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This essay will include a description of my career goals of becoming a social worker and how I will successfully achieve this, I will be describing the personal and professional challenges towards my education and career goals. This essay will refer to various learning styles which have supported me in writing this assignment. This essay will also include a time management plan that demonstrates how I have successfully been able to complete all essays within the given timeframe. I will describe the role of a social worker and outline what its job role entails along with what skills and qualities are required. A professional development plan will be created which will support me in reflecting on my plan to help me gain an understanding of how I will be able to act on my objectives and ensure that they are all completed. This essay will refer to certain policies and procedures that will link to my career pathway plan. References will also be used within this essay to show my understanding of knowledge that I have read from websites, articles, books, etc.

Personal and professional challenges

Within my career and uni course goals, there have been plenty of personal challenges that I have come across and have had to deal with for me to achieve my goals; some of my challenges would include my motivation and dedication in getting the work started as the tasks sometimes get left till last minute which then causes my work to not be of a high standard. I am known for procrastinating when it comes to starting essays; when I am given essays to complete, I tend to leave them till the last minute as I struggle to start them off. For me to overcome this barrier I can plan out a weekly to-do list based on what assignments need to be completed first and work out what days are free so I can assign a couple of hours during that day to get the work done. In my case, I can get my work done in the evenings as I have no distractions around me to divert my attention. Another personal challenge of mine is that I tend to be quite forgetful at times; during weeks when I am extremely busy with work, uni, driving lessons, and volunteering I tend to forget what needs to be done first and what the most important task is. For me to overcome this barrier and make sure that all tasks are completed I can set weekly reminders of what work needs to be handed in and when which will then allow me to prioritize the most important tasks. Over time I have developed the skill of multi-tasking and organization which has helped me in ensuring that all my work gets completed and other priorities get completed.

As well as personal challenges there have also been many professional challenges that I have come across and had to overcome independently or with support given. For me to successfully become a social worker I am required to already have some experience with dealing with children and families in a range of different settings, for me to gain a few months of experience in these situations I would be required to find myself a work placement which is suitable for the career I want. Throughout the years of attending college, I have had many work placements volunteering in nurseries, primary schools, and disability schools. Working in these different settings has allowed me to improve my confidence as well as help me gain many more skills that I can use within other work placements and other jobs.

Time management

For me to successfully achieve all my goals I will need to create a suitable and reliable plan that will allow me to achieve everything I need to within the given time frame. Appendix A shows my time management table which represents what essays I have to complete and when each one is due; this allows me time to plan out how long I have to complete each task taking into consideration how long each task will take to complete. Appendix A is a table based around time management which represents how I can complete all my tasks for me to successfully pass each assignment with either merits or distinctions. The time management table is split into 5 sections: subject, section, completed, how long it will take to complete the task, and when it’s due; I think this table is reliable as it shows what tasks need to be completed and how long is given for each task till it’s due in, as this table shows it’s due in date it allows me to create a plan that will help me to complete all the tasks successfully within the given timeframe. The time management table gets reviewed and updated weekly depending on how many tasks have been completed.

Self-awareness

To be a social worker there is a range of skills and qualities that would be required for individuals to have to undertake their job role as a professional. Social workers are known to be knowledgeable, empathize with other individuals, and be observant. The best reflection method that would help me and others get an understanding of the type of person I am and what skills and qualities I have is Johari’s windows. Johari’s window is a tool that is used by practitioners across different work settings to support in assessing an individual’s behavior and relationships around other people. Everyone tends to act differently depending on where they are, who they’re around, and whether they are comfortable around those people which is why Johari’s window is a great tool to use.

Appendix B is a screenshot of Johari’s windows a four-grid table that gets filled in with adjectives based on what I and others think of me and what others don’t know about me as well as what I don’t know about myself and others do. Johari’s window is useful in improving self-awareness as it provides an overview of how others see you based on how you act around them, which then allows individuals to improve themselves if they need to so they can have the right skills and qualities for the career they want (Johari window quadrant, 2021).

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Reflection

Appendix C is a form of reflection method that can help me to reflect upon my actions and come up with conclusions based on my own experiences after an event. Gibbs’s reflective cycle can be used within team building exercises to get an understanding of how individuals can perform a task better and to also discuss what went well.

Appendix C helps individuals to talk about the situation in a way that is more descriptive. The second part of the cycle is feelings; this is where the individual would talk about their thoughts before and after the event, questions that would be suitable to ask would be: what did you feel before this event happened? How did you feel whilst this was happening? How do you think other individuals around you felt whilst this was happening? How did you feel after the event and how do you think others felt after the event had happened? All these questions can help to get an overall overview of how everyone was feeling during the event. The third part of the cycle is based on the evaluation, which means asking the individual what the positive and negative outcomes of the event were and what everyone participated in the situation in either a good or bad way. The fourth part of the cycle is the conclusion which means to think about what could have been done differently to make it more of a positive outcome and what skills would have been useful to have during the event to help handle the situation better. The last part of the cycle is the action; this is where the individual will be required to identify any areas that could have had better outcomes and write out an action plan where the individual will need to act on their plan to see an overall improvement for when a similar event happens again (Gibbs reflective cycle, 2021).

Social worker definition

A social worker has a range of roles depending on what sector of the industry they work in. The different roles of social workers include leaving care team social worker, youth offending team social worker, fostering and adoptions social worker, looked after children social worker, duty assessment social worker, school social worker, health care social worker, and many more (Range of social workers, 2021).

Being a children and families social worker means that I would be required to support families in working together and solving their problems in a civilized manner, and most importantly ensuring that children are kept safe and happy within their homes. As a social worker, I would be required to attend two different types of meetings: PEP and LAC; a PEP (personal educational plan) meeting is based on children’s progress and achievement within their education. PEP meetings aim to keep track of the child’s progress and get an insight into what can be done to support the child in achieving their future goals. A LAC (looked-after child) meeting takes place to review a child’s care plan and get an overview of how the child’s needs are being met. within a PEP meeting the child’s schoolteacher, foster carers, social worker, and the child itself would be involved in the meeting so they can all have an input on what is best for the child. In an LAC meeting the child, foster carers, social worker, and IRO are all involved in the meeting as well. Both meetings provide a person-centered approach to care as they are about the child and higher progress. (Role of social workers, 2021).

Action plan

To make sure that I pursue my social work career I will need to complete the Social Welfare and Guidance course with merits and distinctions as well as attend a work placement that will give me the experience and skills that will be needed for a social work profession. I have decided to volunteer with Home Start as it will provide me with various experiences I need and allow me to gain more knowledge on how to communicate with different families who are from different cultures and who have experienced different things which will help me to get an insight on how it has affected them.

I have produced a personal plan which is under Appendix D that outlines what my objectives are and how I can successfully achieve them. Having my personal development plan can have many benefits; some of these are, outlining clear goals, increasing my motivation to make sure I achieve every objective, helping me to track my progress, and helping me get an understanding of what needs to be improved. For me to have a reliable PDP I need to make sure that my goals are SMART; this means that each goal needs to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If I can achieve the criteria to get a suitable PDP it will make it easier for me to understand my PDP and make sure that all my goals are achieved.

Reference list:

    1. Gibbs reflective cycle (2021) mindtools.com [online] Available at: https:www.mindtools.compagesarticlereflective-cycle.htm, Accessed on: 17th November 2021.
    2. Johari window quadrant (2021) explore [online] Available at https:explorance.comblogdiscovering-blind-spots-in-360-degree-feedback-with-the-johari-window, Accessed on: 8th November 2021.
    3. Range of social workers (2021) Children social work matters [online] Available at https:www.childrenssocialworkmatters.orgcsw-roles, Accessed on: 8th November 2021.
    4. Role of social workers (2021) social care [online] Available at https:www.socialcare.co.ukblogin-detail-working-as-a-children-and-families-social-worker, Accessed on: 9th November 2021

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