Dealing with complaints as a social worker

If you work in health and social care, chances are that you will be complained about at least once in your career. Indeed, this can be damaging to your self-confidence, as well as take a hit to your motivation levels. Nonetheless, learning how to deal with complaints without getting emotionally involved is a priceless skill that guarantees enduring success in your career journey. Carry on reading for our top tips…


  • Acceptance 


It’s never nice receiving criticism, regardless of whether it’s at work or in your personal life. Unfortunately, however, this is a normal part of life and the sooner we learn to accept this, the further we will grow as individuals. 


  • Use it to identify areas for improvement 


While you may not always agree with the feedback provided, it is a great way to gain a better understanding of your strengths and weaknesses (rather, areas for improvement). You can then use this as a learning experience to inform future practice and positively impact service users. 


  • Set realistic expectations 


If your client is unhappy with the service provided, it is usually due to a collapse in expectations. That’s why it’s paramount that both parties voice their expectations at the start of the working relationship. Not only will this strengthen the rapport and trust between you both, but also reduce the risk of tension or misunderstanding. As we always say: transparency is key!


  • Talk to your supervisor 


As soon as you suspect (or are told directly) that your client is going to make a formal complaint, get in touch with your supervisor. This may be the last thing you want to do but it is better to give them the head’s up – otherwise, you might look like you’re trying to cover something up.


We hope you found this blog helpful and the team here at Social Personnel wishes you all the best in your social work career! 


If you want to speak to one of our consultants, get in touch via 0203 8929 340 today.

carlette Isaac

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