As part of this month’s look into Circle’s inspirational, but sometimes over-looked, work with Social Work students we were lucky enough to meet the staff, as well as some current students on placement, that make this project so successful. Read on for the first of three interviews with current Social Work students on placement at Circle:
Hi Amy, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi, I’m Amy, I’m 24 and am currently a student Social Worker on final placement at Circle working towards a Master of Social Work.
Before we start the serious questions I wonder if you could answer a little ice-breaker for us, if you could be any animal, what would you be, and why?
A monkey, because who doesn’t want to swing about on trees all day (also spent about 10 mins weighing up the pros and cons of being a wild animal vs domesticated to answer this).
Excellent answer! And what are you particularly passionate about?
Now that our supporters know you a little better I wonder if you could tell us what inspired you to study for a qualification in Social Work?
When I completed my first degree I liked the idea of doing a job that was beneficial to society and also married well with my skill set.
How long were you, or have you been, on placement at Circle?
Coming up to 4 months
What was the biggest difference between studying and practicing Social Work and did you learn or experience anything at Circle that you weren’t expecting?
The skills you draw on when practicing are hugely different to the skills needed to study a degree. Studying equips you with the knowledge base and key writing skills, but when it comes to practicing social work you can understand and have a huge amount of knowledge on say, how to build relationships, but actually building them is completely different. Circle has really taught me to value small changes and accomplishment that my clients have made.
For anyone reading this who is considering studying for a qualification in Social Work what would your top three tips be?
1. Speak to people who work in the area you are thinking of working in, but also be prepared that they will probably tell you not to go into Social Work!
2. Speak to previous students of the University so you get a more honest answer about the degree programme than just from the University.
3. Look into bursary and funding options that might support you.
And finally, with the experience you have so far, what one change would you make to the world around us that would make the biggest positive difference to the families you support, and why?
Something that would positively impact the families I support would be making access to wider services and local resources easier. From the seemingly small stuff like knowledge of local groups for parents, in a format that they can actually access, to bigger things like reducing waiting lists for mental health services. Cliché, but if people could also just be kinder and more forgiving towards one another that would be grand.