University: I attended London South Bank University and I studied the BA social work Degree
Can you give your work title: Senior social work practitioner (Senior Practitioner)
What is it that you do? I am a senior practitioner in an Assessment and Family Support Team and I work with the initial enquiries that come into the team regarding child protection issues and also family support referrals.
Why did you decide to go into this sector? I am passionate about the welfare of children and from an early age I knew that my career would involve working with children is some way. During work experience I decided that social care was the area that I was drawn towards and I went on to study for my social work degree. During studying for the degree I was able to explore all aspects of social work and it confirmed for me that my career path was to work with children.
Would you undertake further training to further your career? Yes it is very important to me to continue my professional development and I am focused on completing additional training that specialising in all aspects of working with children and families. This enables me to develop my knowledge, enhance my understanding of issues affecting children and young people and different stages of their lives and my skills as a social worker.
What do you like most about what you do? I get the most satisfaction from working and interacting with the young people, understanding and empathising with how they feel and view their situation. To be able to work with them and help them to fulfil their potential is a key aspect for me.
Are there any downsides? I know that everyone says this but it would be great if we did not have so much paperwork to complete.
What do you think are the most important skills/strengths you need to make a success of what you do? Overall you have to be passionate about the job because you will experience difficult situations that can make you wonder why you are doing it, but if you are passionate about the job then you always remember why you are there. You need to be able to interact with people of any age, communicate and work with other agencies respecting that you may have differing priorities but that you all want the best outcome for the child.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates wishing to come into this sector? Come in with a realistic expectation of the job. Remember that you have successfully completed the social work degree and have the confidence that you can do this, you might not know everything but as you work within your role you develop the skills and will be supported in your development by your manager and team colleagues.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Social work often gets bad press, however, it is a career that I love and I would not change the opportunities that I get to have a positive impact on the lives of children, young people and their families. I do recommend it.