School pupils from across Sunderland discovered more about the social care careers on offer in the city at an event organised to mark World Social Work Day on March 20th.
The Social Work Sector Day, which was organised by Together for Children, Sunderland City Council and the University of Sunderland, welcomed year 10 and 11 pupils from Grindon Hall, as well as Kepier School in Houghton, Southmoor Academy and Castle View Enterprise Academy.
The students learned about the career paths open to them in social care, took part in workshops, and heard first-hand advice from final-year social work student, Liam Smith.
Liam, 22, who is spending his final year of studies gaining practical experience as a children’s social worker with Together for Children, was inspired to become a social worker after spending some time in care as a teenager.
Liam, who lives in Ashbrooke and studies at Sunderland University, said: “This event has been a great way to show the young people what social workers do and the benefits we bring to the community. It’s also been fantastic to be able to demonstrate to them that social work is a rewarding career choice open to people from any background.
“I spent a few years while I was growing up in children’s homes and not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. Then I got a new social worker who was really great. She inspired me to turn things around and that was the start of my journey to being a social worker. I’m hoping that in the same way today’s event might just inspire some of the students here to consider social care as a career.”
During the sessions the students met with social workers from the Together for Children team, designed posters, and listened to presentations about the variety of roles on offer within social care.
Joanne Maw, headteacher at Grindon Hall school, said: “The students thoroughly enjoyed the day’s activities and learned much about the profession. For some of the pupils at least, we have hopefully given them some food for thought on a career choice.”
Sue Carty, Acting Chief Executive at Together for Children, said: “I’m delighted that so many people enjoyed our event and were able to find out more about social care. The more we do now to inspire young people and promote the positive work that social workers do in our communities, then the brighter the future looks.”
World Social Work Day takes place on March 20th 2018. It is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession and take the theme message into their communities, workplaces and to their governments to raise awareness of the social work contributions and need for further action.
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