World Social Work Day – Buen Vivir

Buen Vivir! Today we celebrate World Social Work Day. As an organisation that works alongside adults, seniors, children and their families through their vision loss journey, VisAbility and our sister brand Kites Children’s Therapy is supported by three brilliant Social Workers. Michelle, Marija, and Purvi support individuals, families, communities and wider society to:

  • Provide access to information and assistance for making key decisions about care and education
  • Offer advice and assistance with applying for Government financial supports and schemes
  • Advocate to Government departments, employment agencies and other organisations
  • Connect clients and families with other vision support networks in their community
Buen vivir its's world social work day. Michelle bends down at a table with three young children playing with toys.
Michelle bends down at a table with three young children playing with toys during the VisAbility playgroup.

Each year on the third Tuesday in March, World Social Work Day is celebrated to highlight the achievements of social work, to raise the visibility of social services for the future of societies, and to defend social justice and human rights.

This year’s theme is ‘Buen Vivir: Shared Future for Transformative Change’. It emphasises the need for social workers to adopt innovative, community-led approaches that are grounded in indigenous wisdom and harmonious coexistence with nature.

But first, what is social work?

We had a chat with our Senior Social Worker, Michelle, about her career in social work.

A bit about Michelle

I am a Senior Social Worker specialising in Pediatrics’ in both disability and health. At VisAbility and Kites Children’s Therapy, I provide emotional and practical support and work individually with children and their families to respond to the opportunities and challenges that come with raising children living with disability or developmental delay. I also provide group support to families via VisAbility’s Playgroup. The only vision specific playgroup in WA. It offers a space for children to play and learn new skills with the support of their therapists, parents and peers. It’s also an important place for  parents; offering a safe environment to connect and share similar experiences.

Why social work?

Social worker’s are agents of change and this aspect interested me. Many people enter the profession because they want to help people and I am no different. I was motivated to work in an area that felt meaningful and made a positive difference.

What is the most interesting part about your job?

Connection with children and their families and advocating for best outcomes!

How long you’ve been a social worker?

I have worked with children and families in early childhood settings for well over 20 years. However, I qualified as a social worker in 2019 and so have been practicing for just over 4 and a half years.

Michelle dressed as Mrs Claus at the visability family playgroup christmas party.
Michelle dressed as Mrs Claus at the VisAbility low vision playgroup Christmas party.

Why did you choose to work with VisAbility and Kites?

I work with VisAbility and Kites Children’s Therapy because I feel the organisations mission and values align closely with my own. I also feel a strong connection to my colleagues and clients and enjoy working collaboratively and seeing children living with vision impairment or disability thrive!

How do we as an organisation follow with the Buen Vivir theme?

Social workers recognise the fundamental principles of human rights and equality. At VisAbility and Kites we adopt innovative, community-led approaches that are grounded in indigenous wisdom and harmonious coexistence with nature by embedding these principles into our practice. These principles underpin our work and is evidenced by providing holistic social work services and looking at the whole – child, family and community. This means walking alongside families to promote positive change and fostering culturally safe and respectful connections that strengthen communities and sustainability.

Michelle, thank you for sharing your journey with us. Buen Vivir!

For more information on social work, including how to get support, visit our Social Work page.