Patricia Saylor, a professor and social work director at Eastern New Mexico University, has more than 30 years experience in the field.
Saylor worked with the State of New Mexico, Children, Youth and Families Department and the State of Oklahoma.
Saylor said social work field include working in hospitals, prisons, hospice, universities, schools and individual therapy.
Saylor said social workers are mainly female and she is trying to recruit more men into the field.
“A lot of people think social work is a woman’s job, but there are many places in our work that men can do and be satisfied working in,” Saylor said.
Originally from Carlsbad, Saylor has been working at ENMU for five years.
March is social worker’s month.
What is the importance of social work?
I think the importance of social work would be the voice for those that cannot speak. Not literally of course, but the people we help do not know how to get the basic needs of life and they need social workers to help them get those things.
What did you do with the CYFD?
I did assessments on families to see what they needed and to help children in the home. This helps keep down abuse and neglect of the children.
What are some of the classes the students have to take?
The classes we offer cover a variety of the different areas of social works, like research, mental health and the aging population. We also have field work where the social work students must work at a facility with a certified social worker as their supervisor.
How do you qualify to be a social worker?
Well, you first have to graduate with a bachelor of social work from an accredited university, which is your license to be a social worker. Now that social work is more specialized, many students get their masters.
What are some of the qualities one must have to be a social worker?
To be a social worker, you need to be empathetic, honest, reliable, have a code of ethics and be patient. Being the advocate for your client, you also have to stand your ground, because what might be best for your client might not be the best for everyone else.