I am enthusiastic about applying for the Master's program in Social work since I firmly believe that it will increase my career opportunities as a care specialist. As an undergraduate, I pursued a vigorous curricular in this field, with a concentration of social, political, and economic justice happening in society. These studies provided me with a chance to develop a better understanding of the social issues that children and other members of the community face on a day to day basis. It was through these classes that I got interested in and discovered my passion for serving all types of people in the community and being their primary caregiver.
My initial exposure to social work began with my employment as a care specialist. I got privileged to work and attend to different families and children from diverse communities. As part of my job description, my research team and I investigated some of the social problems affecting people in society. Our main aim was to identify the social issues affecting people and look for ways to mitigate and eventually curb them. In our research findings, we collected data on the leading social problems affecting people so that we can have a better understanding of what people go through every day. I was committed and dedicated to this project since I firmly believed that having an evidence-based practice is imperative to being a social care specialist. It provided with a chance to mingle with different people and know the type of societal problems; they face in their day to day endeavors. The comprehensive work experience and socialization opportunities nurtured my interest in pursuing a master's degree in social work since I want to provide the best care to everyone in society.
Pursuance of my masters in Social work degree will help me anticipate and prepare for challenges that I may encounter in my professional life. It will lay the basis and foundation for my future as an accommodating and helpful member of society. My educational advancements will present chances for me to work in partnerships with a group of professionals committed to social justice as well as enhancing the quality of life and general wellbeing of people that are impacted by social disadvantages such as poverty, discrimination, and unemployment. Nevertheless, social work training will provide a comprehensive knowledge base not only during my professional career but also in navigating everyday experience.
Social Problems and Its Relationship to Social, Political and Economic Justice
One of the critical detrimental social issues in the world is poverty. Poverty is a prevalent social issue affecting most communities across the globe. It is the source of most social vices happening in society, like drug abuse and crime (Bouzarovski, 2018). Drug abuse and misconduct have adverse effects on families, which are the backbone of society. Drug abuse drains family resources results in the neglect of responsibilities, violence, and people getting locked up in correctional facilities, which distorts interpersonal family relationships.
There is a good relationship between poverty and political injustice. On most occasions, people of color usually face racial discrimination in society. The politics behind it is that most people believe that these minority group should not get considered as part of the community. It is the sole reason why people of color get discriminated against in most development projects planned by politicians and the government, which in turn increases poverty levels in society. The National Association of Social Workers' (NASW) has a code of ethics that shields all social workers against biases and discrimination ("Read the Code of Ethics," 2020). A social worker must follow the NASW code of ethics and provide care to all the members of the society irrespective of their race, gender, or color.
The relationship between poverty and economic justice is the lack of employment opportunities and access to affordable education. The primary reason most people are poor is the lack of educational empowerment, and a means to earn a living since there are scarce employment opportunities in society. However, a social worker must follow the NASW code of ethics and help poor people meet their essential basic needs and requirements (Reamer, 2006). Social workers have a responsibility to help the poor people in society generate and implement ideas on how they can earn a living. The social worker should help them meet their basic human needs.
The relationship between poverty and social justice is the social injustices that some members of society face (Dorling, 2018). When a community has low resources, incidences of discrimination and biases arise. Minority groups will get discriminated against since most people believe that they should not be part of the community. However, following the NASW code of ethics, the social worker must not succumb to such pressures ("Read the Code of Ethics," 2020). The social worker must be just and treat everyone in society with respect.
Significant Experiences in School and Work
When I was undertaking my degree in child welfare, I got privileged to interact and work with several kids from a specific welfare institution. I got some of the best first-hand experiences socializing and working since it was not the same as working with the youth in the church. The major difference was that these kids were innocent, helpless, not sure about their lives, and some had already given up hope in life. It challenged me to get determined to impact their lives through guidance and counseling positively. I wanted to give motivate and give them hope in life, which was the best gift and solution I could offer. After a few months, I had positively transformed most of the kid's mindset. It was the experience since some of the kids began taking their schoolwork more seriously and were more determined than ever about getting successful in life.
Challenges I Experienced At Work and Strategies Used to Overcome Them
I encountered a myriad of problems while working with these kids. Some of them were not willing to listen and did not care about our social works. The solution was using a humane approach in accessing and communicating with the kids. It involved letting them speak out their feelings while passively listening. Most of these kids were depressed, mentally disturbed, and did not have social counselors. I created a safe space where all the kids could come and open up about their problems. After a while, I gained the children's trusting, and they began listening and following my instructions. I had changed many kids, which gave me much satisfaction.
Comfort Level in Upholding Ethical Principles
As a social worker, it is my duty not to condone any form of discrimination or biases when providing social care services. I am comfortable in upholding ethical principles and morals since whenever working with different people, I treat them equally irrespective of their social-economic status. I head a group comprising of youths from different ethnic groups, races, and genders. I always feel comfortable working with them since their cultural diversity makes the group strong and flourish in many ways.
Challenges experienced in my effort to uphold ethical principles included handling parent's complaints, mainly when the group engaged in certain activities that were not acceptable in their culture. I addressed this issue by trying to understand and familiarize myself with what was acceptable in different cultures. I followed ethical principles and incorporated all youths in the group, but also ensures that respect their customs and believes.
The Culture of Humility Among Social Workers
The primary relationship between cultural humility and social work is that social workers have the responsibility to treat all individuals with respect irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds, language, and race (Danso, 2018). As a professional social worker, I understand the importance of cultural humility. My church youth group comprises of youths from culture. I have created a safe space where youths from different cultures can join and benefit from my leadership. I have a better understanding of cultural humility since I am willing to incorporate people from different cultures in my group. I created a platform where youths are free to air out their views without getting judged or discriminated against. It was an imperative forum in eradicating the main social problem in our society. The youths are the future leaders of tomorrow, and teaching them strong values at a young age will ensure that they grow up upholding these values. Creating a platform where youths from different cultures can exchange ideas will eradicate discrimination-related issues. I am confident that working with these youths and teaching them ethical values will reduce cases of discrimination in the next generation.
My Work Plan
With existing pressures to maintain a complete balance between my graduate course work and enjoying my college experience, at times, life can get overwhelming. When I commence the Master's program, I will have to adjust my schedule so that I can balance school work, personal life, and work life. My priority will be to spend 36 hours at the practicum site. I will have to reschedule my working hours to work in the afternoons. I will spend all the morning hours at the practicum site. I usually get out of work at 6 PM, and I am planning on enrolling for evening classes when I start the masters degree in social work program. I will keep an updated schedule that will ensure I have a sustainable plan for work and school assignments due. In particular, On Sundays, I will attend to my personal life, which includes spending time and socializing with friends and family before my busy schedule commences on Monday. With this work plan, I am confident that I will balance all the aspects of my life and still achieve my goals.
Bouzarovski, S. (2018). Understanding energy poverty, vulnerability, and justice. In Energy Poverty (pp. 9-39). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Danso, R. (2018). Cultural competence and cultural humility: A critical reflection on key cultural diversity concepts. Journal of Social Work, 18(4), 410-430.
Dorling, D. (2018). Challenging injustice: the importance of collective ownership of the social policy.
Read the Code of Ethics. (2020). Retrieved 28 January 2020, from https://www.socialworkers.org/about/ethics/code-of-ethics/code-of-ethics-english.
Reamer, F. G. (2006). Ethical standards in social work: A review of the NASW code of ethics. Washington, DC: NASW Press.
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