And so, all being well, I’ve made it to the end of this here social work course. I handed in my dissertation after a run of long days, short nights and endless, endless tedium, the results say I did okay and now it’s just a matter of waiting for the graduation to be absolutely sure I don’t have to do that shit any more. Let’s hope I don’t jinx myself by blogging about it too soon. Or by building my new house on that old Indian burial ground I just bought.
You’ll recall, or at least politely pretend to recall, that my dissertation was looking into the horrors of social work with asylum seekers, on account of how asylum legislation stops workers being able to help some of the most shat upon people in society. I am, you could argue, slagging off a career I’ve not even started in yet, biting the hand before it even gets a chance to feed me. However, correct as you’d be, your well-put metaphor would have little effect on me, on account of how I’m a complete prick.
My study, which was so insignificant and so poorly cobbled together it should really only be mentioned between derisive speech marks and accompanied by a smirk and the sound of a slide whistle, might do some good after all. It found stacks of unmet need and that service was more dependent on the attitudes of social workers than on the policies and legislation they’re supposed to follow, suggesting two things: first, that some workers are resisting the repressive and punitive role demanded of them to give a decent amount of help to people who need it; and, second, that others are arseholes. The “study” is now in the hands of a voluntary agency that works with asylum seekers, giving them a spot of ammo to take to at least one local authority and demand a bit of the old ultra-equality.
Of course, the point of all this studying, poverty, squalor and age-inappropriate Pot Noodles was to get a job as a full on proper social worker, ensuing my do-gooderness could take place between the hours of 9 and 5 and not just in the evenings, at weekends, and long after my assassination at the hands of Bill O’Reilly, via my band of sorrowful mourners trying to keep my legacy alive. Looks like that’s sorted; a couple of weeks ago I was offered a job in a children and families team and as soon as my references are forged and my criminal record edited to include only the most light-hearted of public order offences, I’ll be getting started.
It’ll mean protecting children from neglectful or abusive parents, working with families to get them to better futures, and taking kids from the worst of people and finagling an adoption or two. I’ll be in a smallish local authority with a hefty share of problems, the name of which cannot be revealed in the interests of ensuring my secret identity remains secret. I will, however, confirm it’s in one of the three local authorities neighbouring my own. The other two being Middlesex and St Ives.
And so, while the media continues to give social work a kicking, and people I tell about it look either scared or appalled, I’m all set to start; a situation of unlimited opportunity best expressed through the medium of three contemplative dots. Like these ones…
Photo credit: Old Mother Zero