As the saying goes, “Our children are our future” and who you are as a child can determine who you can be later on in life. It is important for a child to be in a safe, comfortable and loving environment during its development so that the child can have the full advantage to become the best he can be in his future. My future career as a social worker will ensure just that. I chose this profession because of my own history. Growing up, I’ve had my share of social workers in my house. I experienced them as people who helped my family during a hard time. This is a career where I can fight for people’s rights. I will also be able to protect those who are vulnerable and give support to those who need it. I want to be able to have a positive impact on others as social workers have had on my family.
According to the Occupational Handbook, there are two different kinds of social workers; “direct-service social workers who help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives, and clinical social workers, who diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.” My main focus would be children and family. This will fall under the direct-service social worker. The description of this job would be to provide social service and assist improvement of the social and psychological functions of the children and their families. Also I would try to maximize families well-being and children’s academic functions.
I may be able to do so by assisting parents, arranging adoptions, or by finding foster homes for abandoned children or in any dangerous situation the children may be in. If the child was removed and the danger has been address, I may also work to help unify the family. I may act as an advisor, an advocate or even just a listener and to do my best to make sure they have the best option available for them. Overall I work and support the children and families to find and develop long lasting solutions.
I’ve learned from the Occupational Handbook that a bachelor’s degree in social work is required. But also, in many cases you may be able to become employed by having a similar degree such as psychology or sociology. As of now I am currently enrolled in LaGuardia community College majoring in psychology. My plan is to transfer to Hunter College to get my bachelor’s degree. However, I do not plan to end there. I’ve learned that in the state of New York, a competitive and demanding need for social workers, a bachelor degree may not be enough to earn a successful position. I plan to complete my master’s in social work (MSW). From what I’ve learned on the Occupational Handbook, “a degree in almost any major is acceptable” to enter the MWS program. This means that with my bachelor’s in psychology I would be able to get in the program. In the MWS program it may take an additional two years to complete and in the state of New York it also requires a license (LMSW) as well to become a social worker.
After all the hard work and challenges I may face academically, I’ve learned that I may also face emotional challenges once I have my foot stepped into the career. Although I believe I have an emotionally strong personality, this career as a social worker still can be stressful. As my responsibility to make decisions about the welfare of the children and families, I may be faced with difficult situations such as not being able to help everyone in the way I hope. Some of my clients or cases may be stuck because of obstacles created by the legal system, courts, schools or other kinds of institutions. Because of this there can be times when there is really little that I can do.
In cases like this, it can become really frustrating and emotionally challenging for myself. In other cases, some people may not want my help. Since I cannot control how client behaves I am still mandatory to give them the tools and recourses they need and then move on to the next person who needs my help. As current social worker, Amy Dogenske, she says “sometimes they don’t want us to be there but in the end you see changes in the parents and kids.” As of now I must have my mind set that I cannot go down expecting to resolve everything all at once. It can be frustrating, but I must learn that I have to be patient, and that the reward of feeling satisfied with my job will come my way because the positive changes in the kids and families is what my job is all about.
It is very easy to become engaged in helping others, but there must be a line between my job and my personal life. According to Amy Dogenske, she emphasizes how important it is to have “self care and take time for your self.” In this profession I may deal with many cases with unimaginable crisis and it is important for me to know to leave my work at the office everyday. In doing so it will allow me to rejuvenate and return to the job without burning myself out.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a personal history with social workers. They have helped my family and I through difficult situations and I want to be able to return the favor to the society. Although I am in no longer in need of the assistance of social workers I still believe that in pursuing this career it may still help me in other forms. I believe this career can allow me to gain a lot of insight and personal growth. I believe once I start to experience some of the cases I may be assigned to, ill be able to see sometimes what other people miss by getting a look beneath the surface of someone’s life. I believe I’ll be able to cultivate qualities like compassion and insight through working with the clients who are less fortunate. I also believe that when I help others deal with their struggles, I will be able to gain opportunity to learn more about my own beliefs and values, which will enable me to grow more as a person. I cannot imagine a more rewarding job than social work. Being able to go home and know that I may have made a difference in someone’s life; a child, the whole family, or in extreme cases actually saving a life is a privilege that not many careers are able to experience.
As a social worker, working with the children and families, using the knowledge and skills that I will have learned and develop, to listen, suggest and assist. Sometimes I will be taking in hard decisions, celebrating achievements or just being useful until there is a point when I am not needed anymore, that’s the most rewarding bit of it all.
Dugenske, Amy “A Day in the Life Social Worker.” Dir. Amy. Perf. Amy Dugenske. YouTube. YouTube, 11 May 2009. Web. 03 Dec. 2013
United States. Department of Labor. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, 29 Mar. 2012. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.