, typical members are child, youth, and family social workers, police, child abuse team, doctors for sexual abuse care, health workers, care and protection coordinators, care and protection resource panels, and community organizations. It should be noted that as a multidisciplinary team, these members represents different approaches to child protection, different skills, and specialization. Thus, they are imbued