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MSc Social Work - Essay Example

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This reflexive account considers Barton’s role and responsibilities within the social work profession, presents an account of how she ensure her continuing professional development, and examines what I learnt from this experience that will influence my future development. Jessica Barton came to the social worker profession from a slightly unique background. Rather than studying traditional social worker field, Barton majored in the English Literature. After graduating from college she entered the Peace Corps before finally returning to school to receive a Master’s Degree in journalism. Discovering that she was not cut-out to be a journalist, she entered social work. Still, she noted that her work as a journalist was reflected in her ultimate path towards social work, as she was always drawn towards stories that attempted to lift the down-trodden. It was then a natural step towards social work. She would later receive a Masters of Social Work and begin her career as a social worker. Barton’s work as a social worker spans a wide array of role and responsibilities. One area of her work involves the implementation of games as a therapeutic model with the teenagers. Barton notes that she came to realize the importance of incorporating games into her therapeutic practices because of the particularities of some of her clients. Many of the individuals she worked with came from a difficult background and had difficulty trusting or taking seriously the therapeutic of or counseling process. As a result she had difficulty creating the ‘therapeutic space’. As a means of counteracting this challenge she began implementing improvisational games to demarcate the therapeutic setting. From this start she began expanding the games to target specific therapeutic goals. For instance, she regularly implements games that work to build trust, freedom, and group cohesion. She notes that the games can improve the group’s overall mood and contribute to mental health gains. Still, the most important aims of the group activities are to gain insights about the teenagers and their behavior. While many social workers are intimately involved in casework, Barton’s daily work environment only minimally involves such tasks. Her day starts with reviewing files and then attending a 9:00 AM meeting. This meeting focuses on general work considerations, and later specific people and areas of concern. After this meeting Barton has individual sessions or meetings with clients. There are two regularly scheduled meetings, but individual sessions vary in terms of the person’s specific issues. Barton works towards making small gains in each of her sessions. Another prominent issue Barton is tasked with is attempting to aid many of her clients in securing employment. As many of the clients have troubled backgrounds, with potential criminal records, there are sometimes anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive issues that arise. Barton indicates that she has been successful in identifying businesses that are open to helping her specific populations; however, she is constantly reminded of the challenges of oppression and discrimination in the workplace. Her work is consistent with social work trends that work to establish anti-oppressive practices ("socialwork," 2010). Barton considers that one of the most rewarding aspects of her profession is her interaction with the teenagers. While one would think that this would potentially be one of the most challenging aspects, she notes that the people she comes into contact with have a great array of backgrounds and personal life stories. While ...Show more
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Summary

The specific interview that was conducted was with social worker Jessica Barton. Barton is a social worker who with teenagers between 16-18. …
MSc Social Work
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