Studied: Psychology, University of York
Now: Newly qualified social worker, North West
After graduating from university I had joined a management training programme, yet I quickly found myself losing interest in my job.
My mum sent me a link to Frontline, and while looking through the website I read that on the course ‘Being able to take charge and lead the way is essential, but you should also recognise when it’s time to step back and let others take the lead’. Through training and mentoring staff in my old job and coaching university cheerleading, I’d always loved seeing people achieve when they’d doubted themselves before.
When I told people what I wanted to do, most said, ‘That’s such a hard job’ or, ‘You’ve got to be tough to do that’. But that just spurred me on. I like a challenge. Not being challenged enough was one reason why I left my last job – that, and wanting to contribute something to the world.
I’ve worked with single parents and families of 11, parents that are vulnerable asylum seekers with no access to public funds and wealthy international business owners. Children and parents with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, drug and alcohol addictions, young people undergoing gender reassignment. Children who want to be doctors, police, teachers, builders, or own hotels. Child protection has no boundaries like class, age or race.
What I enjoy most is that social work is just so interesting. Families are unique and fascinating and no two will ever be the same, I’ve been completely humbled by the fact they have let me into their lives.
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I definitely feel like I’m part of a positive movement to change social work – and I’m thankful to be part of it.
I don’t know any other career where you can work in such a collaborative way with a child and their family.
What I enjoy most is that social work is just so interesting. Families are unique and fascinating and no two will ever be the same.
Everyone has a different story, but we all share a passion for helping vulnerable children and families.
I really enjoy getting to know families and building useful relationships with them.
I work with children within the criminal justice system and their families to reduce reoffending and manage their risk to themselves and others.
A unit is essentially a small, tight-knit team, with an experienced leader.
The programme is incredibly diverse and that’s one of the great things about Frontline and being a social worker.
I really enjoy having the opportunity to really help people. It’s the feedback from families and young people that keeps me going.
Doing the Frontline programme has given me a passion I didn’t know I had and has opened up a world of opportunities.
This programme has taught me much about myself and has allowed me to develop my own style of being a social worker, bringing in my own personality.
What I enjoy most about being a social worker – is the growth that I see and experience. I see growth in individuals and in families and I see growth in myself.
Prior to starting Frontline, I enjoyed a stimulating career as a teacher for 35 years. Frontline presented me with the opportunity to work with these young people at the other end of the school day, in their home and family.
Sometimes social work is about hard-fought but small successes, which although small can be really rewarding when they represent a shift in a family’s thinking or behaviour.