The journey on becoming a Social Worker is a journey that is filled with purpose and self- discovery. The National Association of Social Work Code of Ethics clearly entails the expectations of the profession. As stated in the N. A. S. W. Code of Ethics (2008) it is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. Therefore, as my collegiate career progresses I learn more on who I am as a person, and the type of Social Worker I aspire to be. I have begun to explore my values to ensure that they aren’t imposed onto my future clients.
During the development of examining my beliefs I have recognized my strengths and weaknesses. Thus far, l’ve learned that a few of my strengths is the ability to be empathetic which will be highly helpful to understand the oppressed populations | plan to serve. To be an effective Social Worker, an individual must acquire excellent listening skills as well which is a characteristic that I attain. It’s imperative to be able to comprehend what is conveyed, and how to balance a demanding schedule. With my excellent time management skills, I am certain I will be able to sustain my schedule successfully.
After assessing and understanding my strengths, I have also recognized areas that need improvement. My organizational skills, must progress so I can serve my clients more proficiently. I will be responsible for keeping legal documents with confidential information. Henceforth, I must be aware on where to allocate those documents when needed without misunderstanding. I will also need to improve my critical thinking skills, when brainstorming to discover resolutions for my clients. A successful Social Worker thinks resourcefully when exploring solutions to social issues that impact clients.
Fortunately, my moments of self-discovery have allowed me to become cognizant on the areas of Social Work practice that I am interested in working in. When I first started into the Bachelors of Social Work program, I was highly interested in working in a school setting with troubled adolescents since I have always gained fulfillment from working with that population and partaking in the transition into becoming successful young adults. Even though that interest remains, I have also become intrigued in another area that I never fathomed that I would be interested in; Homelessness.
When I volunteered at Capuchin’s Soup Kitchen I was directly involved with this population. I had a few personal interactions with the Social Worker on site at the Conner location Mr. James Pelak. Mr. Pelak has worked diligently at Capuchin’s for ten years to help alleviate external factors that may negatively impact the homeless population. I reached out to Mr. Pelak whom was elated for me to shadow him for three hours to directly witness what his job duties consisted of. As soon as we walked into his office, he had a multitude of voicemails, and e-mails that needed a response.
Once his office door was open, patrons whom were waiting for Lunch to be served in the Soup Kitchen immediately began to bombard his office with inquiries about free bus cards, medical transportation services and assistance with applying for State Funded Healthcare. Mr. Pelak’s day consisted of taking walk in clients, and reaching out to organizations that will help provide shelter, food, and transportation to those in need. The joy on his clients faces, when he could obtain resources that would benefit their lives, caused a feeling of gratification within me.
From that day forward, my interest in advocating and coming to the aid of homeless individuals has heightened. In the N. A. S. W. Code of Ethics (2008) it specifies how the primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. However, to practice ethically as a Social Worker you must be conscious of your biases, and conflicts that would arise when servicing clients. Consequently, an area of
Social Work practice that I would not want to explore would be the elderly population. My grandparents are currently battling a multitude of health issues, and it is a constant cycle of emotions that I experience daily. Thus, I am aware that I am not emotionally capable of fully serving this population to the best of my ability. When I met with my Field Advisor to discuss agencies for my Field Placement, we reviewed Social Welfare agencies that aids Homeless youth and young adults which is the perfect combination of both of my interest areas for practice.
I am expecting to learn at my internship how to conduct group sessions, effective intervention strategies, develop critical thinking skills, and overall gain a deeper knowledge of the population. Yet, there are several agencies in my neighborhood that I would be interested in working at would be Capuchin’s Soup Kitchen which helps those who are homeless, or Samaritan which provides services such as medical and mental health services, job training and placement, educational programs, spiritual ministries, youth recreational opportunities, housing development, business and community development, and general community support.
As far as working more concentratedly with the youth, there are two schools in my area that I would have loved to get involved with which is Martin Luther King High School, and or the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences. Nevertheless, in the state of Michigan to work in a School or Hospital setting you must be a Licensed Master of Social Work. Therefore, I would not be able to apply for those types of institutions. However, I browsed Indeed. om and discovered five agencies that I would be have applied for it I was academically able to. The first listing! reviewed was a position to do social Services at Samaritan located in Detroit, MI. They are seeking a Licensed Social Worker with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, who will provide services and respond to the emotional needs of Residents and their families. The Social Worker will also assist with Resident admissions and the referral process.
The second job posting on indeed. com was at Regency Heights Nursing and Rehab Center whom is seeking a Licensed Social Worker with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree, with one year of experience working in a health care setting. The Social Worker will complete admissions, social services evaluations, provides for social services or referrals as needed, and maintain communication with resident and families.
The third job opening ideally involves working my preferred population; the youth as a Foster Care Specialist for Spectrum Child & Family Services in Southfield, MI. The Foster Care Specialist must be licensed, have a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, as well as reliable transportation to make home visits and provide transportation to youth and families, valid unrestricted driver’s license, a good driving record, proof of vehicle insurance coverage on vehicle used for transporting youth and families.
The individual must also have satisfactory DHS Central Registry Clearance and State Police Record Check, negative TB test, satisfactory physical exam. The job duties include providing intensive family-centered casework services to birth and foster/adoptive parents and children upon case assignment, transports family members using own vehicle when necessary, and responds to family crisis in efforts of maintaining family member’s safety and reinstating family stability.
The fourth job posting was for a Therapist/Team Leader position at Detroit Central City Community Mental Health in Detroit, MI. The Therapist/Team Leader will implement the policies and procedures of the Agency under the supervision of the Division Manager and assumes the day-to-day clinical leadership of the respective program staff and/or other programs as assigned. Those responsibilities include monitoring and reviewing charts for compliance standards.
Providing initial (intake) assessment on individuals screened as appropriate for UNIT services and offering direct and advocacy services to members including collaborate with other treatment staff in diagnosing problems, development treatment plans and evaluating clients progress in clinical conferences, participates in reviews and maintains up-to-date records. You must be a Licensed Social Worker with a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and a valid Michigan Chauffeur’s Driver’s License.
The last job posting I found was as a Case Manager for Youth Link a Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit, MI. The position includes providing a broad range of case management services for the Year-Round Youth Services Program. The Case Manager will develop and coordinate program services including outreach and support services. The Case Manager will also assist with providing workshops and trainings to youth to help program participants address barriers they may be facing to improve the likelihood of success.
The candidate must have three years of experience in human services. Social Worker Licensure from the State of Michigan, and experience working with the youth population. As I was searching for jobs it became evident that there was a lack of jobs available for individuals who only obtains a Bachelor’s of Social Work as opposed to those who obtained a Master’s of Social Work. For individuals who were Licensed Masters of Social Work.
Their options were endless on the areas of practice, and the job responsibilities that was required for those positions. The lack of employment available for those with only a Bachelor’s of Social Work reiterated the importance of furthering my studies after I receive my Bachelor’s. I am grateful for this moment in my life to reflect on who I am, what I desire in my career, and to persevere with my education as I work to become a Licensed Master of Social Work.