A Glimpse at my Career and Professional Goals

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Being a social worker involves having the ability to collaborate and interact with colleagues on a regular basis. As I continue to pursue my degree in Social Work, I would like to join student organizations on campus, such as The Social Work Association and also the Social Work Advocacy Group. Joining these organizations would allow me to work with my cohort group outside of the classroom and would enable all of us to work on advancing social justice issues not only in the St. Cloud community but also throughout the state of Minnesota. I think it is valuable to make connections with my peers outside of the classroom because while we see each other for a few hours each week, we don't have the time to sit down and discuss how we can combat all of the social injustices we are passionate about.

After graduation, I hope to work in a child welfare setting. Society needs to change the stigma associated with children in the welfare system. Children are innocent witnesses to domestic abuse and other forms of family violence. No child should be fearful of a parent or another family member; however, some individuals make horrible choices as adults to inflict emotional, verbal, and physical harm. One of the most important aspects of being a social worker is to protect the client at all costs; however, there is also a social responsibility to cause the least amount of harm to the client. This can be extremely difficult in some situations due to the client's reluctance to live in their abusive home setting and situation.

There need to be more resources allocated to research effective ways current and former child abuse survivors can be taught how to cope positively. One of the hardest decisions social workers need to evaluate is whether or not neglect is valid and what is the best option to protect the children. As a social worker, I will need to examine body language and take an active role in the lives of my clients and their guardians. Too many times, I have heard people justify child neglect as 'oh, he got that bruise playing outside," or 'it really isn't my business what goes on in the home!' These justifications ignore underlying social factors that have contributed to a child being abused. Ignoring the warning signs will only allow the abuse to continue, and the children will continually come to school with broken bones or bruises and may also constantly appear scared. Abusers thrive on their power differential over the victims and knowingly neglecting to stop abuse could have life-or-death consequences for the client.

However, through my various studies in Women's Studies, Sociology, and Social Work, I have learned that it is also important to take into account cultural differences when working with children. As a social worker, it is important not to automatically jump to conclusions about child neglect if a child comes to school and refuses to look you in the eye. This could be due to a cultural practice that states that it is improper for a child to look directly at an adult. However, social services workers need to be aware of any significant changes in the home life of the students. It also may be difficult to contact parents to arrange a specific meeting time because often times parents may speak another language. Due to the budgetary restrictions of rural social services, it may be impossible to have an on-site translator, so the agency may have to use an automated translator. I have begun to study Spanish so I can better communicate with some of my clients at my current field placement at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle schools.

One of my other career goals is to evaluate sexualized violence when working with clients. So many young preteen and teen girls try to emulate unrealistic images of what they perceive on TV and online. It has contributed to a more demoralizing and sexualized society, which certainly doesn't help in developing a positive body image and a sense of self-worth. Unfortunately, this can also lead to young girls being victimized by adults that they trust. Children that are sexually abused need help to learn positive coping methods to deal with the trauma of being abused by someone they love and trust.
Professionally several of my goals include; receiving my Bachelor's degree in Social Work, and then after working in the field for several years, I would consider enrolling in the Master's program. This would allow me to research topics more in-depth and also to work in a more advanced career setting, maybe even in an academic setting one day, to instruct other individuals about Social Work.

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A Glimpse at My Career and Professional Goals. (2023, Mar 07). Retrieved May 18, 2024 , from

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