R A C H E A L   J O H N S T O N

99 Rachel Johnston   99 Cork

I am a third year social work student at the University of Pretoria situated in beautiful South Africa. Social work was not my first choice of study, but after I started with social work there was no looking back. Social work ignited a passion within me, as fast as champagne pushes a piece of cork out of a bottle. I am happy to add that I am a tutor for first and second year students that have social work as a module.


I chose Cork as a metaphor for social work because …

  1. Cork can be used as a fishing bobber: Social workers help the clients to realise what it is that is dragging them down.
  2. Corks come in all shapes and sizes: Individual, group and community work as well as our client system.
  3. Different wines (expensive and inexpensive) make use of corks: Diversity in the client system; and social workers are part of a multi-professional team.
  4. Cork pin-up boards are used to give information: Social workers make people aware of available resources and contact information.
  5. Cork is sustainable as they only use the bark on the outside of the tree to make cork and these trees are never cut down: Social workers help clients from being dependent to becoming independent.
  6. Cork is feathery: Social work’s main goal is to improve the client’s quality of life.
  7. Cork is used as insulation: Warmth and unconditional positive regard.
  8. Used to dampen sounds: Social workers serve as a soundboard to the client and listens to what the client has to say.
  9. Cork stamps: Social work is about thinking outside the box, being creative and being innovative.
  10. Cork is used in laboratories to prevent gas leaks: Confidentiality.



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