"Prior to becoming a social work student I was working full time as a family advisor in a local voluntary organisation supporting families with children with additional needs. I also completed an Open University Access course in Social Care.
I was attracted by the reputation of Goldsmiths and by the focus on group work on the Social Work course as I felt excited about sharing and learning from the experience of others and the opportunity to discuss and debate in a radical institution.
What I value most about the BA in Social Work course is the support available from the department, individual tutors and the university; the outstanding work put into finding quality placements and the support while on placement from the university, especially with any difficulties experienced. I valued being at a university that is proud of its ‘radical’ approach, its strong anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive standpoint and encouragement of personal development, self-directed and peer group learning. I liked the way that my values, beliefs and views were challenged by the course but believe students have to be open to challenge and personal development to get the most out of the course.
I think employers are aware of Goldsmiths’ reputation for turning out competent social workers who have good critical and analytical skills and highly developed anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice. I believe that my self-directed learning on the course and the support from tutors, especially my personal tutor, helped me to build on my existing knowledge, values and skills to become a more sophisticated, effective, informed and confident professional.
I have been offered a post as a newly qualified social worker in children’s services on a local authority graduate trainee scheme. I was also offered an interview for an assistant social work research post and as an unqualified worker in children’s services in another local authority."
I am excited about using theories and skills developed on the course into practice. I think this is a difficult but exciting time for social work as many changes are happening. Despite the challenges and cutbacks I am clear in my aim to improve service delivery to the most vulnerable members of society. I have strong feelings and commitment to be part of improving services, professionalism and the image of social work. It is important to hang on to the values and ethics of social work, especially when this is challenged in practice and ensure that as a student and graduate you do not lose sight of why you chose this vocation.