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Masters Social Work, MSW, Child Abuse

January 22, 2013

I have been able to apply a great deal of the concepts I have been introduced to as part of my undergraduate Applied Developmental Psychology program, creating a foundation of theory that has translated into clinical skills that have aided me in my work.  Indeed, these combined with my understanding of successful program design and evaluation, as well as knowledge and aptitude in research methods (qualitative) has aided me invaluably in my work.  Even before graduating, I was introduced to a number of professional issues, particularly policy issues, which I have since encountered and been prepared to handle in the course of my work.  Furthermore, my program of study focused on a number of areas, such as family and play interventions, group versus family support, and others, which has helped me solidify my certainty of the age group and support situations I want to be involved in as a part of my career.

 “You were meant to do this kind of work…you really need to go back to school and finish up.”  Those words, spoken by a woman I thoroughly respect as a professional school counselor at the Alternative Bancroft School, have stayed with me; words that have helped quell any self-doubt, and bolstered my confidence and efficacy.  Moreover, this has confirmed to me that I really can attain my lifelong dream and goal of helping those most in need, and at all costs.

 In the most practical terms, her words have helped me realize that I will quickly exhaust every path of opportunity and challenge at my current level of education.  A graduate degree in Advanced Developmental Psychology (ADP) is not where my future lies, and would not bring me the same level of personal or professional satisfaction that Social Work has in my current exposure.  While ADP is highly relevant in addressing social issues, I do not envision delving deeper into behavioral science or the psychological changes in our mind over time.  My work with teens these past seven years has convinced me that my abilities are better suited to a more direct, hands-on approach to bringing peace and a sense of worth to people’s lives.

 In light of the School of Social Work’s mission statement, and reference to social justice, I feel that it is high time we put action behind the words, “equal opportunity”, embracing a broader definition of at-risk populations.  Children that are or have been psychologically, emotionally, physically and sexually abused carry with them a weight thrust upon them that they are simply not equipped to deal with.  Given their stage of life, they have a two-fold, full-time task ahead of them: to become contributing members of society and the fight to be whole.  Many times, they simply do not even realize or are aware that their past – and sometimes present – circumstances are exactly what are preventing them from attending to their lives right now, and to be in the moment.  This is wrong, and it is the Social Worker’s role and responsibility to ensure that all have an equal chance at life.

 Furthermore, the MSW program speaks of “the commitment to have and build a diverse society while enhancing opportunities for human well being.”  I feel this can be taken a step further.  On an individual level, the Social Worker seeks to empower individuals to be active participants in the improvement of their lives, to be the facilitators of peace in their lives, a peace that they deserve and that they are worthy of this peace.

 Working within XXXX Public Schools introduced me to working within multidisciplinary teams.  It was here that I embraced that while we may have had our professional differences, having the input of all was critically important to our effectiveness as a team.  From conducting functional behavioral assessments, to staff and team meetings, or simply processing a situation with an upset child, teamwork and each having an equally important voice were very much an important factor of allowing our kids in our program to understand structure, and to feel safe.

 One of my greatest strengths is my having walked more than a mile in the shoes of many of the people that I have helped.  As a child, I endured physical and mental abuse at the hands of my own parents.  I determined that the cycle of abuse would end with me, and while I struggled to find viable strategies for being, I would not change a thing.  The events I endured will never have been in vain if I can help shape my future clients’ lives for the better, putting them in touch with the help they need and the resources they deserve.  Giving people a chance at lasting, productive lives is all the recompense I need.

 Secondly, I feel that by being an understanding, empathetic and genuine I have the ability to provide a positive male role model for those that have been hurt by their fathers, dominant or threatening males in their lives.  Being able to relate on the same level is a strength that cannot be taught in a lecture hall, but must be learned as I have in practical circumstances, such as my residential treatment and behavior intervention settings.  Skills such as a non-threatening demeanor, soft-voice and truly listening aid in the recovery process of others, and often leads to rewards of life-changing results for the people we are trying to help.

 Simply being genuine with people, irrespective of their race, creed or socioeconomic background, and making them feel accepted, relevant and important, all contribute to forming a trusting relationship.  These things come naturally to me, making me approachable, something I constantly strive to be in my work.  Additionally, coupled with my strong work ethic is my unswerving commitment to maintaining integrity and the understanding that all people need to maintain and keep their dignity intact, irrespective of their issues.

 In terms of my abilities as a student, I bring with me to the student body not just my maturity, but my many professional experiences and solid foundation in Advanced Developmental Psychology.  My education thus far has given me remarkable insights into how we act and think at various stages of life.

 Lastly, I bring with me a desire to share and learn from an accomplished student body, and remarkable faculty, and an MSW program that carries an exceptional reputation in an atmosphere that is aligned with my own values, thoughts, and goals.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

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