The concept of resilience in the field of social services emphasises the need to offer better services to people who are vulnerable and those who do not have access to appropriate services. It is the process of adapting well in the face of various challenges such as trauma, tragedy and significant sources of stress. According to the American Psychological Association resilience is ordinary, rather than extraordinary. The Association concludes that resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have but that it involves thoughts, behaviours and actions that can be developed by anyone.[1]

There also exists a degree of nuance over how resilience is undertaken, with experts in social services indicating that one should not automatically expect a “capacity to recover” that disadvantages people in the workforce whose mental and physical health are not well. This expectation can lead to an issue over a focus on resilience leading to an assumption that employees can tolerate working conditions that would be intolerable in other professions.[2] Meanwhile the significance of resilience among social workers is highlighted in an article published by the Journal of Social Work. The article records a study in which social work students were found to have statistically significant differences during their respective university courses in the components of resilience (such as social support, personal competence, and acceptance of self and life).[3] That the study gives credence to the ongoing discussion about the need to values positive experiences and skills developed during social work. This is a result of finding that professional practices and education help social workers and students to develop their individual capacities to be resilient.[4]

From these findings it is apparent that resilience has a profound effect in the field of social service, to both the patient and the carer as they can both have negative experiences and develop the resilience to overcome difficulties derived from thereof.


[3] pp. 380

[4] Ibid pp. 394