Hi! I’m Steven – a care leaver on a journey to becoming a social-worker.

I’m currently around six months off completion of my master’s course in social work, and I am very excited to hopefully get straight into a social work position. My dream job would be to work within a child protection setting. I feel that child protection is often undervalued, but in my own experience it is vital for ensuring children are living in a safe environment – plus hopefully you can keep children with their families and ensure that they flourish in the home.

As my course is at master’s degree level, I have found the work to be challenging as the university expects a higher level of quality from you. However, that aside, the training that we receive is eye-opening and has taught me to see the bigger picture when working with people. This has meant that during my first practice placement, I was able to complete detailed assessments and help families to the best of my ability. I originally completed a degree in Education at Sheffield Hallam university as I hoped to one day become a primary school teacher, however I felt that social work was better suited to my skills and life experience and I haven’t looked back since.

I feel that being someone who has spent most of my life within the social care system means that I am able to offer a valuable insight into how to work with service users, and be able to understand the pressures that social work often places on families.

My personal inspirations for moving into this profession are my foster carers Janet and Robert, who have continued to guide me and provide me with invaluable advice, treating me as though I am one of their own, and for this I will be forever grateful. My previous personal advisor Malcolm also spent numerous hours supporting me through applying and finding the right education provider for my course and listened to me in my hour of need. To anyone who is wishing or thinking about applying to become a social worker, I feel that if you have care experience you need to be aware that it will be emotionally challenging at times and a real test of your own beliefs. But in my own opinion I don’t feel that you will find a more rewarding and worthwhile career to enter and if anyone would like more advice on applying and what the course enables, I will be more than happy to answer your questions – just comment below.

In my spare time I enjoy playing rugby union – I’ve been playing it for over ten years. I am currently playing for Stocksbridge rugby team who are looking to get promoted to Yorkshire 3 this year and hopefully will do.

Steven

23 year-old care leaver and student at the University Of Sheffield