Before working in social work I was employed in a nursery setting, working with children from birth up to 4 years old. I had been qualified for 3 years as a nursery practitioner and worked alongside families to promote children development. Working in this environment was both rewarding and enjoyable, however, it became apparent that my aspirations lay with not only supporting children with their learning, but with the family as a whole to achieve positive outcomes.
I have a real passion for supporting families and felt that working in a nursery setting didn’t allow me to do this as much as I would've liked. I quickly recognised that social work would be the perfect career to allow me to use my skills of working with families to effect change and I now work as a Social Worker at Blackpool Council.
We asked Kate a series of questions to provide an overview of her social work journey so far...
I've always wanted to pursue a career that was fulfilling and rewarding, that allowed me to work with and support people. I had been working in a nursery setting for some time and my values and skills lay with supporting families as a whole and empowering them to make changes to improve outcomes.
I found myself becoming frustrated at not being able to offer more support to families and quickly learnt that my aspirations were to work in the field of social work. I had always been passionate about working with children and understanding them as individuals and feel that social work allows me to do this.
I've developed so many skills whilst working as a newly qualified Social Worker with children and families. I've developed my skills to be able to build relationships with children and families, showing compassion and kindness and understanding peoples lived experiences and how that affects their life. I've also developed empathy and the ability to support families to empower themselves, communicating with people of different ages and abilities from different backgrounds with different experiences.
I have been supported to reflect upon my practice and how I serve the families I am working for. I have been supported to access further training to ensure I am supporting the families I am working with to the best of my ability and promoting change and a supportive approach. I'm lucky enough to have to opportunity to be able to regularly reflect with my peers, as a group, and as an individual to continually develop my practice.
I have been lucky enough to work with children and families to empower them to make changes in their lives, improving outcomes for themselves and their children.
My proudest moments have been when I have been able to build relationships with families who have had a negative view of social workers and not wanted to access support. Through building relationships I've been able to support them to understand concerns and risk, to empower them to make changes and reduce risks. This has allowed for families to access holistic support and feel positive about their future.
Seeing children and families happy and sustaining change, recognising their strengths and taking steps to improve long term outcomes will always be my proudest moments in social work.
The most rewarding part of being a Social Worker is the satisfaction of being able to enable those experiencing difficulties in their lives to progress without professional support and maintain and sustain positive change whilst recognising their full potential.
I would definately recommend working in social work in the pubic sector! You are able to have a positive influence on people’s lives and empower them to make changes to their lives to improve outcomes for families as a whole. It is so rewarding to build relationships with families to understand their lived experience and empower them to make changes to improve their own lives and the lives of their children.
Rewarding, fulfilling and caring.
Social work has given me the knowledge, skills and ability to really impact lives. I have been able to go on incredible journeys with families and walked alongside them whilst they grow and make changes to their lives and the lives of their children. I’ve learnt to never underestimate the people I am serving and to empower them and help them recognise their strengths and how they can improve their future outcomes.