P R O S P E R A T E D A M
I came into social work with some understanding of justice and injustice and believed that by studying for a degree in law, I could contribute to making the world a better and fairer place. When I was unsuccessful in my application to join the law programme at the University of Ghana, I was offered social work, which was a relatively new programme of study at that time. I was not entirely convinced that this was the career I wanted; how would this course assist me in achieving my aims, after all it sounded like something one did in their spare time, a ‘hobby’ of sorts! After speaking to a few people, I became aware that I could change the world through social work.
20 years after qualification I don’t have any regrets about the career I chose and now work in. I am now senior lecturer at University of Northampton where my doctoral research into the practice learning experiences of black African students in England has been another small contribution to making the world a fairer place.
I chose my Work bag because …
… It reminds me about my days in social work practice. This bag is significant because it was what I used when I worked in a local authority social work team. Its contents have a few reminders of the work I did then – my staff ID card, a few receipts and bits of paper from that time. The bag is worn in parts, perhaps indicative of how worn out I was at the point I made the decision to become a social work educator. The significance of retaining the bag for me indicates hope and facilitates reflection, two key components of social work.
Bags are used by many to hold valuable personal items and can also be considered as part of one’s image. Work bags may also contain important work related documents and items. I never left home without it. This is my social worker bag; it’s been zipped up and put away for about 11 years but still holds clear memories of the days when it was at my side as my faithful companion and contained all that I regarded as necessary to enable me carry out the daily tasks of working with children who are in our care.