Essentials in a Social Worker’s Bag

Essentials in a Social Worker’s Bag

Wonderful World of Social Work

I like to think of myself as Mary Poppins or Hermione Granger.

I’m honestly not quite sure how I’m able to fit all on my stuff into one bag.

Before working in the field, I carried a normal sized handbag with the essentials: phone, wallet, chapstick, etc.


I carry one of everything. And a little more.

Caution: I’m about to show you the reality of what a social worker’s bag might look like. If you’re expecting the latest in fashion, accessories, or makeup, this isn’t it.

Comfort Items

Yes, I have bags inside of my bag. Many bags. Two in particular: my tea bag and my sugar bag. I have at least 8 different types of tea stashed away, so I always have a tea that suits what I want in the moment (decaf, caffeinated, herbal, spicy, etc.) I also have a bag full of ginger mints, ginger candy, and vegan gummy bears. For whenever I’m feeling the need for a little sugar kick.

You probably already know this, but I’m all about self care. My little sugary items and my collection of tea falls right into that category…

its like a huge hug of comfort whenever I pull out one of these bags!

mini bags within big bag

The Practical

Earbuds, chargers, and highlighters. The essential items that allow me to stay organized and connected. The highlighters are a great tool at work whenever I need to color code or…highlight…something for myself or a coworker. I’ve have these lovely highlighters for nearly two years and they still work wonderfully. And with as many details/clients/schedules as I work with, I love that I have a variety of colors to use

The chargers? It’s just a good idea to carry a charger or power bank around, but working 12 hour shifts can run your phone down really quickly! The earbuds aren’t for work, but for before or after work when I’m hanging out at my favorite cafe and want to listen to some music (**self care**).

practical items within bag

Interested in these highlighters?? Check out the link below.

Disclosure: I love them, just know that this is an affiliate link so I may earn some money if you clink on the link.

A Change of Clothes

I’ve learned that it’s just good practice to have a change of clothes. I have an entire outfit, plus a few pairs of socks.

Due to my job, I never know when I’ll need to get dirty (like bleaching entire rooms). It’s so much better to scrub down a bathroom in an old shirt and pair of shorts than say, a brand new dress. Plus, I never know when an incident will occur that might result in the destruction of what I originally wore that day.

TL;DR everyone needs to carry a change of clothes. It’s just a good idea.

clothing within bag

Everything Health

I have a mini apothecary in my bag. Seriously.

Two types of OTC pain meds. All of my prescriptions (PRN and standing orders). Hand sanitizer (lavender scented for extra stress relief). Stress relief stick. Extra chapstick. An ice pack. Sunscreen. Bandaids. Think of something that might be needed in any given event- I probably have it stashed away. I never know when I might need one of these items, and frankly, I tend to use some of them quite often.

apothecary within bag

Food for Days (Literally)

I quickly grew accustomed to working 12 hour shifts.

I also quickly realized that meant I’d need to pack a bunch of food.

Aside from my tea and sugar bags, I carry all of my meals and snacks for the day. Although I don’t work 12 hour shifts anymore, I know I need to feed myself regularly. I pack at least one meal and multiple snacks for each normal shift that I work- my coworkers and clients will typically find me munching on something tasty

And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! That’s a 40oz. water bottle there, folks. In the winter, I’ve been known to bring in my water bottle (pictured below) and a travel mug. PLUS: I keep a mug at work for the tea I mentioned above

food in bag

Want to get a beautiful, environmentally friendly 40oz. water bottle? Check out a link for this Healthy Humans bottle below.

Disclosure: While I genuinely love this bottle, just know that this is an affiliate link so I may earn some money if you click on it.

Round Up (and where I got my bag)

Truth be told, this is only a smidge of what I tend to carry around on a day to day basis. Not pictured: items like my name badge, my phone, my laptop, books, or extra food.

I’m all about preparedness for a whole day (or multiple days) and anything that might happen during that time!

Love my bag? It’s from Amani ya Juu, a business focused on “peace and reconciliation” for women in Africa. It was made in Kenya and it even smells amazing. I get compliments all. the. time. from men and women alike.

They might not have the same exact bag at the moment, but check out other bags, apparel, Christmas (!!) supplies, and household goodies here. (Definitely expect more on this fantastic organization in the future…I love Amani ya Juu!).

roundup of bag

Are you just itching to learn something about social work, self care, community health, or something totally different??? Let me know in the comments below or by submitting this form!