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Unfortunately my eyes have been opened to the lack of resources available, the pressures of filling in too much paperwork, lack of management support, high levels of staff turnover, constant case allocations, shifting of goal posts, integration with health not working as i thought it would, the list goes on. Thanks for writing this – I appreciate your ‘tell it as it is’ approach. I completely refute the claim that Andy is wrong in fact he is as they say ‘ bang on the money ” Social work as a profession has been reduced to an administration process, front line management rarely is able to support workers and many are running scared for their jobs becoming nothing less than performance monitors . You want to avoid sounding like you do not adapt well to change, because job roles always change … While this was enjoyable (and instructive in how young people progress from being Looked After to semi or full independence) it is not what I’d trained to be. In my career-change journey, it took me four and a half years to get out of a career that wasn't right for me. In another words I am saying take the social work function off local authorities and disband it to select units with social enterprise solutions , charities and dedicated service teams eg Special Needs, Disability , etc. In the meantime, I had been assigned a caseload of 9 families. Social work is at risk of loosing sight of what we are meant to be doing and abusing staff by default. Her clients … The very worst social workers are those with any kind of ”do-gooder”mentallity. Today, due to the economic downturn we are exposed to a more for less work … After 25 years as a social worker then team Manager I was medically retired from a profession that has seen many changes over the years. This was where my alarm bells started to ring. Thought a lot about this question… the one thing I would remove from social work would be the political manipulation where the general population are conned into blaming the most disadvantaged and poverty stricken children for the national issues created by them to line their own pockets. The ASYE and qualifying period of my social work degree was the worst part of it. I’ve had good times and many challanges but no more for me. Volunteer coordinator 13. I was left as a single and MALE parent way back when. My practice assessor was hopeless and was never there. I agree entirely with Sharon; a social worker who is ace at report writing and assessments is not necessarily going to be tuned into the people with whom we work, this ‘knowledge of the way in which families and individuals ‘work’, comes with experience on the job over a longer period of time than the 200 days of placement. Stress management. Unfortunately I still have many friends & gourmet colleagues going through this daily torment. Is it really worth it, if the jobs leaves you in this state?? I’m free,” Silverman said without a hint of arrogance when I questioned her current state of contentment. Career Change … Later, running a community organisation, and taking many trainee social workers for their final placement, I was appalled at the holes in their training which should have been recognised and dealt with, li.ke a fear of being alone with a client, she was just told that would never happen ! She left within weeks, no one to cope with incoming brail letters from clients, or work her specialist machine. You don’t want to learn how to change careers. The difference is they will go hungry if they chuck the towel in. One of them did. I personally think that anyone contemplating social work needs to start at a lower level and get to know what the nitty gritty is. my overriding impression of this piece, is that he left it a little too late to enter a profession that requires strength and stamina-the type that you have in your thirties / forties. What other job/profession would the workers work all those extra hours for free? However, my local authorities’ idea of an “adult” placement was within a children’s Sure Start nursery. I can’t help thinking that the respondents above from the ‘macho’ school of social work (hard-headed and resilient) have never held a really large, high risk, caseload with little or no support or they wouldn’t be so insensitive (or is that part of being hard-headed?). 4 months is all you gave it, 16 weeks, 80 working days. I wanted to be a social worker because I felt I could best support people this way, this turned out not to be even remotely the case as I just felt like a civil servant filling out forms all day. You can’t say she didn’t try though. You go through all that training and hop off the bus at the first indication of things getting a little difficult. Level required too high> staff leave> increased workload on remaining staff> level required increases> more staff leave…. The fact that you would prefer to attack the individual and not the system is extremely disappointing and is an indication of the kind of management you would lead or is leading. My broader perspective will set the pages burning but at least I have the freedom to say: Response to the issues raised . Counsellor 7. I work for a local authority. I think article author and Elliott simply not cut out for social work. FAR too much money has been poured into “management,” and people’s freedoms have been taken away by those “helping” them. Alarm bells should have rung very loud when this deadful authority tried to con him into a Surestart placement as adult care. Unfortunately, the majority of these cases had had very little social worker involvement for some considerable time before I had them (some hadn’t been seen for over a year) so all of their reports and visits were already well out of timescales. Things have to change within social work, whether you are a children’s social worker or adults. All from the not-so-well-performing local Comp. Get back to what I love doing the most. A n older worker, the previous blind support worker, sat weeping at her desk,, unable to cope with teenage delinquent boys. Overtaken by “Modern Times” , like Charlie Chaplin, we attempt to screw the nut , just before being crushed by the next movement in the Time Machine. My own social work “career” was preceeded by European long distance truck driving followed by dementia residential care work. This is not about staying power, but preventing the start of a pattern of abuse of your goodwill, working long unpaid overtime, never being able to take TOIL (if you could you would not be accruing it in the first place), carrying the stress and worry from being overloaded and then being blamed with accusations of poor time management when you can’t keep up – you had a lucky escape and are fortunate enough to have a different profession to fall back on – best of luck to you. I met and worked with some wonderful, very dedicated social workers that genuinely cared about the people they dealt with. This gave me a good grounding in the processes and sheer scale of work and commitment that social workers were dealing with on a daily basis. After we qualified in September 2013 there were no newly qualified places for us to go into, so I was offered a temporary post as a social work assistant for six months within the Looked-After Children’s team. Figuring out if and when you should leave will have an impact on your career and your family. Just a simple risk assessment which every time said no we can’t let this turn into a Baby P. “REMOVE”. I would suggest that with its shortened/intensive training it is even more crucial that the management of the ‘step-up’ course (with the relevant authorities) get it right. “It’s 2:45 on a Tuesday, and I’m sitting in my kitchen talking to you. Obviously, this meant that, despite being a ‘generic’ social worker, I had NO real experience of working within adult social care (and no likelihood of gaining a job within that sphere). All very poor management techniques and examples of why staff are crashing and burning. Unfortunately, as they didn’t hire any qualified social workers to replace them their cases were then being given to anyone; regardless of experience or ability. Yes,, the bulk of social workers should revolt, not pursue dreams of being psychiatrists, Gave up far too easily. The endless paperwork wore me down, and a final irritation drove me to resign. After months of trying to get back into social work I gave up and returned to working within education. Almost every social work job will leave you somewhat breathless and depleted by Friday afternoon. Senior managers are often incompetent and have risen to the level of incompetence. It is very hard to accept that our job has changed so much through austerity but you have to accept it and do what you can to work from the inside to provide the help. A good 4 years, with lots of in-service training in the nuts and bolts. Community Care’s latest social work jobseeker survey found one in 10 social workers is now looking outside of the profession for a new job. I have worked for them for 10 years and only qualified last year on a work sponsored degree (my third degree). I noticed the job change so much in the last 10 years, community based work, counselling, knowledge of legislation, funding and the time to work proactively had diminished, with crisis work being the order of the day. My wife (a successful and very talented social worker) suggested social work as I had a very good rapport with students and their families. I have been in this job for 12 months and already I am debating if I should leave and use my skills and knowledge elsewhere. Do You Have Any Career Advice for Wannabe Career Changers? Reserved for those that already had a 2:1 degree or above, I went through one of the most arduous interview processes I’ve ever been through, and my reward was a place with my local consortium. Thankfully, in May 2014, I was finally able to take up a position as an NQSW; back within the Looked After Children’s team I had been with before. Play therapist 12. We were meant to qualify as generic social workers at the end of the course and this required us to have both an adult and a children’s placement. It seems a problem with senior management – ‘It was such a shame that senior management couldn’t (or wouldn’t) listen to the concerns’ – but it would probably be almost impossible for these people to be removed from their positions – as it seems they contribute to the problem and not to the solution. the profession has changed in every area, especially the people who come into social work. As we were coming to the end of our training and university places, myself (and the others in our authority’s consortium) were starting to get concerned that the other students from other consortiums were talking about the places their authorities had already arranged for them to go into as newly qualifieds; our authority was the only one that hadn’t made ANY arrangements for us after qualification. YOU seem to have missed them. The level required by the system though might be too high, causing a destructive cycle. post-master's social work experience for those who entered and left the field was 7.5 years; the mean number of social work positions held was 2.3, with an average of 3.3 years spent in That being said, I've heard … Detective 8. I do have sympathy for them both seeming to be nice guys but anyone who knows that Brian Wilson wrote , ” I guess I just wasnt made for these times” ( Pet Sounds The Beach Boys) ought to be closer to receiving social care than doling it out. All achieved by myself taking personal responsibility for me and mine and I can assure you that at no time did I have very well paid employment being a Local Authority Meat Inspector for most of the time and a farm labourer for the rest of it. Leaving your social work job can be a difficult decision. Finally in my early career we reminded committed to actually enabling people to change before draconian intervention to remove children – forever. YAS. Psychological resilience and emotional intelligence …. So regardless of work hat others have said there is no way on earth you should have had appeared case laid of 18 and how come no visits done for a year previously is very, vert concerning. There are plenty of them out there, but here are a couple of our personal favorites: We’re Best Friends Who Started a Business and This Is Our Career Story, Ina Garten’s Proof That It’s Never Too Late to Change Careers, Why I Left a Government Job for One in the Beer Industry, Stacey Lastoe started writing short stories in the second grade and is immensely grateful to have the opportunity to write and edit professionally. Nothing wrong with the saying ‘if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen’, but if that’s what applies to you, own it. High intensity therapist 3. Two years is just not long enough for both and lets face it how many generic jobs are there? Try hard enough, stick with it , give it commitment. Being a social worker is surely about helping others not whinging about how burdened you feel you are and how sorry you feel for yourself. Career change options for teachers: from classroom to boardroom Whether it’s moving into social work, starting your own business or joining the corporate world, there are lots of career … and so on. I left my final placement in May, have been working for another big charity since June and have gone for a promotion into a bigger role which I know I can use my skill set and support the individuals with our service. As social worker’s we are not good at sticking up for ourselves or good at trying to change the system. While there are usually a broad landscape of populations … Career Change . After reading the vast majority of the replies, I have to say I agree with them. The situation was at the time a rare one and single parent men were NOT entitled to any kind of financial support. The HCPC attempts to regulate an already broken profession , alarm bells ring as the numbers of social workers who are referred outstrips all other professions the HCPC represent , but few if hardly any are ever managers referred for malpractice , professional errors etc. Writing assessment and attendance reports to notarize what you have conducted to delight your superiors, qualify as a professional and achieve career progression is secondary to the permanent improvement you make in your clients life. Back in university. I can see plenty of both in this article…but what he shows is a refusal to accept the inadequacy and inefficiency of the systems. hints like a refused car loan, an area manager who refused to support my claim for damage to my car by a disturbed teenage, for whom I should have been given an escort, saying “I think you are justified, but I’m chasing up new jobs, and I don’t want to rock the boat”. So ultimately – after the decision to change career, 18 months of training and two temporary posts I was a social worker for just four months. I have yet to read a Chief Exec of a LA hold their hand up and admit the social workers had unrealistic workloads or teams had sufficient staff. The final placement and the appalling way it was handled was so stressful it took a big impact on my health and social life. This authority needs serious help. Interesting job with a lovely work life balance to it, pay could have been better but I could mange easily with what I was on. My placements where farcical and had no toga siting or plan to them, the coursework related to the degree was far to much for a person to manage in the type of environment that you are working in and I wasn’t even sure that I would have a job at the end of it(the authority I worked for put people on six month contracts that rolled onto another six months if you hit performance targets, and they wonder why agency workers are in large numbers within teams and services!?!). Too often newly qualified workers are expected to hit the ground running on day one, most have little experience of process and procedures and many are given cases they just don’t have the experience to manage. I remember thinking, “This is something I’d be good at.”. The endless numbers of elderly clients in need of residential care could not be fitted into our dire number of residential beds, but telling tearful and sometimes threatening families the truth drew down furious memos from on high if they complained to Councillors. Perhaps social work is the next dirty job to be taken over by someone , who won’t see home,family or much of their take-home pay often for years. No, very clearly evidenced in the article. Because social work involves a great deal of practical client-facing work, this is an ideal career route. Shadowing a mentor until both are happy to move onto working under their own steam. All Rights Reserved. Education will probably be the first consideration in your decision to change careers. to gain a B.A. So in February 2012 I found myself back in university, studying for my Master’s degree in social work. Hoarding and self-neglect – what social workers need to know, Munby backs ‘innovative’ approach to settling care cases, Worsening mental health, domestic abuse and poverty as support falls: social workers count cost of Covid, AMHPs used ‘inappropriately’ throughout first Covid-19 lockdown, survey finds, ‘Before, there were peaks and troughs – with Covid, it’s relentless’: social work eight months into the pandemic, Council breached Care Act in delaying assessment, not issuing plan and charging for intermediate care. But this didn’t deter me, I was still determined to become the best social worker I could be. I have survived more than 30 years in social work by standing up for myself, refusing to accept more work than I think I can manage, refusing to take work home or work more than my paid hours and changing my specialism every so often so as to be refreshed and re-enthused Believe me it is worth the risk of being bullied or disciplined as bullies will rarely stand up to assertiveness when it is clearly right. Don’t blame everyone around you for your unhappiness. Hey, if you don’t have lives or families out of social work, I can see why social work is your life, however for the healthy balanced rest of us, this is not acceptable. You're allowed to change career paths—even if you're deep into the one you're currently in. It concerns me someone can become a child protection officer only after 4 months of social work even in education. Since retiring I have avoided social work things, but I could not resist commenting on some aspects of replies incuding the frequency of statements by some fellow professionals that Andy did not (my summary). Compassion fatigue, burnout, and lingering effects of counter transference are huge issues to be considered in self-care as a social worker. Colin your social work is my social work, experience including the FSU element. Far better to do case work with maybe day release at college to learn the law and the theories than to make the subject so academic with little relevance to the work.I doubt any ‘service user’ is going to say: ‘she/he is marvellous at reports’, but they may feel good that their social worker understands the ways of the world and has empathy for their situation. I wonder if you had to complete an ASYE alongside managing cases after qualifucation? Want to read more career-changer stories? Mr Faulkner’s situation should never had occured. After about six months of mainly doing yoga and eating carry-out, I decided I wanted to move back to DC because I was bored and felt unaccomplished—so I started applying for jobs and interviewing remotely. Without an acknowledgement of this, then the aims of having an overall qualified, competent and confident practitioner able to support, service users through difficult times in their life journey will not be realised. First, leaving the job was beneficial to my long-term career. Phillip Andy and myself are all from the old school it would seem : if you spot us reminiscing together in a real ale pub anywhere in your neighbourhood, my advice would be to give us a wide berth. Her self-awareness didn’t surprise me—after all, she does possess a masters’ degree in social work, and she did cope in an incredibly stressful environment for a period of time—but I still found it refreshing. I couldn’t study social work longer than two years after I saw how poorly state and the municipality treats people. All three of them are avid New York Mets fans. 04002826. Wowsie, my fecal (sic) reply would be “many of my social work colleagues” . In each field, you have to convey your point in a concise way so that people understand you. It’s a big step change but without it nothing will change . A “professional” training course had on its staff no one with any experience of field work, the head of another course told me “We are not a vocational course, we teach the theory”. When you factor these elements into your answer, you will show the prospective employer that you’re a forward thinker who wants to advance in your career. Social workerJobs where your degree would be useful include: 1. , i as a retired senior adviser in social care QA, and best value with a extensive CP career history in the NSPCC, local authorites with years of experience in SW , HR and Business reengineering . After 4 months I decided that the focus was in meeting OFSTED targets and although working 25 1/2 hours a week in soon appeared there was an expectation to do more hours for free. I am ready to explore a new trajectory on my career … Advice worker 3. whilst i have some sympathy with the author, i don’t feel any sense of ‘rolling up his sleeves and getting stuck in’, in anything he has written, and of course you have to do just that in all walks of working life…and four months isn’t anywhere near long enough to get a feel for the job, let alone to make any sort of meaningful contribution. It also explains why some/many cannot get into post as newly qualified. I makes me wonder why authorities are at time resistant to such issues of appointing the proper qualified staff where they are needed – too many chiefs and not enough indians is my guess . The Director assured Councillors that all workers now had special training, but in fact supplied by the same senior. You can’t legitimately call yourself a social worker based only on a qualification. Their rationale for this was that I would be interacting with the parents and carers of the children, therefore it could be construed as an adult placement. Careers adviser 4. As the coach I worked with at the time … Perhaps we might learn from Probation again and chuck the degree in favour of work based qualifications, where resilience can be fostered as much out of necessity as by right. This is where things started to go wrong. However, my experiences within the profession have left me wondering why I even bothered in the first place. They may help diagnose emotional disorders, give their clients tools for modifyin… No social worker skewered by the press for not visiting a problem family every day, is ever supported in saying ” I have 37 families like this on my case load, 24 hours were not enough” St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London SE24 0PB, a company registered in England and Wales no. It has been said if you keeping doing what you've always done you'll keep getting what you've always got. Walking down the market, and being greeted after many years, by stallholders I helped keep out of jail perhaps, and seeing in the news someone I placed for adoption many years ago in sad circumstances with my favourite adopters, now with her own family. There are many reasons to leave a … It seems the same problems still exist. Chimes with my experiences too. My husband I were buying a house in DC, and I have family in real estate, so it wasn’t a huge jump in that sense. After convincing her that threats of violence against the boys would not return her son to the safety of her care and to return the baseball bat to her secured apartment . About case loads, bullying, agency staff, deskilling of the social work role. Because my authority had been given an extremely poor report by Ofsted they were shedding agency workers at a great rate. I really am far happier now, I feel sorry for the poor buggers who are working flat out in LA departments with hardly any resources and in the knowledge that mistakes are not accepted. MA Education is part of the Mark Allen Group. I do not like my job as I feel very strongly that I am not working to the best of my ability and to some degree I am failing those very people that I am suppose to support and assist. By the time I left in August 2014, I had 18 cases and had just been told that I was to get two more before the end of the month. Lack of funding to provide the support assessed, closure of many services, the endless form filling and the numerous changes to those form all added to the pressures of the job. I found this report insightful and informative particularly for those who are involved in the planning and integration of NQSW in their Departments. So experienced social workers are leaving also as ye recording system just adds to the difficulties. If you are still unable to undertake study, the great news is that many opportunities within social work involve training on the job, so you can earn as you learn. I think it is sad to ‘belittle’ what is a very personal and real journey. She helps high-achievers master the mental and emotional aspects of striving for a successful career and a balanced life. “One of the things about moving from a nonprofit to corporate [workplace] is that there are definitely more resources,” said Jennifer Pelham, a social worker who has held jobs … We are fortunate to live in a society where you still can say no to poor conditions of employment ( perceived or actual). I volunteered some and took continuing education courses in the social work department at the university. “Do you regret going to grad school? Now generic, which various, ex specialists struggling with generic caseloads. Family support worker 2. or a Master's … Same thing is happening in Hawaii and California. Community development worker 6. Unlike those in need of care who will now be passed on to some other bureaucrat who doesn’t care one bit about them. It might also be challenging to change teams or departments if you’re looking to grow in a different direction. Depending on how companies are structured, some may provide more opportunities to grow than others. Do you ever miss being a social worker?” I asked. Good luck in applying your skills and knowledge in your next career move – ultimately its all about finding a niche to try and make things better for some of the people some of the time… and being realistic about the structures that allow for this and those which will only serve to burn us out. It was a trauma. I was clearly a worm in the bud, another 4 years was clearly enough . I am not sure that this is a good example of what is all too common in Local Authority Social Work : overworked and undersupported new staff . You don’t have the skills or abilities to make a fresh start. Until the profession stands up for its self and say enough is enough the status quo will remain. i suggest this person try and work in assessment team and get a better understanding of his role.it not easy, social work isn,t. After about a year there, though, I started slowly transitioning to real estate. You can tell that there is something really broken when the profession is being subject to imprisonment as a method to mange practise errors . When I worked as a mobile security supervisor contracted to the council of a rundown, apartment complex with drug, vandalism and theft problems. I am leaving because I want to make a career change from my current industry to a different one. I returned to the LA in Jan 16 after 13 years with an IFA,. I feel like I’ve developed as much as I can in my current role and am now seeking new opportunities for career growth. “Part of me felt like I was selling out a little [when I made the career change], but I’m happy and I do use some of the same skills.”, She allowed that her feelings might be different if she was saddled with student loans, but without those weighing her down and combined with the fact that she’s both good at what she does and happy doing it, there was really only one answer: “I have no regrets.”. Diane Gottsman. Obviously, we also had to work within two placements and complete two portfolios at the same time in order to gain our social work status. I concur with Mike Js’ comments re 4 months not being long enough. In 2012 I was one of the very lucky ones, one of the “high flyers”, that managed to get a place on the government’s prestigious ‘Step Up To Social Work’ scheme. Social Workers wonder why things will never improve but they need to look squarely in the mirror to see the problem staring right back at them. The HCPC attempts to regulate an already broken profession , alarm bells ring as the numbers of social workers who are referred outstrips all other professions the HCPC represent , but few if hardly any are ever managers referred for malpractice , professional errors etc. He shows is a constant never ending battle on my health and social professionals! This social workers must have at least a bachelor’s degree in either social work residential care work to... This meant a lot of evenings and weekends studying hard and submitting work, experience including the FSU element of... Psychological resilience & emotional intelligence required had special training, but this rings so close to home for me most. Are there got out of timescale due to not enough hours in same... That the situation would continue and matters would not improve level in your estate. Took it an IFA, leaves you in this state?, sometimes people thinks its an easy job everyone. Of July day three times a month on duty, 16 weeks, 80 working.. Environment where I can ’ t blame everyone around you for your clients if you had leaving social work career change! Functions of safeguarding would sit better with the police in special teams 4 months of trying to get the picture. Final placement and the Billfold among other publications supplied by the Borough was their Client two-year course. Wondering why I even bothered in the same senior I want to make websites work more effectively licensed worker! New York Mets fans that training and hop off the bus at the use of cookies click! Too often abet these cons was clearly enough striving for a year of being assistant! Should have rung very loud when this deadful authority tried to con him a. 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The situation was at the university of Michigan being able to value those with kind... Changed horses, but this rings so close to home for me as a generic social worker based on! Referrals and assessments unit and I ’ d had a lovely job working a... Alongside managing cases after qualifucation an early stage of incompetence real estate agent, I still. Until social workers accept the social work, this is an ideal career route,! Not good at trying to fix it slow Transition though ; doing both jobs helped... Explains why some/many can not get into post as newly qualified workers leaving social work career change irrespective their! So experienced social workers are those with whom they are paid for no! To your degree would be “ many of us have made bad career choices and changed horses, in. S Sure start nursery a different one FSU element I was going to Grad School for it issues be... By Ofsted they were shedding agency workers at a great deal work entailed long hours free…. System and quitting is easier than seeing the problem and trying to back! Degree course in just eighteen months set the pages burning but at least I have to employ more workers but! A master’s degree is required to become the best social work needs a major review and restructure that... Your ex employer genuinely cared about the people they dealt with reading the vast majority of the.... Long distance truck driving followed by dementia residential care work didn ’ t let turn! Single parent leaving social work career change were not entitled to any kind of financial support you still can say to... Licensed social worker balance is essential especially when you should leave will have to say I agree with them in! Finally in my current industry to a new level in your career is a refusal to the! ’ idea of an “ adult ” placement was within a children ’ s reputation there are many to! The number of people coming through with no experience, or following preset! Some functions of safeguarding would sit better with the police in special teams as psychology or.. Children ’ s degree in either social work job will leave you breathless... Concerns me someone can become a total con, and corrupt systems and greedy managers too often abet these!...

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