Deciding what populations and types of clients with whom I want to work with, in the field of social work, is one of the most important decisions ever, regarding my career. From as early as childhood, I have always known that I want to work with children in whatever career I chose. Starting my career as a social worker and working with children and families is where I feel as though I belong. I would be the least comfortable working as a criminal justice social worker. Geriatric social work is another population that I would feel least comfortable working with.
Deciding what populations and types of clients with whom I want to work with, in the field of social work, is one of the most important decisions ever, regarding my career. From as early as childhood, I have always known that I want to work with children in whatever career path I embarked on. After deciding education and teaching was not the career I wanted to choose as my forever career, I always envisioned myself being a child and family social worker. I feel so comfortable with this population because I have always felt a need to want to improve the quality of life for families and children. I did not have the best childhood-due to experiencing homelessness, addictions and having to mature at an early age, but I knew the warm feeling that I received when my family was together and thriving was the best.
According to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Work (NASW), “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 particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppresses, and living in poverty” (NASW 2010). Children are one of the most vulnerable and helpless beings in the world, so they need someone to fight for them. This is the population is where I feel I can help to enhance the social functioning of children and families the most.
Family is defined as a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head (Merriam-Webster, 2013). For me, strengthening the family unit is so essential to ensuring our future generations see what healthy family relationships are like and are able to pass along those traits into the next generation and so on. I enjoy working with this population because there is tangible evidence that proves healthy and thriving family relationships create great people who feel loved, supported and important. Naturally, becoming a child and family social worker is the best and most suitable fit for me.
I would be the least comfortable working as a criminal justice social worker. I am concerned that I would not know how to effectively relate to this particular population. Safety in the prisons or jails is also a big concern that I have. My experiences working with the mentally has been challenging to say the least; adding the criminal justices aspect to mix is not something I think I would enjoy doing. Understanding, that if I am placed to work with inmates in jails or prisons, I would provide the best services possible because regardless of what he or she has done with his or her life, they are still human beings and I would treat them nothing less. Geriatric social work is another population that I would feel least comfortable working with. I lost my grandmother, who raised me from birth until age seven, to cirrhosis of the liver at the age of fifty-four.
The loss of my grandmother has affected me in numerous ways. The geriatric population is too close and sensitive to my heart so, I feel as though working with this group would have adverse negative affects on me. I know that I could have an unhealthy attachment to the clients in that population due to me losing my grandmother at such an early age. Working in nursing homes, hospice centers or hospitals make me uncomfortable and I have always had a fear of these places since my grandmother passed. Becoming a criminal justice or a geriatric social worker would be too emotional for me.
Starting my career as a social worker and working with children and families is where I feel as though I belong. I have the compassion, the drive and the withstanding endurance to make the area of child and family social work my passion. Working with children requires patience, dedication, resilience and so many other trusting characteristics. Relationships within children’s immediate families have a profound impact on their state of being.
Becoming a child and family social worker is undeniably tough and arduous work but the reward of seeing families meet their set goals and becoming a stronger more united family unit come to fruition surpasses anything else. When I become a child and family social worker, my job days will be over and my career starts. Going to worker everyday knowing that I’m making a difference will be the best feeling. A great person once said, “It’s your mistakes that make you human, and it’s your humanity that makes you influential.”