The OU has been training social workers for over 18 years with 300 people graduating in the field each year. To celebrate World Social Work Day today, a social work student and graduate reflect on their journeys into the profession.
'Passionate about my career'
Emma Govan (pictured above) graduated from the OU in 2014 and has been shortlisted for the Social Worker of the Year award in the Scottish Association of Social Workers Awards 2016. Raising a child with autism took Emma into a world where her family needed professional support and she was inspired to help other families.
Social workers entered my family’s life and I knew then that I wanted to help other families in a similar way.
“I graduated in 2014 and am so proud to be a social worker. I cannot underestimate the knowledge I gained from my practice teachers and module tutors who nurtured me, and helped me view multiple perspectives.
"The support they offered came from their own knowledge of social work and beyond. I thank them all; they know who they are, for developing me, not only professionally but as a person," she says.
“I am currently practicing within the Scottish Borders Learning Disability Team and I’ve also set up an equine therapy company, combining my passion for horses with my profession!
"I am passionate about my career and my learning journey. Relationships are at the core of what I do and with so many changes within social work happening, I will continue to strive to promote equality and social justice. ‘Never give up’ is my mantra!”
Inspired by caring colleagues
Laura Mynett stumbled on a social work career when she was made redundant after 18 years in a role, and took the opportunity to try something new.
“I saw a part-time job in an adoption agency and decided to apply. The only non-social worker in my team, my job was to promote adoption and recruit more adopters. I landed on my feet by finding myself in the most welcoming, caring and diligent team.
"They showed such care and ownership for the children and families they worked with and advocated for them so strongly. The more I listened, the more I wanted to become a social worker.”
Laura’s combining her day job with OU study and is now in the second year of her social work degree.
You can read more about Emma and Laura on the Community Care website. The Open University is a pioneer in practice-based learning and around 250 employers currently use the OU as a social work training provider. You can find out more here.