Before I worked in social work I was a substance misuse worker in Bolton for 6 years and prior to that I worked for Bolton Probation within the magistrates in courts for 2 years. I qualified in December 2015 and commenced working as a social worker for the local authority in Jan 2016 within the children’s safeguarding team where I continue to work.
In 2013 following a transfer of the substance misuse service from the NHS to a private company following a tender process I and some of my colleagues lost our jobs. It was at this point I applied to University to complete a master’s in social work. During my time working for the substance misuse team we worked closely with the social worker involved including completing home visits. I had thought during my time in this field that this would be a good career move from substance misuse worker to social worker but with the difficulty of giving up my employment to do the masters. However circumstances took that choice from my hands and when I lost my job I immediately thought of starting the process of becoming a social worker.
We asked Craig a series of questions to provide an overview of his social work journey so far...
I chose to pursue a career in social work because I had worked with social workers within my previous employment and had thought at the time that this would be a good career change.
This intervention with social workers gave me an insight into the work required and I had developed a range of skills from my previous employment that I felt suited this type of career change. I completed a motivational interviewing course which enabled me to work more productively with service users helping them deal with ambivalent feelings to make the necessary changes to improve lifestyles.
This type of employment allowed me to witness service users making positive changes creating more positive outcomes for themselves and their families.
I would recommend working in social work in the public sector because for me it provides me with job stability which for me is important with having a family. From my personal experience from commencement of my social worker journey I have had the required input from the service in regard to caseload protection whilst completing my ASYE helping me develop in the role at a gradual pace.
My proudest moments working in this field are seeing children being stepped down from plans following parents adhering to the actions within the plan. Also being thanked from parents for support offered and having a picture drawn by the children you have worked with.
I am also proud of sticking with this choice of career having had ups and downs and wondering if this was the career for and also completing the PG certificate.
Eventful, Frustrating, Satisfying.