I’ve just started the 3rd year of my OU degree. One course I’m doing is still heavily children based. The other is a social sciences course. My first social sciences course. At level 3. Yeah I’m a bit nuts. But what I like is that its a whole different set of students. We all come from a wide range of backgrounds. There’s youth workers, social workers, foster carers, teaching assistants. A wide range of backgrounds.
I got chatting with one of my fellow students who said that although she worked with social services she had decided against training as a social worker because of all the legislation and red tape that doesn’t always put children first. I can relate to that totally. It was that reason that I dropped out of college from a course that was leading me down the social work path.
Don’t get me wrong I know social workers do their best and they follow all the rules which keep children safe but they often spend more time filling out paperwork making sure everything is accounted for than being with the kids themselves. And that’s what I couldn’t do. I want a hands on job. One where I can interact with them and find out what makes them tick.
My current youth work job is great. But the paper trail is now starting to infiltrate youth work. Everything is accountable. It’s all about the evidence. You’ve got to be able to track back and show progress.
Maybe it’s just how a lot of jobs are going to go. Even those at the bottom of the rung with children are having to do it. I know its what keeps children ‘safe’ supposedly but I’m not convinced it is always in their best interests. Attachment theory? Yeah the paperwork seems to put a bit of an oar into that!
I do keep considering going into teaching when my degree is finished, and doing a PGCE, afterall the holidays when you have kids are a bonus, and maybe its in my blood seeing as my mums a teacher … but I don’t know that its me … I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what comes up!