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Sample 1st Paragraph MSW, Troubled Youth At Risk

In my current professional position with Creative Interventions Inc. I provide case management services to youths in a broad variety of circumstances, helping them to cultivate age appropriate functioning in their social environments. I have now been a social worker since 2006 and I feel strongly that this is the best time for me to excel in graduate school, at the optimal point in my life with the right combination of maturity and professional experience in multiple social work settings. My current employment position, spending most of my time with troubled youth at risk has inspired me to reach out to new levels of professional responsibility where I might be able to do more to help those for whom I labor.

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MSW Personal Statement of Purpose Sample, Sexual Abuse, Foster Care, Military

My understanding of Social Work is that it involves the forming and maintenance of positive and constructive relationships with clients, and others associated with them where appropriate. It calls for an optimistic but realistic attitude to possible outcomes and the determination to persevere where a client might be difficult to assist. The work calls for emotional maturity and intelligence together with an ability to communicate clearly and confidently and to appreciate that the often chaotic thoughts and feelings, that are features of distress, call for patient but determined and focused guidance. 

Situations calling for professional intervention are often highly complex and such complexities may well not be immediately apparent so that patient listening, an appreciation of ‘body language signals’ and careful investigation is required to identify underlying problems and establish possible solutions.

Essentially, there is a need to be able to look past challenging behaviors to those things that are actually driving them. I also understand that successful outcomes, no matter how obviously desirable, can never be achieved by being imposed.

In all areas of my own life, I have sought to be helpful and to carefully consider situations before speaking or acting and to ‘look behind’ situations and behavior to try to gain as ‘full a picture’ as is possible. I am aware that it is vital to avoid cynicism and making assumptions. I know that it may be easy to regard clients as file sets and case numbers and to forget that a real, unique and precious personality exists behind the notes.

I am aware of the social work core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of patience, importance of human relationships, integrity and competence. I unhesitatingly endorse these values which I seek to recall at the beginning of every working day and to incorporate them fully into my studies, working life and in interactions with all, even strangers who might ask directions.

I was raised in poverty and chaos caused by drug and alcohol abuse by family members. My mother had six children by the age of 25. We were introduced to drugs while children still in elementary school. My father was an alcoholic who was physically abusive to my mother who finally suffered a mental breakdown as a result, when I was just six years old. While in foster care, I was sexually abused which, I believe, was one of the initial triggers that fired a desire to help others to overcome their traumas and to lead normal, happy and productive lives.

As I grew up, I craved the discipline and order that I sometimes glimpsed in the lives of others and, at age 18, made a life-changing decision, I joined the Navy. The Navy provided me with discipline, structure and genuine fellowship for the first time in my life. I was encouraged to recognize and achieve my potential and I had inspiring mentors who helped me to process the traumas of my past. I tasted success and the joys of achievement and respect. During my time in the Navy, my husband and I adopted one of my sister’s eight children. My sister was battling cocaine addiction and unable to cope, the child Cierra was 9 months old but looked much younger and so we had the privilege of making a direct and beneficial impact on one little life and have had great joy in doing so.  It is my genuine, deeply-held and passionate desire to do for others what was done for me: to empower people to break the cycle of poverty and chaos in their own lives.

I am aware that wanting to help is not the same as being equipped to do so. A well-meaning person who desires to help but does not possess the characteristics or training to do so becomes a danger. I am confident that I have the qualities necessary to be highly effective; I have a highly-developed sense of empathy for those suffering distress which arises from my own life experiences; I am determined, and optimistic but realistic; I seek to inspire confidence and trust in those I seek to help and always to accord them respect no matter how challenging they may be. I admit to being challenged in the matter of patience and do have to ‘take a step back’ when faced with those who are excessively impatient and demanding.

I have happily worked, studied and socialized with people from many different cultural and social backgrounds. I have no difficulties in working with clients of different cultures and have done so in the past. For example, as a Church volunteer in the past, I initiated a program called ‘Shoes for Souls’ which was an annual event aiming to provide shoes, backpacks, haircuts and basic school supplies for families unable to provide them. A large number of Spanish-speaking families sought our help and we recruited Spanish speakers to ensure that their needs were properly understood and met. Consequently we were able to assist many such families.

The type of work I see myself engaged in after earning my MSW would be to continue my work in ministry. Acquiring the higher level skills and knowledge that the program will provide will enable me to considerably enhance my effectiveness in bringing change in my community.My plan is to expand the current non-profit programs with various outreaches for the community.The expansion would include resources for the aging population, women who have experienced emotional trauma and veterans.I would also like to be a part of the solution of helping those with little or no experience of paid employment to find suitable training and/or employment.

My career goals are as described above within the ministry that I currently work. I expect to be working in a similar way in the future but with greatly enhanced and more effective projects which will probably involve leadership and management, I see the program as equipping me to do so.

I see the Social Change and Innovation track as being particularly suitable to my needs and aspirations as this describes exactly what I seek, to change my community for the better and to find and apply new ways of doing so. The on-line training is ideal in my situation and I am impressed by the national grading of the department and its prestigious faculty and alumni feedback. I seek a highly challenging but supportive academic environment and am confident that this will be provided to me.

I believe that my unique and difficult early life experiences together with my directly relevant academic studies and professional background make me an excellent fit for the Advance Standing Program at UXX.

I have experienced life in foster homes and have provided fostering myself which gives me insights that are probably rare among applicants and will enable me to share experiences relevant to the program. My naval experience has instilled in me a disciplined and orderly way of approaching problems and a diligent and measured approach to the tasks required of me whether academic or practical. I was also taught the importance of teamwork and in helping those struggling to ‘keep up’, for the benefit of the group. Living in an environment that placed us in close proximity also taught me to be tolerant of others and to be sensitive to their feelings, and to ensure as gently as possible that others did the same for me.

I am the mother of four children and know the joys and pains of parenthood and can empathize with both parents and children who are experiencing family problems. As an African American woman, I know that overt discrimination is rare but that a more subtle kind of it survives and so can empathize with those of my own and other ethnicities who may not always be treated as well and as kindly as they might expect if they were of the majority.

I am confident that my own traumatic life experiences and the way that have I dealt with them together with my experience in assisting others by providing practical and emotional support in a ministry environment has provided me with unique insights that will enable me to ‘add much value’ to the program.

 

I would be happy to provide you with a highly eloquent Statement that portrays you as someone with enormous potential to contribute to the advance of the social work field over the long term. After you fill out my Online Interview Form, As needed, I can ask you some specific questions by email if I need any further information. Please also send your resume/CV and or rough draft if you have one.

More Than Half the Sky: Social Work With Rural Women in China.

Sample 1st Paragraph for the MSW, Foster Care, Racism, Confusion, Drug Addiction

My life has been formed in profound ways by the fact that my mother did not even remember giving birth to me, one of hundreds of thousands of ‘crack babies’ born in America since crack came into widespread use. Black pimp father, white drug addict mother, I do not remember foster care since I was only there until I was two months old and my aunt took charge of me. This is how I came to understand where I came from, bits and pieces put together from my aunt’s stories. My mother tried to rekindle a relationship with me from time to time but did so trying to convince me to hate my aunt, who I called mom. The confusion and emotional abuse of my childhood was greatly compounded by the fact that my mother’s family hated black people, yet I was black too. Thus, while I did not grow up in foster care, I am from the kinds of surroundings and traumatic environments that frequently result in children being put into foster care today. As I see it, this is my foremost qualification for entrance into your distinguished MSW Program at XXXX University, consonant with your mission of service to the most vulnerable members of our community, giving voice to the voiceless.

Sample Personal Statement for the Master’s Degree in Social Work, Mexican-American Woman

A fully bilingual and bicultural Mexican-American woman, I now have a broad base of professional and life experiences in a variety of areas that I feel strongly will enable me to make important contributions as a Social Work professional. UXX is my first choice among MSW programs because of its location as the flagship online pioneer in social work; along with the fact that my social issue of greatest focus is military and veteran’s affairs, inspired very much by the courageous example of my daughter who is active-duty Air Force. When I am not giving my all to my career and my family, I enjoy taking road trips and hiking in nature. I was born and raised in Southern California and I now live in Florida.

My understanding of the core values of the Social Work profession has very much been shaped by my current professional position with the XXXX Cancer Research Center Tampa, Fl. Moffitt (Nov 2016 – Present). As a Medical Assistant and a Patient Observer, I have had the opportunity to assist with a broad variety of privileges of service that have helped me to develop the skills that are especially critical to the Social Worker. I help patients with terminal cancer to spend the rest of their lives as comfortably as possible, physically, psychologically and spiritually.

I have always had leadership tendencies and drives. First in high school and later in college, I lead many team projects, presentations, and papers. I work well under pressure, always meet deadlines and encouraging and supporting the members of my team. I appreciate the responsibility that I have as a Patient Observer, monitoring the safety of the patient while relaying pertinent information to doctors and nurses - the patient’s mental status or any changes that occur in their physical condition. I know how to talk to patients so as to keep them calm, providing them with full support as their struggle against cancer enters its final stages.

Serving alongside my Supervisor and mentor, XXXX XXXX, completing an internship at the Department of Children and Families from (11/29/2016 - 03/27/2017) was also foundational to the establishment of my core values as a social worker.  I worked as a CPI, conducting investigations regarding allegations of abuse, neglect, abandonment and/or special conditions for children, working very closely with law enforcement. I helped to collect information through observation and interviews with children, parents, relatives, neighbors, and other parties associated with the case, as well as analyzing criminal records, past service histories, and other relevant documentation. I learned a great deal about family perspectives, dynamics, special challenges and solutions.

Critical to my area of responsibility was the identification of need that was sufficient to spark critical intervention, voluntary or court ordered. I could not have been happier during that period, totally immersed in my work, assessing danger threats, child vulnerabilities, and caregiver protective capacities so as to more or less accurately determine the extent to which a child was or was not safe. The drawback with this position was that I would go home thinking about the children and often wake up thinking about them as well. Two sides of the same coin, if one loves what they do, they just think about it wherever they are because something like this is so much more than a job – it is a life. It is my central passion and my greatest source of strength and joy.

I most thoroughly enjoy the rapid learning experience that I underwent at the Department of Children and Families, the analysis of danger threats in operation; management and modification of safety plans as necessary during the course of an investigation. I arranged emergency placement for any child that could not safely remain in the home and notified the state attorney, law enforcement, child protection team members and other parties as appropriate. I provided present and impending danger assessments; completed risk assessment forms for families under investigation and explained risk scores to families involved.

My Internship Experience at XXXX Recovery Center (Jan 2016 to May 2016) serving as an Advocate/Intern also inspired me forward towards study through the MSW Degree, serving in a social work setting, answering phones, photo copying, scanning documents, rerouting calls to the proper departments. I prepared material for our female residents, gave presentations, and held group therapy meetings to educate in broad areas of life skills and healthy relationships, and designed activities to help the woman at the center to heal and live a more productive life. I answered the rape hotline, helping victims and this launched me on a lifetime quest to better understand the numerous, complex links between sexual violence and substance abuse, in particular.

I could not feel more strongly that I am the best fit with the MSW Program at UXX because of my passion for military social work. Since my daughter is an active member of the U.S Air force, increasingly, I hold dear all the veterans and the problems they face, especially as their service ends and their recovery – on so many different levels - begins.  With each day that goes by my appreciation for the sacrifice of our service men and women grows deeper, as I reflect more and more on the profound challenges that they face, particularly with respect to the family as a whole.

I was born and raised in Southern California and would see so many homeless vets in Long Beach, and street corners throughout L.A., the vast majority addicted to alcohol, drugs soft or hard, and/or prescription drugs. PTSD is real and I do not think that they are respected or given the help they need to recover, especially in terms of jobs and healthcare. I would like to do more research in this area. I know what it feels like to have a service member deployed and wonder if they will make it back home. The anxiety and fear that a family member feels can at times almost be overwhelming. I also believe that the transition back to civilian life is generally more scary and overwhelming than it would have to be, if the proper resources and personnel were there to inspire and assist our returning veterans throughout the process.

Children and families are especially dear to my heart and during my internship the abuse that I witnessed made an indelible impression on my heart and soul – especially where the abuse in question was clearly a direct result of substance abuse and domestic violence in the home. I will never forget the pain in the eyes of those that I interviewed. I have helped many people throughout my educational and personal journey, more adults than children, and many people have also helped me. I feel that I can bring hope and knowledge to vulnerable populations, especially the children of families in crises, particularly substance abuse and domestic abuse victims, most specifically our veterans and their families. 

I am a compassionate person and value each life greatly regardless of socioeconomic background. I have had doors closed in my face but never lost my great hope because of those special people along the way that have genuinely believed in me and given me an opportunity. I know what it feels like to have people inspire hope when it seemed there was none to be found as a result of difficult life circumstances. I want to inspire people that have been through traumatic life experiences to never give up hope. I want to give back to the community my knowledge and experience, sharing strategies, techniques, love and support.

My central, long term goal is to work for a government installation or the department of Social Services helping families, children and military personnel struggling with substance abuse issues and PTSD. I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Human Services with a concentration in Family and Child Services and a certificate in this area in May, 2017. Every day brings me joy, helping people through the end of life experience, providing hospital care as a medical assistant interacting intensively with patients at this special time. This could not come more natural to me since for as long as I can remember I have enjoyed helping people who had no one else to turn to for support: individuals that did not meet society’s norms and expectations, those simply turned away. I would acknowledge them and help them by providing a hearing ear and helpful information. I have overcome many obstacles and difficulties through a great deal of strength, perseverance and determination. My hope is that by being a great listener and sharing my own stories, I can instill hope where hope is in danger of being lost.  I want to be remembered as the lady who truly cared about homeless veterans on the streets of Southern California.  I thank you for considering my application to Social Work at UXX.

Women Leaders in the School of Social Work

All of the Statement samples on this web site were written more than 2 years ago and all are anonymous.

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Heroines of Social Work

Social work is full of strong, capable, intelligent women with a great sense of purpose. Here are just a few of the women we admire from the field.

Medha Patkar

Medha Patkar is a social reformer who became a politician. Born in Mumbai, Patkar had a keen interest in public service at a very early age.

As the daughter of a trade union leader, Patkar started understanding the problems faced by the underprivileged and felt the need to serve them. Her father took active part in the Indian Independence Movement; her mother was a member of Swadar, an organization formed to assist and support women who are financially underprivileged get educated.

Patkar has an MA in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Science. She left her position at the faculty as well as her unfinished PhD when she became involved in the tribal and peasant communities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

Patkar is best recognized as the founding member of the famous Narmada Bachao Andolan – a movement to save the rivers and people of Gujarat. As a candidate of Aam Aadmi Party in 2014, she received 8.9 percent of votes; she resigned from Aam Aadmi Party’s primary member on March 28, 2015.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, as she was commonly known, was a Roman Catholic religious missionary and sister. She was born in Macedonia in 1910, and after living in Yugoslavia for about 30 years, she moved to India and devoted her entire life in social work.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation, which is active in 133 countries. The Missionaries of Charity still run homes and hospices for people with leprosy, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS; mobile clinics and dispensaries; soup kitchens; orphanages; schools; and children and family counseling programs.

Mother Teresa devoted her life to provide: “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”. She was honored with 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, and was also recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

Marie Woolfolk Taylor

Marie Woolfolk Taylor (December 18, 1893 - November 9, 1960) was one of the sixteen founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated: the first sorority founded by African-American women, ever.

The legacy Woolfolk Taylor created in establishing the sorority has continued to generate social capital for almost 100 years.

Woolfolk Taylor did post-graduate study in the new field of social work, and returned to Atlanta to start her career. She worked as a social worker and probation officer, and chaired numerous civic groups, readily handling financial responsibilities; she was on the board of directors of a range of charities, and considered herself mostly a social worker: but she also worked as an educator at night school.

With her commitment to community service and strong leadership in activities in a segregated city, Woolfolk Taylor demonstrated how sororities could help women “prepare to create spheres of influence, authority and power within institutions that traditionally have allowed African Americans and women little formal authority and real power”.

Jeannette Rankin

A graduate of what is now the Columbia School of Social Work, Jeannette Rankin, an advocate of women’s suffrage and a lifelong pacifist, was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Her first act as a congresswoman was to introduce a suffrage amendment on the House floor. The amendment was passed about a year later. She was also the only member of Congress to vote against entering World Wars I and II.

These women are or were doing their thing regardless of their own circumstances, the political situation in their countries, or wherever they chose to go good and effect change. We’d love to support you if you’re headed in the same direction. Let us know how we can help you through our services.

Statements of Excellence for Admission to Graduate School in Social Work

I want to help with your Personal Statement in Social Work, BSW, MSW, DSW

One day, while a Master’s Student in Religious Studies at Indiana University, I was looking for a work study job and examining the postings for these positions on the bulletin board at IU. Quickly, I realized that the position which most interested me was that of a counselor/staff person at the Bloomington MiddleWay House Shelter for Abused Women. Since I am a man, however, I thought that there was little chance that they would hire me. To my surprise, they did; in fact, I was the first male staff person to be hired by this institution. The director told me later that her primary reason for hiring me was to have a role model for the numerous little boys who stayed there with their mothers.

Soon, I found myself counseling women who had and continued to suffer severely from spousal abuse. I dispensed medications; I even answered the rape crises hotline (telling the woman that I could beep my supervisor if she would be more comfortable talking to a woman—some asked me to do so, others said that they would just talk to me). In addition to my graduate studies, this was the most formative experience of my life. I learned a lot about family dynamics, abuse, recovery, emotional and psychological redemption, etc. In fact, I went on to write my own doctoral dissertation on the history of the politics of violence against women in Latin America, which I have made my permanent home. 

Thus, about 20 years ago, when I began drafting statements of purpose for applicants to graduate school, I developed a special interest that remains to this day in the area of Social Work. I find profound fulfillment in helping applicants to BSW, MSW, and PHD programs because I am fascinated by, drawn to their stories. Only in Social Work is the applicant encouraged to write up to 5 double-spaced pages (in other fields it is almost always 3 or even 2 pages). I have often pondered why this is the case. The only answer that I have been able to come up with is that the Social Worker has a longer story: her past, her life story is more relevant to her application than in other fields. In other areas where space is more limited on the personal statement, I generally encourage applicants to talk more about their future and less about their past. In Social Work, however, the past explains the future in unique ways.

 The most important thing that I have learned about applicants to social work programs is that they have all suffered themselves. They are all victims who have lived through some type of trial and tribulation, oppression, violence, abandonment, discrimination, etc. This is why they have chosen to be social workers. And it is their own historical suffering that drives them to succeed in helping others: their passion for helping victims is grounded in their own survival and redemption, escape from abuse in their own past, rejuvenation and determination to succeed in life despite the odds. Thus, the first paragraph of your statement should include this story. It should lay out the groundwork for what is to follow. Basically, it should lay out your long term plan to contribute to social work and humanity in a certain area and then indicate how this passion that you have is rooted in your own experience.