Tag Archives: NQSW

What is my experience?

Its not often I stop to think what it is in social work that I am good in doing! it is easier to say that I make mistakes and learn from these.  However, it still remains clear that despite the many hours of training and then the many hours of direct work with families that social workers are still rarely seen as experts.

I can see why, after all how easy is it to say that I am an expert in child protection? or I can predict the age of a separated child! But I do have a long history of working with children, furthermore I understand risk and my ability to reflect perhaps stops me from thinking that actually I might be expert.

After all, the last place anyone wants to be is in court highlighting what has happened well and what has happened not so well and what the immediate significant harm is.  Instead it would be far better to be an expert in keeping families together but this would never get to court to be proven would it?

But what this really means is how can I adapt as a social worker to change within a changing service? What do I still bring to the table as a skilled practitioner and how can I support other social workers and the families that they still work with.

As privatisation and the talk of early intervention becomes an almost daily discussion in the media, the need of social workers to really understand the work that they do becomes more important.  To continue to broaden your experience to be able to adapt to meet the needs of young people and their families becomes more key in understanding what you are experienced in completing.

I am pleased to say that I have been lucky in the opportunities that I have had and will continue to fight for.  But for those starting out in social work, do not ignore the work you do on a daily basis and the extra you need to do to learn from it and develop the expertise we may all need one day.

 

Smile on my face

There is not many times in my life where I have felt extremely happy or that I feel I have achieved something extra special.  Social Worker is a battle either to keep families together or to get funding to provide the right service to the young people you work with.  More frustrating than not this is often left by senior managers to the last minute.  However, for me this week I have been given a smile on my face as my faith in Social Work is temporarily restored.  I have found out that my wife who has been studying Social Work for the past three years has a job in her service area.


Over the past two and a bit years I have met many Social Work students of varying degrees of competence.  For those that are really good the battle is the same for those who will get there.  Finding work! The Social Work course rightly so, is not easy and it try’s to make you think long and hard about decisions you make.  It does not however make you employable so here is the risk that many student face wanting to take those first steps into statutory Social Work.  So with every assignment completed and every placement completed the worry is there – will there be a job at the end of the course? And for every student reading this I can understand this worry.  For going into Social Work is not just about wanting to work with people, it is more than this.  It is a passion about working and supporting vulnerable people.  Despite the negative press Social Workers are always doing more and more than what is practical and manageable to ensure the people they are working with get a service.

So although this is a small thing thing for me, for my wife and many other student social workers passing the degree in Social Work is not a small thing.  There have been many sacrifices, late nights and tears and finally on the home run despite all the work that is still left.  There is light at the end of the tunnel!