Category Archives: Post Qualifying
As part of a research project it is often useful to keep a diary or journal, I do not have a diary but thought how about writing posting my thoughts here. Hope you do not mind?
The formal learning part of this module is scarily going past quite fast, and my draft proposal is almost ready to be submitted. I have to be honest, this is the first time I have taken on a piece of work like this. The project itself has sparked a real interest in research for me. Its not that I have not been interested in research, the pressures of day to day life and work seem to make this a difficult subject to find time to do.
However, now that I have started it appears that there is not a minute that has gone past when I am not thinking about something or the other to do with the project. I do think that because of the amount of work this does cause in my day to day job has helped me to reflect upon the subject material that I have been reading.
I have found many interesting articles that have been very thought provoking in the area of age assessments. And I guess when undertaking research projects gaps in research start to form sparking further interest into the subject. Ravi Kholi in ‘The sound of silence: Listening to what unaccompanied asylum-seeking children say and do not say’ highlighted this saying that steadily over the last few years the detailed lives and circumstances of these children and young people have begun to be charted and understood (Kholi, 2005). Some of these I have saved in my useful links page.
Furthermore because this has been well written and covered about topic my focus has to take a different direction. Again I find Ravi Kohli’s comments interesting as he argues what do we know about the young people’s ordinary lives before they make their journey? and by understanding their ordinary lives we will start to see separated children as ordinary children and not people trying to beat the system (Kohli, 2005). This argument is supported in a report called Negotiating Childhood: Age assessment in the UK asylum systems where UASC whether they are ‘genuine’ refugees or not their status as ‘genuine’ children may still be challenged (Kvittingen, 2010).
My next stage once I have completed my research proposal is to start collecting the information that I need. Although this creates some apprehension in whether I will be able to find any meaningful data from the sample I will be approaching. I do not know, and although this appears very vague at present I guess I have to protect the work I am doing.
As a qualified social worker its easy to get caught up in the work, easy to become bogged down in assessments, crisis and supporting families and other workers. But sometimes what it is not so easy to do is to look at your own training needs. Thankfully as a Children’s social worker there is plenty of training available and funding for the in training and safeguarding conferences.
However, as I attended University this week I learn that the specialist training award is being stopped. I have to admit that this was not really a surprise. As the Social Work Reform Board have made clear recommendations in order to improve the outcomes for children, families and also to ensure the profession is able to practise safely and confidently.
Confidently is the key word, Courts are wanting deadlines and delay to be slashed and in order to do this social workers must be allowed to complete accurate and in depth assessments, which will stand up to challenge in court and demonstrate experience and knowledge in the subject.
As a social worker it seems that where ever I go the people I meet want to tell me their story. This is a good skill when it at work, but when at home it makes me cringe when I hear of stories of poor social work practise. And in most cases it usually involved a lack of cultural understanding at all levels and a lack of probing into what really is going on. Of course, when hearing these stories my own little alarm bell goes as I only hear one side of the story further reinforcing the obvious danger of relying on limited information.
So hearing the training was going to stop I was excited that there would be some exciting new training that would further develop my learning and understanding. Instead I was greeted with a wall of confusion and uncertainty. There maybe in house training provided or there maybe a masters in practise teaching or even other modules being designed and offered by the University.
Leaving me wondering what this new post qualifying training will look like, and if it is in house will it be provided by social workers who no longer want to practise and hold negative views about the system they have been working in for so long.