BSc Social Work (2012), Social Worker and Prevent LAC Specialist
Why did you choose Royal Holloway for your degree?
I chose Royal Holloway because it has a great reputation and is well-established. Once I came to speak to the staff and had a look around, I was taken back by the support that was available for students. I hadn't been in education since school and I knew this would be important for me.
Discussing this with the tutors, they gave me a lot of support and pointed me in the right direction to find further advice via the university. I was given extra guidance with my work from the Student Support and Advisory Service as well as from my tutors. I was encouraged through various aspects of my course and, at times, felt that I wouldn't have been able to complete my degree if it weren't for the staff in the Social Work department.
I have a learning difficulty and sometimes needed to have staff take slightly more time with me. This was always available and the tutors always made time to assist me. The university library is also a really great resource and the staff there are always happy to help you with making proper use of it. The teachers on the Social Work degree are all helpful and understand that people learn differently and at different paces. The ability to get this support helped me to not become overwhelmed with my studies.
The university has excellent grounds and activities for students to get involved in. The night life is good and one real beauty is the vast number of students from different backgrounds. I really enjoyed my time at Royal Holloway and met a lot of new friends who have impacted on my life positively. It was a great mix of study and time to socialise and I am glad I chose it.
How did your time at Royal Holloway help your future career?
My time at Royal Holloway gave me the confidence to start a new journey. I now plan to return to study as a Systemic Family Therapist and feel that my degree and time at the university helped me to believe in myself.
During my time there I was able to become much more confident in my written work, presentation and research skills, which all helped me to take on new tasks in life with self-assurance. Obtaining my degree has allowed me to be more positive about myself in work and my ability to learn new things, and given me a real sense of achievement. The degree changed my life, and I look forward to my future and feel excited about studying again.
What do you do now and what advice would you give to anyone thinking about a career in your sector?
I now work as a full-time Social Worker and Prevent LAC Specialist for Hounslow Council Children's Services. As part of my role I contribute to parenting assessments for cases in care proceedings, both in the form of assessing aspects of parenting capacity jointly with Clinical Senior Social workers and from direct one-to-one work with children and adolescents.
My reports and the outcomes of interventions help inform assessments and ensure that the perspectives of the children and youths have been raised and heard in court. I conduct psychosocial one to one work with adults, children and adolescents jointly with the team Psychotherapist; this work has been both of a supportive but also therapeutic nature.
I'm also involved in family support work, group work with parents and targeted youth work in child protection cases, 'child in need' cases as well as under the remit of preventing LAC. I work continuously and closely with the teams of Clinical Social Workers, Parenting Practitioners, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapists. This has given me some clinical experience as well as improved my analytical thinking skills.
My advice to fellow students or those who would like to study at the university is that if you are clear, open and honest about the help you may need then the staff will absolutely support and guide you though your course.
Find the course you want and make sure you prepare by studying and making friends in your class. Having excellent organisation skills is important whilst you are studying and will be the thing that gets you through your degree.
Your degree will be challenging, but through good relationships with your tutors it will be easier and you will get the support you need at every corner. Take the lead in your learning and you will be successful and achieve your targets.