Social Work Personal Statement
I am applying to become a Social Worker with young people or children and families, because I hope the professional training and expertise provided by the course will support me in helping vulnerable people cope with challenges. Past experience has taught me that being a reassuring and dependable element in people’s lives gives me deep fulfilment. I hope that evidence of this, coupled with my employment history, demonstrates that I’m an ideal candidate for the course and following that, a dedicated professional.
When my two children were young, I gained an HND in Early Childhood Studies and was passionate about ‘Working with Children and Families’, ‘Aspects of Social Policy’ and ‘Child Health’; modules with emphasis on social care of children and their families. This supported me in varied employment, e.g. Manager, The Engine Room Drop-In Café (a community facility for sound and film), where I was in daily contact with people with special needs and mental health problems. During my time there, I learnt to be non-discriminatory, a good listener and to have empathy when negotiating appropriate behaviours.
Working in my community gives me real pleasure and satisfaction. I ran an organic food co-operative for 3 years at Victoria Community Centre and whilst there, I attended a residential course, ‘Community Involvement’, which improved my skills in training volunteers and outreach work. Supporting the elderly, young parents and cancer patients expanded my ability to find solutions for improved health; an aspect of this that I most enjoyed was running healthy cooking classes. More recently, as the secretary of Bridgwater Skatepark Campaign, one of my responsibilities was liaison with the police, Local Action Team, District Council, Youth Service, YMCA and local residents, which honed my communication and record keeping skills. We now have skate facilities costing £90,000 in our town! This experience taught me the value of non-confrontational determination and illustrates that I see things through to the end.
I have gained many skills raising a family; organising playgroup trips, keeping calm during negotiating with teenagers etc. I have long term personal experience of Social Work as my son has cerebral palsy and has complex needs. My current employment is care, domestic and gardening assistance for private clients and I am also gaining more insight into formal Social Work settings through volunteer work in a local children’s home. Studying for the Access Diploma is the first step to consolidating my previous experiences via formal training; refreshing my study skills, developing professional reflection and discovering new assessment methods are all good preparations for degree study. I have recently discovered the ‘Community Care’ journal and find their articles and ‘student zone’ most supportive. The Children’s Workforce Development Council website has been very useful with my research into Social Work career paths. Away from formal study, I listen to Radio 4 and read the Guardian to keep up with current affairs and also enjoy topical documentaries. I am especially relishing comprehending these at a deeper level as a result of the topics we are studying in Sociology.
This course has a great reputation and I feel sure that along with the excellent quality of placements offered, it will help me develop skills to cope effectively with the challenges of a career in Social Work. I hope I have demonstrated that I understand what is required on the course, and that I will become a devoted and compassionate member of the profession if given a chance to train as a Social Worker.