The MA in Social Work programme at Brunel University London allowed me to gain a good knowledge base across areas such as mental health, child protection and palliative care. As practitioners, the staff on the programme had a huge amount of experience. This meant that theoretical applications came from their own experiences of using strengths-based models and assessment frameworks all within relevant legal frameworks.
My first work placement was in a third-sector adult mental health setting and the second, in a statutory Looked After Children (LAC) team. The statutory LAC placement was also very useful because it prepared me to do the work I am doing now.
After working for a fostering agency in Brighton, I decided to move to Auckland, New Zealand. Luckily the core social work theories and models in areas such as child-focused practice and non-judgmental approach are applicable internationally. The child and families pathway, although it had a British focus, was still really helpful for my transition into child protection social work in New Zealand. The UK child protection system in general is internationally recognized and respected as being one of the safest in the world.
The New Zealand Social Work Registration Board accepted my MA in Social Work from Brunel University London without any additional training or exams and I now work as a social worker at the Ministry of Social Development.