Faith, hope and love in social work practice

Ravalde, Hannah (2016) Faith, hope and love in social work practice. Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care, 15 (3). ISSN 1478-1840

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Raised in a Christian family, I was regularly told as a child about the importance of faith, hope and love. I had not thought about it in much depth until I recently heard a sermon about hope. It preached that wisdom can be gained from the endurance of suffering, and that the most important thing that people need in the endurance process is hope. It resonated with me because an influential part of my decision to train as a social worker came from my experiences as a Samaritan listening volunteer, whereby providing a listening ear, the aim is to offer hope when nobody else is there. On the day after this sermon I was in a lecture on Criminal Justice Social Work and it became clear to me that hope, along with faith and love, are important aspects of social work that are rarely mentioned. Here I’m going to talk about hope and love because although I think faith is important, it is more subjective, personal and difficult to define in general social work practice.

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