I am a final year student from University of Birmingham. As part of my course I have undertaken two practice placements as part of my course. My first placement was in a young personís advice and guidance centre and I also had the chance to work with younger people on a sexual exploitation project. My second placement was in a local authority within an adultís team and I mainly worked with older adults. These two placement experiences and my part time role as a carer for a range of service users have given me a wealth of experience and transferable skills which will be useful in my future role.
My previous placement was in a voluntary agency which supported young people and whole families through various issues including domestic violence, truancy, sexual exploitation, housing related support as well as support to access benefits. The agency also offered a daily drop in service for young people between 11 and 25 who presented themselves for support in various areas. These included benefit claims, appeals against negative benefit decisions, housing related issues, personal crisis as well as support to access educational and employment opportunities. Support for young people through the drop I service was either on a one off basis or a continuous basis.
I also have experience in working with older people as a personal assistant. This role involved supporting older people in all aspects of their daily life. This role taught me the importance of encouraging service user independence and being able to receive feedback from service users and managers which was very helpful for me to improve as a care and support worker. I also gained knowledge in working with service users with dementia, mental health challenges and physical disabilities. I also have experience in working with young adults with autism and challenging behaviour. This role taught me to be able to communicate with service users who had communication difficulties and to manage their challenging behaviour whilst learning the possible triggers of such behaviour.
I have previously worked on a full time basis as a support worker for young adults with learning difficulties, autism and challenging behaviour. I have also had the opportunity to work with older people in supported accommodation. Working with both client groups has taught me the importance of promoting service user independence as well as the importance of treating each service user as an individual. I have also had the experience of working with young adults who are non-verbal. This has enabled me to learn basic skills of alternative communication such as Makaton, basic sign language and use of pictures and other aids in order to facilitate communication. I have developed observation skills and active listening skills during the course of my work with all service users.
Whilst working with both groups of service users I have encountered and liaised with many professionals on behalf of the service user. In light of brings I will bring to my placement the skills to communicate with professionals from various disciplines for the benefit of the service user.
I have also worked as a support worker on a part time basis for an organisation which supports people living with learning difficulties. My role involved working with service users with a wide range of physical and severe learning difficulties from the age range of 30 to 66. My role also involved assisting the service users with personal care, administration of medication, assistance with meals as well as accessing various activities in the community to ensure that they are not excluded.
The main skills I have gained include good communication and observation skills. I have also gained a basic knowledge of Makaton, sign language and using pictures as a way of communicating with non-verbal service users. I have also learnt to use electrical equipment to assist service users with mobility. I have also learnt to work well under pressure and without supervision. My role involves a lot of team work and I have gained more awareness in preserving the dignity of service users who do not have a voice. I have also undertaken a number of training sessions to assist me in my job role. These include first aid, fire safety, food hygiene and epilepsy training.
I have good written and verbal communication skills. I also have a good understanding of multi-agency working. I am computer literate and can work within the boundaries of confidentiality. I am willing to undertake any training which will enhance my position. I have attended CAF meetings and would like to gain more knowledge and information on how to initiate CAF meetings and learn about the processes involved.