Thinking of changing careers? Come along to one of our career changer information events to find out more about the Frontline programme and a career in social work.
I am a qualified solicitor and specialised in commercial and residential property law. Before Frontline, I worked for an international law firm. My work involved acting for a variety of domestic and international clients on all kinds of matters involving land law.
I have always had a passion and desire to work with children. That is why I became a supported lodgings provider and foster carer.* I wanted to give children a chance to have a better quality of life. I studied law and became a lawyer because I am a champion for the rights of people who are vulnerable in society such as children. I am still an advocate for children who are about to be permanently excluded and I serve as chair on the board of a charity that helps such children.
After many years of deliberating on making a move, Frontline offered me the opportunity to re-train. I felt secure to now change direction.
I already had an insight into social work through my work as a supported lodgings provider and foster carer. Obviously, I knew about the challenges within social work, however, that did not deter me from wanting to bring change into families. I also have faith in the systemic approach adopted by Frontline and their partner local authorities – to have a more relational and holistic approach in the way they work with families.
To me, the Summer Institute was the unlocking of the door to children’s social work. It reinforced my passion to add value to this noble profession. It was also amazing to connect with people from different regions who were like-minded. The experience cemented my desire to work in child protection.
I think my perception of social work has now become more defined and refined. I now know how hard social workers work and that most of what the public think about social workers is not true. Social workers are not there to take away children or break families – they are agents of change and are there to enhance the wellbeing and social functioning of families.
At first I felt apprehensive about my local authority placement but also excited. It’s a completely new profession but I am willing to learn from experienced social workers. I also hope that my past legal experience will add tremendous value to social work. I really want to make a difference in the lives of children and their families.
If you are thinking of changing to a career in social work, just do it! You may be the change and catalyst that a family needs. The Frontline programme offers structured training and a supportive environment so you will never walk alone. It may be hard work, but you will have the support you need, and you will join a truly rewarding profession.
For those who may have been working in another field for some time and are unsure about making the move, always remember that you will have transferable skills that will bring value to your work as a social worker. The only regrets you will ever have in life are for the things you never dared to do.
* A supported lodgings provider offers single people aged sixteen and above accommodation in a home environment when leaving foster care or residential care.