Feeling rather undermined as a social worker student this morning. I may not be of elite academic status having gone to Oxford or Cambridge, but does that make me less suitable to become a social worker? I have stacks of life experience which I feel enables me to be empathetic and allows me to help and understand situations better. I passed my second year practice placement with a ‘first’, yet I don’t have any A-levels and entered university having completed the ‘Access to HE Diploma’. Social work is not an ‘easy option’ – it’s a degree which questions everything you have ever thought, with academic work & practice placements. As a third year student, I can safely say that the last two and a bit years have exhausted me both physically and mentally. Being a social worker is an incredibly difficult profession. You are working with the most vulnerable people in society and seeing things which breaks your heart. But amongst this, you have to make decisions which affects people’s lives, and this isn’t easy. How this can possibly be an ‘easy option’ is unbelievable and a strange thing to say. Maybe some people think that, but they won’t make the third year of study if that’s what they think initially. Yes, there are some social workers who are not as committed as one would like and as a result there are tragic consequences, but it is unfair to tar every social worker with the same brush. In my limited experience over the past couple of years, all the social workers I have come into contact with have been fantastic and love their job.
Oh and before I sign off, how the heck has the social work profession managed to get dragged into the Jimmy Saville investigation? Oh yes, that’s why – because it’s easy to blame the profession.