Dumbbell

KA T I E

T I L L E Y

I am a Social Worker from London working in the field of child protection. 

I had always known I wanted to work in a field that would involve promoting positive change. However, I wasn’t sure exactly what career to pursue. My mother has always worked with vulnerable service users in the voluntary sector and encouraged me to pursue a career in social work. As a teenager I remember hearing of high-profile child deaths on the news where social workers were criticised, and although this may have deterred people from joining the profession, it made me want to do it more. Regardless of the public perception of the field, I knew I wanted to work in a role where I would be part of a profession that tries to prevent child abuse in all forms from happening. 

I chose Dumbell because …

… it represents strength and empowerment, to both myself and to the service users I work with. Keeping an active lifestyle is a huge part of maintaining my own mental wellbeing and starting my day with a workout sets me up in a positive way, which helps me to manage the unpredictable days of social work.

The dumbbell to me also represents the strength it requires for families to accept that changes need to be made to ensure their children are safe, which is a huge and difficult step to take. Not only is it important for them to recognise changes are needed, they also need to meaningfully engage with support to enable those changes to occur and be sustained once social workers are no longer involved. Social workers can provide the family with the ‘dumbbell’, but the family must be the ones to lift it and put the work in to see the changes within their own lives. 

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