Social workers are the life preserver of many people in our society. They work with numerous populations including the homeless, the elderly, and those with physical and mental challenges, to make sure they get the services they need. They work odd shifts, get calls at all hours, and have to wander into some shady places, without much compensation. They do this job for the sake of those in need. They believe as Dickens says in A Christmas Carol, “Mankind is my business.” They deal with many people during the worst times of their lives which takes a toll on their own mental health.
To find out the best gifts for a social worker, I spoke with my sister, Jen, who left teaching a few years ago to become a social worker. She says presents for social workers should include a lot of pampering and relaxation. This makes sense, since they spend so much time looking out for others.
Best gifts for social workers
Social Workers spend a majority of time out in the field, where they need access to their laptop to connect clients with resources. A laptop backpack with a charging port will make things more convenient for them.
A portable charger will come in handy too, since finding a place to plug in can waste precious time.
Another great gadget is a smart notebook. They can take notes during a meeting with a client to use later for typing their case reports. Then they can erase the notebook to use again. This way they can care for the environment as well as the population.
Gifts for social workers for relaxation
Jen highly recommended gifts that include anything having to do with aromatherapy.
If they already have a diffuser, you can get them some essential oils. If you get a diffuser where the oils are not included, you will want to add some as an additional gift.
Or get them some scented candles to help them relax.
If they meet clients in an office, you can get mists to provide a calming atmosphere.
Practical gift ideas for social workers
Sandwiches are fine during the summer. However, during the winter it is nice to have a hot lunch to warm up in between clients. These handy electric lunch boxes will heat their lunch while they are completing paperwork in their car or at their desk at the office.
I worked out of my car for several years as a therapist. While I would bring frozen bottled waters in a cooler to drink, the summer heat would have made the best lunch rancid by noon. I often had to stop for take out. Let’s face it, who can afford that every day on a social worker’s salary. The portable lunch coolers now have better technology and can keep food cold throughout a long work day.
It is important to stay hydrated. Why not get them a fruit infuser water bottle to jazz up their drink.
Social worker gift ideas
I worked as a therapist for many years. Therefore, I know how easy it is to get burnt out from dealing with human tragedy on a daily basis. An inspirational book can help them get through those bad days when they wonder if it’s all worth it.
For addressing those confusing emotions, give them a journal to sort their feelings out.
You can also give them a bracelet with an uplifting saying.
Funny gifts for social workers
Want to add a touch of humor to their day? Give them one of these social worker wine glasses, along with a bottle of wine, of course. Then watch a smile spread across their face.
If they don’t like wine, you can get them a funny social worker mug instead.
For stress relief, a social worker coloring book will provide some humor and space to zone out, letting the mind go blank.
Useful gifts for social workers
Social workers work out of their cars a lot of the time. These organizers help keep things handy when driving or stopping in a parking lot to take some notes or make some calls. The organizer can also be easily moved to the floor when leaving the car so it isn’t in plain view.
Since so much time is spent in their vehicle between working and eating, they will need a car garbage can.
Another car related gift is a phone mount, so they can easily view the maps to find how to get to their clients.
Make sure to give them a car air freshener so they don’t smell like old food, garbage, and sweat. Yuck!
You might want to take a look at gifts for other jobs too!
Thank you gifts for social workers
If you are looking for an appreciation gift for your social worker, a thank you candle will be a thoughtful token to show how much they mean to you.
Does your social worker like plants? A thank you succulent will be symbolic of the new life you have started with the help of your social worker.
Of course, a special card with a handwritten note is priceless. They will keep that card to read over and over again on the bad days to inspire them to keep going.
Social worker presents for self care
After a long day, they need to relax. A spa gift set will have all the bath products they require for a soak in the tub, along with some nice smelling lotion for afterward.
If they don’t get out to the salon often enough, give them a home mani pedi kit. This is a great way to multitask while binge watching their favorite show on days off.
A soothing eye mask will help melt away the stress and refresh them so they are ready to start a new day.
Gift baskets for social workers
Skip the chocolate and junk food. They probably eat enough of that already. Opt for some healthy snacks to give them a boost without the sugar crash later.
For relaxation at home, choose one of these Tea gift baskets. These are especially great during cold and flu season.
Or pick a gourmet food basket for them to pick at on a night they don’t get around to making dinner.
10. Spa Set for Men
Gifts for male social workers
Guys need to be pampered too. Give them a manly spa basket instead of a flowery scented one.
Also, give some comfortable loungewear for him to put on for relaxing at home.
You can also get him a St. Louise de Marillac medal, the patron saint of social workers, for inspiration throughout the day. These come as pendants or keychains.
What is a good gift for a social worker?
Busy, busy, busy. To avoid the “what’s for lunch” dilemma, get them a cookbook of quick meals and some meal prep containers so they can pack a healthy lunch the night before. You can also find cookbooks for simple weeknight dinners so they don’t give up and order Chinese again.
Or give them an instapot. This is more than just a crockpot. Many double as rice cookers and air fryers. This allows them to cook quick evening meals or prep in the morning for the crockpot setting.
12. Phone Sanitizer
More cool gifts for social workers
They are probably using their phone all day long to set appointments, find the best route to meet their clients, and talk on the phone. It has been set down in Starbucks, on the sticky table at someone’s home, and coughed on. Yuck! Give them the charger that will sanitize their phone too.
They may not get a chance to get to the gym, but they can definitely keep track of all those steps they are taking while running around town meeting clients. Give them a Fitbit.
Then instead of a traditional business card holder that ends up buried at the bottom of their bag, give them a smartphone wallet stick on instead. These are supposed to be for credit cards, but why not stick business cards in them? They have their phone handy all the time. This way they can quickly access their business cards.
13. Breakfast in Bed
Romantic gifts for social workers
Let them sleep in one day on the weekend. Get up early and make them a breakfast to die for. After they spend the week serving others, it is your turn to serve them on one of these trays created for breakfast in bed.
As an alternative, give them a romantic massage with some essential oils. Make sure to actually read a book on how to give a good massage. You don’t want to be like Monica on Friends, and think you give great massages, but really you are torturing your loved one.
Stocking stuffer gift ideas for social workers
Whether as a stocking stuffer or as a token of appreciation, one of these social worker badge reels will make their day.
15. Cozy Blanket
Social worker gift ideas for the home
For days off, give them a cozy blanket to cuddle with while sipping tea and reading a good book.