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My interest in Social Work has stemmed from a wide range of experiences over recent years.

Each of these experiences from voluntary work, personal experiences and in professional roles working within the Social Care field, has given me a thirst for knowledge, fuelled my passion for supporting others and spurred on my desire to persue a career in this challenging yet rewarding role. It is only now that I feel I have gained not only the practical skills and expertise necessary to study toward this qualification but also the life experience which has provided me with the foundations to build upon and the determination to see it through. As a School Leaver I became an apprentice within a Childcare setting. Within this role I worked in partnership with parents in order to achieve and maintain a consistent care approach, recorded developmental milestones under the Birth to Five Framework and implemented behaviour management strategies. Working predominantly with children aged 0-5yrs I gained invaluable knowledge of Child Development through working toward my NVQs Level 2 and 3 in Early Years Care, Learning and Development. Another key aspect of my role was to key work a number of children within the Pre School group. I was working with a child that was subject to a Child Protection Plan and was subsequently asked to attend a review meeting to provide feedback on the childs recent behaviour whilst attending Pre School. Apprehensive as to what to expect I was intrigued to learn more of the comprehensive package of support that had been put in place for this family and the range of services involved and implementing preventative measures in order to decrease the risk escalating. This is when I found my interest in Social Work began to develop. A short time later I was successful in my application to become a Parental Involvement Worker within a Surestart Childrens Centre. This role gave me the opportunity to work as part of a multi disciplinary team and work with service users accessing the Childrens Centre. I signposted families to services they required and engaged hard to reach families, encouraging them to access the Centres. I attended TAC meetings to assist with engaging families in order to achieve more positive outcomes for children and families. I completed Solihull Training and a Safeguarding Children and young people course whilst in this role. My interest in Social Work developed further when I was working alongside the Preventative Work Team and I found myself wanting to engage with families within their environment and wanting to support in implementing plans for positive change. In September 2010 I began in my role as a Residential Care Officer at Lincs Secure Unit. I was keen to work with older children and young people, particularly those displaying often challenging behaviours and broaden my knowledge in Child Development. In this role I worked with young people aged 10-18yrs who were in custody for various crimes and also for there own personal safety on Welfare Orders. I planned activities for the young people within the unit and adapted these accordingly to encourage participation by all, attempting to engage all young people. Working with often hostile and/or resistant individuals I developed excellent communication skills and the ability to de escalates certain situations. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the young people at the Unit and particularly thrived in my role of Key Worker. I was responsible for completing relevant review paperwork, engaging in structured 1-1 sessions and attending review meetings alongside Youth Offending Team Workers, Social Workers and CAMHS. I was positive about assisting the young people in implementing plans and achieving set targets whilst at the unit and in preparation for

their release. I became interested in learning more of Child Protection issues facing the different practitioners working within the Social Care field and also in learning more about preventative measures and specific targeted work carried out with families within the community. Whilst working at the Secure Unit I gained my NVQ 3 in Health and Social Care and attended a wide range of related courses such as Attachment Theory, Child Development and Working with Children and Young People with Harmful Sexual Behaviours. I am currently serving as a Special Constable with Lincolnshire Police. I have been in this role for the past four years and it has really given me a solid foundation for working with aggressive, abusive and resistant individuals in stressful and difficult situations. From experience I have gained dealing with high pressure situations I am able to stay calm and logical in difficult circumstances and have developed excellent communication skills that enable me to communicate with people from all walks of life. All the skills I have gained from my time in this post have been transferrable to my work roles outside of the Police. I recall a particular incident in which my colleague and I were responsible for taking four young children into protective custody. This sparked my interest in researching more about the different roles each professional has to play in meeting the needs of children and safeguarding them from harm which in turn led me to reading the Monroe Report and looking in more depth at various laws relating to the Childrens Act 1989. My current role as a Family Support Worker is busy, varied and never dull! I have a workload including families open to the TAC process for which I am Lead Professional and also interventions in which I am working with a family in Child in Need/Child Protection alongside a qualified Social Worker. I thoroughly enjoy being able to work on the frontline, delivering services and implementing strategies and change with families who require support. Safeguarding children in at the forefront of my practice and I regularly reflect upon cases and dealings I have had with families to see where I could improve and build upon my current practice. I have a history of both successes and challenges when working with families, each family is individual and has there own varied and often complex issues. I use my professional skills and judgement to help families, with guidance, find a solution focused approach to difficulties they are experiencing. Along with personal experience I feel I now have the necessary grounding and skills base to persue a career in this field. Being able to combine all these experiences and to gain a professional qualification is something I feel would be rewarding and invaluable to my future career.