My Journey to Becoming a Social Worker - Lorimer Fostering

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My Journey to Becoming a Social Worker

Posted on 24th March 2023 by

This week (20th – 24th March) is Social Work Week 2023 and the perfect time to celebrate our amazing Social Workers here at Lorimer.

Charlene is a Student Social Worker who has recently joined Lorimer on her final placement. She has kindly put together this blog post about her journey to becoming a Social Worker. We would like to say a HUGE thank you to Charlene for sharing her story with us.

Read all about Charlene’s experiences below!

My Journey to Becoming a Social Worker

After being brought up on the most known council estate in my hometown, in poverty, whilst dealing with my father who was a drug user, the challenges and social injustice I faced through my whole childhood, and even early adulthood, was the main reason I wanted to become a social worker. However, once I finished school, I was told by many within society that someone like me couldn’t go on to further education that NVQ’s were the way forward. So childcare was the route that was picked for me.

Then in early adulthood my sister struggled with her oldest child’s behaviour and needed extra support from social workers. The social workers showed signs of judgement and could not empathise with my sister at all. This was then another piece to my social work journey, social care needed people like me, who can show empathy and never judge anyone for who they are, or have been in the past, and that understands that people are their own experts of their own lives.

My challenges of not being able to afford to go back to school when I was an adult hit me hard, then in 2016 after having my first son, I thought enough is enough, I’ll make it work. I went part time in my job as a childminder, I thought this was the perfect time to finally start my social work journey. However, due to not getting the right GCSEs and being out of education for a while, the 3-year plan now became a 5-year plan, but oh well what’s another 2 years after waiting this long. Therefore, I re did my GCSEs one year, then started the Access to Social work at my local college.

Within the first term the teachers pulled me to one side and told me to go and get tested as they think I am dyslexic. It came back I was, I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t make sense, my hobby was reading how can this be. After researching and finding more out about it, the easier it became. Everyone in my class could attend college the 3 days, where I had to be there for 5 days to complete the same amount of work, but it was ok, just another challenge I had to face. I passed my college course with enough credits to get into university, I was going to big school, little old me from that council estate, I did it.

Then Covid hit and University came online, learning from a screen, isolated, unavailable face to face support, constantly trying hard to stay focused with family members around the house. But 3 years later I did it, I completed my last lesson and got my last assignment back, all done, another challenge I overcame.

Now my final placement 100 days to the finishing line (92 days as I write this) to become that social worker I dreamed off when I left school, but never ever thought would be possible. The thousands of people, families, and children I am going to help and support, to be able to make them believe, if I can do it… so can they. That challenges are there for us to face, and it’s clear I have had a few on this journey, but each step has made me stronger and more determined that social work is my calling in life.

My Journey to Becoming a Social Worker

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