Friday 20 April 2018, marked a monumental day in my journey to becoming a qualified social worker. I found myself putting Kolb’s reflective cycle into practice without intending to do so. In all honesty it’s inevitable not to fall into the habit of constantly reflecting in social work - Sophia Bosah
This year I attended the BASW student conference that took place at Buck’s New University. The event enabled me to network with social work lecturers, professionals and students and created a learning opportunity for professional development. One of the guest speakers was Rob Kinahan, Consultant Social Worker ASYE at Gloucestershire County Council, who shared his tips on gaining employment as a newly qualified social worker in a statutory setting. He stated;
Assessment and Planning is key, we look for students who can display a great deal of knowledge on how they would carry out and plan an assessment when working with children and families.
I believe this is a useful interview tip for all students, whether one pursues the children and families’ pathway or adults’ pathway. The conference also consisted of various workshops which provided current students with the opportunity of building on their existing knowledge of social work theories and skills. The ‘The What Why? How? Of Social Work Theory’ workshop which I attended had an extremely profound effect on me as it was not only informative but it also helped me to understand the distinguishable features of a social work theory and model, making us aware of their differences.
The highlight of my day was the elaborate lecture given by Pamela Trevithick on ‘Social Workers’ essential contribution within the current welfare picture. Pamela left me reflecting on the issues surrounding funding and the disappointment experienced by social workers when cases have to be closed due to funding. This in her view, was morally and ethically wrong.
Dez Holmes, Director of Research in Practice, provided a detailed speech on using evidence in practice. She did this by using push and pull factors as an example of how evidence can be useful and also scrutinised. During her speech I learned the core principles of ‘Relation based practice’ when working with children and families.
The BASW conference is an event that I believe all social work students should aim to attend, it enables them to gain insight into the social work profession, it also equips them with the knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed on our Social Work course and most importantly, it highlights the positive aspects of social work, reinforcing how rewarding the profession can be.