I shall then look at where I plan to be, and what steps I shall take to reach my goals. Over the course of this academic year, I shall visit, revise and amend my personal development plan as I learn more about myself, try and improve on areas that I have identified as weaknesses, evolve as a student, adapt to new information, and overcome any obstacles that may arise as life itself runs its course.
Detailed in the table below, is a list of my qualifications and information relating to course I have undertook. Name Laura Jane Edwards SAA Number 990916152 Center Details Dummies and Galloway College HEN Details Title HEN social care Full time/Part time Full time Start and finish dates September 02 -June 13 Core Units Social Care Theory for Practice
Social Policy and its Application to Social Services Provision Psychology for Social Care Practice Social Care: group award Graded Unit 1 Promote Effective Communication for and about Individuals Promote, Monitor and Maintain Health, Safety and Security in the Working Environment Reflect on and Develop you Practice Optional Units Understanding Loss and the Process of Grief Personal Development Planning Other Qualifications Intermediate 2 Mathematics, English Welcome Host Customer Service Training NV Level 2 in Administration 8 Standard Grades at credit level: Mathematics, English, Biology, Geography, German,
Art and Design, Music, Spanish Grade 5 in Trumpet Grade 3 in Electronic Organ When I initially applied for this HEN course, I had done so with the intention to use the qualification to apply to the University of the West of Scotland to undertake their degree programmer to study towards becoming a Social Worker. My primary reason for doing so, was the vast and varied experience with Social Services in my personal life. I found that there were some who I came into contact with that were incredibly helpful and influential to the decisions that I took as a young adult.
Due to their assistance during a difficult time at home, I found that by engaging in conversations with them, they listened to what I needed and were able to offer practical solutions to help me. In order to show the chronological progression that has led to me pursuing this course, I have included a timeline (Appendix 1) of what I would regard as significant events in my life. There are undoubtedly both highs and lows of both my personal, educational and professional life, however upon careful consideration and reflection I feel that this course shall be the stepping stone for me to move forward towards my goals and aspirations.
As the oldest of four, I had always been an active support to my siblings. They all had varying degrees of learning difficulties and posed a daily challenge to my adoptive parents. I think this was one of the reasons that my mother began to use alcohol as a means to cope. Her addiction unfortunately meant that she was unable to care for my siblings and I naturally fell into the role of a career. Throughout these years as the responsibility put on me increased, I began to find it difficult to cope with the strains of our family life.
By the time I was preparing to sit my Standard Grades I developed anorexia, which was something that I used in a main attempt to feel in control amongst the daily chaos. As my physical health deteriorated I was unable to carry on with my education and did not gain any mother. I attended various Children’s Panel Hearings, and was given the responsibility of ensuring that my brothers and sister were not left unattended with our mother as she had been deemed unfit to do so. I tried my best to shield my siblings from the worst of her alcoholism as she was incredibly verbally abusive and had a tendency to lash out.
I also endeavored to hide the extent of her actions from my father, as he was told by the family doctor his blood pressure was excessively gig. I felt I was reducing his stress levels which I had hoped would reduce his chances of having heart problems. By the age of 16, I was overwhelmed by my circumstances and spoke with our key Social Worker regarding my situation. She arranged for me to live in temporary Supported Accommodation until they felt I was in a position to manage my own property. Throughout the months I stayed there, I received regular advice sessions with the support staff.
They showed me how to budget and manage my money, cook nutritious meals that I was able to afford and encouraged me to persist with my NV training. Upon completion of my NV, I was offered a full time position at the Crandall Hotel which was in the same role I had been carrying out during my placement there. I shortly after this, was allocated my first flat, and felt very proud of the independent lifestyle I was leading at 17. While this was one of the highlights of this time, I was involved in a turbulent and violent relationship.
This finally came to an end, when my neighbor called the police to intervene during a particular assault. Over the following months, I prepared myself to give evidence at his trial, however at the intermediate diet which took place on my 8th birthday he pled guilty to 3 counts of assault and 1 count of breach of the peace. In some respects I was grateful that I didn’t need to repeat and relive the abuse, but I was disappointed that the court removed the interim injunction order which prevented him from approaching me.
Due to his stalking behavior, I felt there was no other option than to leave Dummies and start my life somewhere else. I thrived in the work place, and applied the same dedication I had to my family needs to my role as Area Service Controller. I was solely responsible for the workload of over 30 engineers that covered Scotland and Northern England. While I was in stable Job, I found that through these years I struggled to come to terms with the traumatic events I had been subjected to, and as a result suffered from chronic insomnia. I self- medicated this problem using co-coda, until I eventually sought help in 2007.
I found through my recovery process that I had not dealt with a lot of my issues, and developed an interest in the Buddhist School of Thought. This greatly helped me focus my mind on the future and not the past, and develop a stronger and healthier emotional intelligence. I still actively practice this philosophy and some of their reminisces to date. At this time my father had divorced my mother. He found that the strain of the divorce and the events my siblings had been subjected to had resulted in them having behavioral issues above and beyond their learning difficulties.
I was thoroughly enjoying studying an HEN in Social Sciences, but I felt my family needed me to play a more active role in keeping order and alleviate some of the stress my father was under. I continued to live in Hamilton, and again attempted to continue my studies. I applied to Cardinal College in Glasgow to their Access to Health and Biological Sciences course. Unfortunately, I felt that the situation had deteriorated at sister Sarah’s physical and mental health were also regressing. I therefore made the decision in 2010 to return to Dummies and moved in with my Granddad.
I spent the following 2 years working full time, as well as caring for my Granddad own physical health was poor due to Parkinson Disease, and being a source of support for my siblings again. Our Granddad sadly died on the 2nd March 2012. At the beginning of 2012, I made it clear to my father and his new wife that I felt they were not providing Sarah with adequate care. She had gained a substantial amount of weight, directly u to not being educated on a balanced diet and lack of exercise. I feared she was also depressed, and spent the majority of her time at home in a small box room with no contact from anyone.
Unfortunately, my father became defensive when I raised my concerns and engaged with Social Services regarding my concerns for her welfare. At the end of May last year, I took Sarah to Accident and Emergency as she had been complaining of a persistent cough for a number of weeks and she told me that she hadn’t been taken to see a doctor. Following a chest x-ray, it was quickly identified she was in fact suffering from pneumonia. Within 12 hours she was transferred to the high dependency ward, but due to a lack of improvement she was placed on a ventilator on the evening of 30th May.
The doctors in intensive care advised us that not only were her kidneys failing, but they had located a growth on her heart. During a biopsy of this growth 3 weeks later, she tragically went into cardiac arrest. Since August 2012, I have shared a flat in Dummies town center with my younger brother Matthew. At approximately the age of 1 1, he was diagnosed with Espalier’s Syndrome. When we were growing up, we were always been very close ND he finds it easy to respond to me if he is in a situation he is distressed or confused by.
Although I have never been his named career, I do provide him with support and guidance and take full responsibility for all the financial commitments we have. On a day to day basis, I ensure that I give both verbal and written instructions for tasks such as personal hygiene, to reminding him of his appointments. While this role can at times be challenging and non-rewarding, Matthew has a kind disposition and has a very witty sense of humor. Since our younger sister Sarah tragically died last year, I have seen Matthew mature, and in our hared period of grief we have been able to give each other emotional support.
Just over 2 weeks after she passed, I found myself unable to cope with the loss and voluntarily admitted myself to Mudpack Psychiatric Hospital. Very quickly I established that what I was going through was in fact perfectly normal given the circumstances, however I was diagnosed with an Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have since received both grief counseling and have had some sessions with a psychologist who specialized in personality disorders.
During these meetings, I was able to look at my established means of coping and found that I was much more resilient that I had realized. We agreed that the struggles I had faced throughout my life had shaped me as an individual, and that some of the negative points in my life have developed my strong will and character. Last year I also embarked on a long-standing personal goal to investigate the circumstances of my adoption. The Post-Adoption team in the local Social Services department allocated me a key-worker who has extensive experience in assisting paperwork from my birth to when my adoption was finalized.
We both noted that the main Social Worker who worked with my birth mother seemed to go above and beyond the call of duty and ensured I was given the best care until suitable adoptive parents were found. I genuinely believe that this is the right time for me to pursue my career goals. While this means I will have less time to dedicate to Matthew, I have explained to him that while I am studying I will need him to take on some more personal responsibility, which so far he seems to coping with admirably. Before I began this assignment, I was given an advice session from a lecturer at the University f Glasgow who also have a campus in Dummies.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn of the degree they offered in Health and Social Policy, although admittedly I had not heard of the course prior to this. I was immediately interested in applying for this degree for several reasons; primarily the wide range of employment opportunities and also the articulation progression from the HEN they had in place. I am all too aware of the economic climate that we live in, and the struggle many face to find not only employment, but careers within their realm of choice.
I therefore gave this ireful consideration, and felt that it would be a much more sensible decision to give myself the best chance of entering a Job with career prospects within the care sector. If upon completion of the MA in Health and Social Policy I felt that it would be a wise career move to embark on the post-graduate degree in Social Work then I would still have the option available to me to do this. In order to come to this conclusion, I have included a mind-map which I used to looks at the opportunities available to me after I have completed the HEN (Appendix 2).
On a more personal note, I feel that at 28 1 loud like to begin my career as soon as physically possible. I know that I have the ability to achieve an A which is the entry requirement to articulate to the second year, providing I prioritize my studying and manage my time effectively between the course work, placement and commitments I have at home. I have always felt that due to my personal experience with these various frontline care workers that I would not only be able to be an asset to any social care team, but that I would have a career in a field that I would gain pride and satisfaction from carrying out my day-to-day duties of care.
My work experience has also given me skills that I would be able to transfer to my placement while pursuing my education, I have compiled a table of what I would consider my personal and technical skills. Skill Description Checklist Evaluation Personal Skills Organized Confidentially Sensitive Patience and understanding Conflict resolution Effective communicator Tolerant Responsibility and accountability Work under pressure Motivator commitments I can keep track of tasks I need to complete, and also ensure Matthew knows what he needs to do and when I have worked within the Data Protection Act (1998)
I can demonstrate patience when Matthew displays challenging behavior. I am able to deal effectively with angry and upset customers, both face-to-face and over the telephone Within my personal and professional life, I pride myself in being non-judgmental I have experience in being responsible for those under my care, and professional responsibility such as cash handling I can work to set guidelines and produce accurate work I can motivate others around me My previous role in employment meant that I had a large volume of work to complete each day, as well as dealing with issues as and when they arose.
In order to not fall behind, I prioritize which tasks I should do first, and amended the list if an emergency situation arose In almost every office I have worked in, there has been customer details and financial information I have been exposed to. This meant that I had to have a knowledge and understanding of the laws regarding this information, and work within these guidelines. Knowledge of their condition in order to manage their behavior At work I have had to deal with difficult customers.
This meant that I have had to listen to their grievances, and provide a resolution that they were happy with. When y siblings have been upset, I have been subjected to physical and verbal abuse. I learned to not take these outbursts personally, rather establish the reason they have acted in this manner and help them move forward from the incident I feel my siblings have been treated in derogatory way due to ignorance of their condition, and I have been subject to Discrimination due to my appearance.
I treat everyone with respect and dignity in the hope that I am treated in the same manner I am very proud that at such a young age, I was actively encouraged to take responsibility and be accountable for my actions. I was involved in delivering the care Lana agreed at progress meetings regarding our family situation, and took this responsibility very seriously. I also have been given responsibility within the work place. For example, I have been asked to cash-up the till at the end of a shift, and ensure that the money has been counted correctly In my previous role, the winter months were the busiest.
This meant that I had my daily tasks to complete, organize the work load of up to 50 engineers and report to both the office manager and managing director with updates of the value of work coming through. I learned I could not only handle the pressure I was under, but work effectively, delegate when necessary and remain a positive influence within the office When Matthew fails to see the reason behind carrying out a particular task, I am able to find a way to show him of the benefits of what he is doing.
This is turn helps him to carry out the task to the best of his ability Using numbers I am competent in all aspects of algebra and mathematics I know which mathematical formula to apply I can provide data and present it in a format which is easily understood I can easily add, subtract, multiply, divide and provide percentages I am able to provide reports using the data I have obtained. This enabled my office manager to discuss any changes he felt were necessary with the managing director to maximize business.
I am also able to manage my own money and Matthews incoming and manage his own finances Using Information Technology I am fully competent in all aspects of Windows IT systems I can competently use Word, Excel and Powering to carry out a variety of tasks. I can effectively use the internet to carry out searches for relevant information I can merge different styles of presenting data, such as tables and charts with an assignment In my personal life, I utilize the internet to find information and carry out asks such as managing utility bills.
I have also used varying Windows applications within the work place to carry out all aspects of administrative work. I have also assisted in merging two companies computer systems in order to maximize their customer database Communication – written I am able to produce clearly written documents and assignment I am able to ensure my written work demonstrates my knowledge and understanding I can use correct grammar, spelling, punctuation and paragraphs I can compose a variety of written documents, such as letters, emails, reports and essays
I can display information throughout my reports in tables, charts and graphs When I completed my NV training, I learned how to correctly write various formal documents. I am also a fluent creative writer. I am able to write clear instructions for Matthew when I am at college Communication – oral I am able to convey a particular message, point or argument clearly and concisely I am able to use different vocabulary depending on who I am speaking with I am well articulated I can maintain eye contact and use appropriate body language when in conversation I can focus on what I am saying so that others know what my opinion or idea is
I use appropriate language within work, college and my personal life I have an extensive vocabulary which keeps my conversation interesting to an audience I am able to ask questions in order to make a conversation flow smoothly Over the years I have grown more confident as speaking in front of others. I know how to engage people in what I am saying, and often find that I can speak with a range of different individuals and groups. I have an excellent telephone manner, and can remain professional when required. I am also able to speak to Matthew in a manner in which he can understand my question or instruction Problem solving