BSc (Hons) Social Work 2009
Why Edinburgh university and why social work? I had given up an opportunity to undertake a degree after leaving school and spent time at home raising my family, but always hoped to return to further education. I became interested in social work as a potential carer partly through having a special needs child and partly through working in an Under 5s Centre in a socio-economically deprived area. This role involved supporting parents to develop their parenting skills and provide a safe space for them to talk about their hopes and worries. It gave me a great insight in to the many difficulties that some families experience, but the role was limited in what I could do to promote change within the family. I researched and applied for a number of social worker programmes across the Central belt, however the University of Edinburgh was always first choice for me, due to its reputation.
Going to university as a mature student was daunting to say the least but the support from staff and fellow students was fantastic. I really got into university life acting as a class rep and school rep. I enjoyed the breadth of education, lots of which have been useful in my current social work role. My first placement sparked an interest in immigration and asylum issues which I have continued into practice, taking a lead role within my team. Getting the Marjorie Brown prize at the end of my degree was a real highlight. The prize money went towards a kayak which has helped me relax and manage the stress of my current role.
Since leaving University in 2009 I have worked as a Children and Families Practice team social worker. I’ve also completed a post graduate course in Child Protection, gaining a distinction and I support colleagues who are currently undertaking the post grad course with their assignments. My time at Edinburgh has been really influential in my choice of career, particularly by supporting me to develop the confidence to take on the complexities and pressures of practice.
Looking ahead, I hope to train as a practice teacher in the near future to support the next generation of social workers.
Source: own contribution (30.1.2017)