In all honesty, social work was never a career I had considered before. In fact, all I knew about the profession was what I had learned from the news, books, films and TV – most of which did not exactly seem appealing. Across the country, social services are constantly under threat from cuts and staff shortages, and the media is full of bad news stories which paint a bleak picture for children and young people who are in care.
It was against this context that Frontline was set up. The charity is devoted to innovating and training a new generation of social workers, and to changing the misconceptions that I and unfortunately many others have about the profession. The aim is to inject a new lease of life into one of the most important parts of our society. ‘Changing lives’ is the motto and it doesn’t just refer to children and young people. Frontline is determined to introduce a whole new set of social workers, from different backgrounds, ages and experiences, into the forefront of social services. And it all begins with you – the applicant.
My journey with Frontline has just begun. It started in April and I hope it continues for a long time to come. I applied to attend one of the diversity insight days to get a better idea of what social work involves. Having no direct experience in the area, I was worried that I would be out of place. However, I quickly discovered that Frontline was the perfect place for me to learn, grow and develop my skillset and apply my knowledge to social work. I met other potential applicants and found that they all had completely different skills and experiences. The one thing for certain is that Frontline will foster those who want to help make a change.
The diversity insight day is an invaluable way of finding out about the entire application process for the Frontline programme. If you have already had a look at the application process, you will know it can be quite daunting. The insight day put me at ease for many reasons. I was able to speak directly with people who have been through the process and those who work for Frontline too. You will cover competency tests, common questions and even have a go at dealing with some possible situations a social worker could face. There is also a chance to speak to social workers who are already on placement about managing the academic and practical elements of the Frontline programme. By the end of the day, I am sure you will know whether the programme is right for you.
When you look beyond the inherent negativity in how social work is often discussed, you will find that there are thousands of social workers who are committed to making every day just a little bit easier and safer for families across the country. It will be challenging, but it will also be great. If, like me, you want to dedicate yourself to improving the lives of children and young people, then apply for one of Frontline’s diversity insight days – let’s start changing lives!
Our next Diversity Insight Days will be held in Manchester (21 June) and London
(5 July and 22 July). Find out more and apply here.