How do you account for your interest in social work? In your response, discuss paid or volunteer experiences that support your choice of social work as a profession? My interest in social work developed during college. I always had a interest in helping others in one way or another. I joined a sorority in college, Delta Sigma Theta, which is based off of community service. During the week I would volunteer to tutor children that were struggling in certain areas of school.
I would talk to these children and explain to them the importance of education and try to influence them as much as possible to try their hardest in everything that they do. I would also go to nursing homes, with other member of our organization, and play bingo with their residents. We thought it was important to spend time with the elderly and/or sick as well. Just knowing how much it meant to those residents for us to come and spend time with them was a phenomenal feeling. After college I worked for the Indianapolis Juvenile Correctional Facility (Girl School) as a Youth Service Officer (YSO).
I gained a lot of hands on experience at the Girl School and I was able to work in more depth with the youth. I worked with at least 35-40 troubled teenagers each day. I was their guidance counselor, teacher, disciplinary, and sometimes I felt like their parent. I enjoyed being able to talk with each individual and I learned how to communicate with each of them effectively. Through all these individual experiences I developed a strong desire to become a social worker so that I can help improve people’s lives by helping them cope and solve issues in their everyday lives. Social work is committed to social justice. What is social justice? What experiences have shaped your interest in advancing social justice? In the future, how will you help advance social justice? Social justice is concerned with equality or equal justice, not just in the courts, but in all aspects of society. This concept demands that people have equal rights and opportunities and this includes everyone, from the poorest to the wealthiest. Social justice refers to a concept of a society that gives individuals and groups fair treatment and fair distribution of advantages, ssets, and benefits among all members of a society. On a positive note, one experience in particular that have shaped my interest in advancing social justice is the inauguration of the first African American President, President Barack Obama. This has had such a positive influence on the minority communities because it has allowed us to see how much things have changed. It has given individuals hope that may have never thought that there would be a Black President or a president outside of the ethnic background of Caucasian.
In the future, I hope to be a part of a movement that advances social justice even more. I would like to be a part of something that helps our children in need, employs our workers in need, helps our disabled and heels are criminal justice system. I currently work for a job where I experience inequalities because of my job title or skin color. There are times where I feel that I am not valued as some of my other co-workers due to the difference of our job classification.
There are situations that have occurred that I feel like I was misunderstood because of my skin color and some of the negative stereotypes that comes along with it. As a social worker, I would like to establish job confidence, meaning that I would like to implement a system within all jobs that allows all employees no matter of your race, class or gender that allows you maintain the confidence needed to perform your job duties without the ridicule or stereotypes from those of higher positions. What is your perception or understanding of social work as a profession?
Elaborate on how you understand social workers intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities, and political entities? Professional social workers are found in every facet of community life including schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, prisons, military and all other public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need. Social workers assist individuals, groups or communities restore or enhance social functioning through creating living conditions favorable to their goal or need.
Social workers are trained professionals that help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges such as poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, educational issues, mental illness, disability, unemployment, etc. They accomplish this through counseling individuals, families and communities; teaching them how to cope with the stresses of everyday life. From a political standpoint, social workers spend time and money on campaigns that elect public officials that are committed to social work values.
Sound public policies enable social workers to meet human needs, be fairly compensated and promote social justice. Overall I perceive social work as a “take action” profession. Often times, we as human beings complain and talk about what needs to be done but do not do anything beyond that. Social workers are hands on. They are not just talking about what “should” be done but they are doing something to better our communities. Social workers are about making a difference in society by helping others out that are in need for various reasons.
If you are very sick and in need of assistance to perform normal, everyday functions, social workers can assist you in finding a home, affordable to you and your family so that you can have that need met. Social workers assist children that may have been a victim of abuse or witness of domestic violence by removing them from that destructive atmosphere into a much safer environment while providing counseling to aid in the healing process. They provide food, shelter and clothing for those that are down in their luck because of unemployment, disabilities or all other poverty related issues.
There are a wide variety of activities that can be considered social work and professional social workers are employed in many different environments but they all possess one common goal and that is “helping people”. 4)The concept of cultural pluralism emphasizes respect for diversity of values, heritages, customs, and lifestyles. We are interested in your experiences with people from diverse populations. For each of the following diverse groups, describe how you have worked with each.
If you have gaps in your exposure to diversity, what is your plan to broaden your effectiveness to work respectfully and effectively with each of these populations? Ethnicity (race, culture) – I have worked with many different ethnicities and cultures in several way. I have worked with different ethnic groups at work, school and everyday life. As a minority, I was raised to treat everyone how I would like to be treated so outside of their physical appearance I look at everyone as my equal.
I have different ethnic backgrounds in family which does not seem to be uncommon at all in these days and times. I believe that different backgrounds and cultures is what make our world so beautiful and diverse. Spiritual tradition different from your own – Although I don’t understand all of the different spiritual traditions and backgrounds, I definitely have worked with different ones at one time or another. I have dated an individual with a different spiritual background than myself and I learned that although we may have worshiped in different ways; we worshiped for the same purpose.
I know that this may not be true of all spiritual backgrounds but I feel that it is important to respect each person spiritual preference even if I don’t agree with their values. I currently work for a hospital and in our registration process we ask each patient if they have a certain spiritual preference that they would like us to note on their chart. We ask this question not to be judgmental but to provide that option if the patient wants to seek clergy while hospitalized. Age – I have worked with a variety of ages throughout the year.
Currently, I work with a wide variety of age groups. I work in a laboratory and there are both older and younger age groups. Our younger employees respect the older employees because we have learned a lot from their experiences. I, personally, have never been discriminated against because of my age, as far as I know, and it does not seem to be a major issue from my experiences. I have also worked over a lot of juveniles in a correctional facility setting. I found this job to be quite challenging at times because these individuals required a lot of attention and redirecting.
However, the experience within itself was priceless. Disability – Working in a hospital setting has allowed me to encounter a lot of patients with several different disabilities. Watching these patients struggle with things that the average human being might take for granted is a mind-blowing experience within itself. Seeing and hearing these individuals talk about their disabilities has made me become more appreciative of the little things in life like walking, driving, talking, working, being able to dress and bath myself, etc.
Although working with people with disabilities can be disheartening, it is also very rewarding because it makes you feel really good to be able to assist another person in need. Socio-Economic - I have worked with people with different socio-economic backgrounds or statuses because I have experienced different socio-economic statuses. Both of my parents came from family households containing at least 6 or more children and as a result neither one of my parents had much, economically, as a child. My parents got married and started a family at a young age so as a esult I was raised on a lower socio-economic status then some of my peers. Living in a time where new technologies are developed constantly and wealth and greed are at an all time high, I am constantly striving to achieve more. However, I know to achieve more wealth or higher socio-economic status one must lay a strong educational background foundation which is why I would like to further my education by achieving a Masters Degree. Sexual orientation – Sexual orientation is usually divided into 3 groups: Heterosexual, Homosexual, and Bisexual.
We live in a time where all three groups are becoming more predominant, especially homosexual and bisexual groups. Regardless of my sexual preference I feel that it is important to respect individual’s decision and not to judge them by it. As a phlebotomist I have to draw all patients regardless of their sexual orientation. I do not treat homosexual’s any different than I treat heterosexuals when taking precautions against exposures. Actually, I was trained to treat all patients as if they had a communicable disease to lessen my risk of exposing myself to contaminants.
I have also worked around individuals that outwardly discuss their sexual preferences and I don’t think that they should not discuss it if it is not considered the “norm”, however I feel that all sexual orientations should be able to express themselves as long as it’s considered appropriate conversation considering the environment. When social workers are in a situation where they must choose between two relevant, but competing choices, and where each choice may have an undesirable consequence for the parties involved, this is called an ethical dilemma. Describe an ethical dilemma you have experienced.
Discuss your decision-making process and factors which contributed to the ultimate outcome. Please protect confidentiality, and DO NOT reveal names of individuals or organizations. I worked for my previous job for more than 7 years as a phlebotomist and I gained a lot of training and insight through this experience. With the economy becoming so bad my employer was having to cut back so they had hiring and wage freezes. I was working without insurance because the hiring freeze would not allow me to change my status from PRN to full time so that I could receive benefits.
Suddenly, the hospital that I was working for through my employer decided not to renew their contract with my company which had my department in fear of unemployment. The hospital decided to open up their own laboratory and hire their own staff. This had a great impact on my employer because it was a great financial loss for our company which meant more possible cut backs. I was forced to make a difficult decision because I had a lot of experience with the company I was employed for but I needed benefits and the hospital was offering full time status plus benefits.
Due to the short notice my current employer was insuring us that if we left them to work for the hospital that we will not be allowed to return there for employment. Do I stay or do I go was the question I would ask myself over and over. What if things didn’t go well with this new laboratory? How long will the hiring and wage freeze last? After a few months of deliberating I finally chose to work for the hospital. I thought this would be a great opportunity for me and I would be able to receive the benefits that I desperately needed for myself and my child.
As of now, I have not regretted this decision. Our laboratory is a success and I am currently receiving the health benefits that I was seeking. I make a lot more money than I did with my previous employer and I also receive bonuses, vacation time and holiday pay. This ethical dilemma turned out in my favor after all and I have no desire to return to my previous employer. Social work is a profession that has considerable emotional demands on the practitioner. How do you handle stress and what coping skills do you anticipate using as a competent practitioner?
I handle stress the best by remaining calm and focused so that I can think clearly and make good decisions. I like to reflect on what I think is causing the stress and figure out the best way possible to minimize that stressor. As a competent practitioner in the social work profession I plan to have stressful situations therefore I’m not surprised or caught off guard when they occur. I will remain calm and level-headed as much as possible so that I can provide what is necessary. Through my experience I have noticed that people react better to individuals that are calm, confident and in control.
People feel a lot safer when they are in the hands of a profession that is in control of the situation and that knows how to remain strong but sensitive to whatever the circumstances may be. Graduate school provides learning opportunities that require an investment of time and energy. Plan to spend an average of 36 hours per week on homework for a full-time load of four courses. In addition, three semesters of field practica require approximately 20-24 hours per week. Discuss why you are prepared to attend graduate school at this time in your life/career.
Please describe plans that you are making to adjust your personal and professional life in order to successfully participate in: The coursework, class preparation and assignments. Academic pursuits require approximately 9 hours a week per class. Two separate field practica of approximately 20-24 hours per week for 3 semesters. These practica must be completed at practicum agencies during daytime hours; rarely do practicum sites offer night/evening/weekend hours. It has been 6 years since I graduated from college after completing my bachelors and I have now decided that I am ready to go back to college to receive a masters degree.
Since relocating back to my hometown I have had trouble finding a job in my major, Criminal Justice, and would like to expand my knowledge by returning for a Masters Degree in Social Work (MSW). As a single mother of two children I plan on making a lot of adjustments in order to make this work out for me. I am currently working full-time, 40 hours or more a week, on dayshift so I don’t have to adjust my hours for this program but more or less the amount of hours so that I can focus and have time to complete my assignments. )My children are enrolled in school and daycare so I plan to do a lot of the homework during their school/daycare hours to prevent distractions. I also anticipate a lot of late hours of studying beginning after I lay my children down to sleep at night. My biggest goal is to prevent and form of procrastination from hibernating within myself. I want to stay on top things so that I am not cramming and falling behind in my classes. Organization is also an important goal during this endeavor.
Remaining organized will prevent me from missing assignments, due dates and all other important factors that may apply. The most difficult challenge I am facing during this program will be the field practica of approximately 20-24 hours per week for 3 semesters. I am concerned that financial constraints may develop during this period of unpaid work. Therefore to prepare for this challenge I am currently saving as much money as possible while working full-time now. I want to be able to be focused on my practica and not financially stressed while trying to concentrate on my studies.
I also plan on applying for financial aid so that I can receive assistance to help pay for my living expenses or room and board. I was in a similar situation when I did my internship for my bachelors program except for that required 40 hours a week of unpaid time. I successfully completed that task through the methods mentioned previously so I’m confident that everything will work out with this program. When I was a child my parents would always use this quote: “Where there is a will there is a way” and since I am very much willing I know that my faith will guide me the entire way.