Welcome to the Module SW50018: Caring within Integrated Services Blog

Take 5 minutes to introduce yourself/say something about your interest in social work/experience of disability and care.

40 thoughts on “Welcome to the Module SW50018: Caring within Integrated Services Blog”

  1. Ok most just playing about working out how this blog thing works but:-
    Just read Open University article by Dr Elizabeth Cotton.
    ‘Should the NHS try a Dutch model for social care?’
    She suggests we might be better off in Social Care if we adopted the model of care carried out by the Dutch company Buurtzorg which has low levels of bureaucracy and management, where the workplace is a place of autonomy and democratc leadership and targets and decisions are made at a clinical team level.
    It seems staff are more insentivised and as a result provide better more cost effective care.
    If it interest you take a quick look.

  2. Hmm! Been playing around trying to learn how to do this. So where has my last comment gone? Somewhere in cyber space or gone forever with a wrongful click of the delete button perhaps?!

    Anyway I’ll try again.
    I was listening to Radio 4 The Bottom Line re care home businesses heading towards crisis point. A chief exec of a ‘not for profit’ care home business was saying that they at times had gone back to local authority and said they couldn’t take in anymore local authority funded patients into their home. Funds from local authority only covered 65% (if memory serves me right) of the cost of the care. Privately funded patients were paying more than the cost of their care to compensate for the short fall in local government funded places. ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’. Well it seems if you want a bed in a care home and you are deemed to have funds to pay privately then yes in this case you are and without little choice in the matter. Of course there are purely privately funded care homes but they cost more.
    Location Location Location. Where one became old and needed care also featured in the discussion. Care homes where most patients are local government funded tend to also be in areas where their is high demand on the same funds. If care homes are mostly filled with patients whose funds don’t match the cost of the care required it is no wonder that homes are being forced to close their doors.
    On a more positive note and in line with the Scottish Government Health and Social care Delivery Plan Dec 2016, which states that Health & Social Care partnerships are expected to shift investment into community provision, an example was given where beds were given over to ‘bed blocking’ hospital patients and NHS staff (physios etc) were deployed to work in the homes with patients. This freed up beds in hospitals and the patients still received the care they required in a more homely environment but at a significantly lower cost.
    It’s work a wee listen if your interested.

    Ok now let me see if I can post this and not make it do a disappearing act!

  3. Hi, My name is Catherine and up until recently I have had very limited first hand experience of disability and care. However, in the last couple of years my mum’s health has deteriorated and she now uses a walking aid and wheel chair to get around. This has given me an insight into some of the challenges and difficulties that people face on a day to day basis and the reaction of others.

  4. Hello,

    I’m Jess, my background is in Criminological Studies and I graduated from this in 2016. My undergrad influenced me to continue studying in which my main interest was in social work.

    I haven’t had much experience in terms of work experience in disability or care. However I worked at a kids cancer care camp where a lot of the children required a 1:1; some in terms relating to physical disability and some due to behavioural issues. I worked alongside the carers and campers, realising how full-on it is to constantly supervise and care.
    I have also had experience with formal carers within my family as my grandma received formal care.
    I’m sure I will gather plenty more experience and further understanding of disability and care throughout the module – in which I am much looking forward to!

  5. Hi. I’m Briony I have 5 years experience working as an adult nurse within NHS Tayside. Throughout my training I worked as a carer in a nursing home.

  6. Hi, I’m Jenna, I have an undergraduate degree in sociology which is where my interest in social work came about – I knew a lot about the theory behind the inequality of the society we live in but didn’t have a lot of practical experience and wanted to help people. I did a placement working with teenagers but have no experience in working in disability and care.

  7. The appeal of social work is that individual and group practitioners can make a difference to the everyday lives of individuals and thus help promote the rights and the needs of disadvantaged people by bringing real change to their lives by providing them with the appropriate means to do so e.g. advocacy.
    The challenges for working in the social work sector is the lack of appropriate funding for its work to maintain personal dignity for disadvantaged people in the community when its cohesion is challenged by the policies of neoliberalism and individualism that regard their disadvantage, in many instances, as being personal failures rather than arising from the policies of neoliberalism and individualism.
    I have had much experience with dealing with elderly care service users.
    Elderly care , its provision and its cost, will be a major issue in our society as the numbers of those living longer lives will continue to rise.

    1. You have touched the topic which is very close to my heart, Mairi. Care of Elderly is the area where ideally I would like to see myself involved in the future as a qualified practitioner. I witnessed changes happening in elderly care during the years of my working in the Social Work Contact Centre – many services, activities were gradually removed or cut, assessment criteria tightened and waiting lists growing. Firstly, around 2009-2010, home care support was removed from a list of services provided by Local Council carers (these were light domestic tasks like help to make someone’s bed, hoover, put the laundry in the washing machine and some ironing for example). Than I witnessed like in reality people’s right of assessment was often misused: for example whose who still manage basic personal care like dressing/undressing and washing at the sink, but struggled to bath/fully shower independently are not considered as “high priority” and due to mounting waiting lists for “critical” case – never getting to be assessed. ( their cases simply being closed as in reality practitioners struggle to assess even those on highest priority list). It got worse by 2016 -2017, I often speak to a family member or concerned professional like GP about elderly people being discharged home after assessment was completed and care plan created, however no services available sometimes for months after it has been established that person is struggling and not managing.
      It upsets me a lot, when I daily come across stories like these and frightens me too – what will I be able to do to bring about any change once I am out in the field fighting against failing system, lack of funding and recourses, ever increasing risk aversive nature of practice? And then, I remember my daily conversations with families or elderly people themselves and I feel like my heart is starting to be filled with enormous compassion, respect and care and I tell myself – I can do it, even if it is just little changes, some empathy, some listening and understanding. As long as we truly Care there is hope for those who in need of support.

  8. Hi,
    My name is Keith. I have experienced, very much second hand, the impact of disability upon members of my family. My mother’s cousin has severe autism and we used to visit him in the residential hospital where he was based. I was about 6 years old when I first went, and was fascinated by him. He was around 30 years old then. He kept moving things on the table back and forwards, and seemed to be in a deep state of concentration, but grinning with what I felt was happiness and contentment amidst his extreme focus on the task. I found him really non threatening and looked forward to my visits, as he fascinated me. My other experience was with my cousin, who eventually died of Muscular Dystrophy when he was 16. He was an inspiring young man, who brought light and positivity to us all.

  9. Hello, my name is Roisin and I graduated this summer with a degree in Criminology. I felt that social work was a natural progression for me as I am really interested in pursuing a career in the caring sector.

    Most of my experience is surrounding the criminal justice side of social work and I have limited experience in terms of disability and care. For the past 3 years I have worked alongside the Fife Women Offenders Team at a weekly rehabilitation programme for women who offend. I suppose there is aspects of disability and care involved in this such as helping the women to engage with services they require or are entitled to. I have really enjoyed doing this but I am also looking forward to exploring other areas of social work.

  10. Hi, my name is Abigail. I have an undergraduate degree in psychology which I graduated with in 2016. I have found through my academic study that my interest is specifically in social psychology and that I enjoy writing critically about social psychology dilemmas.
    During my studies, I have been working in a range of social care settings which I have found to be rewarding. I have been motivated from my experiences in social care and my academic study to go onto study for the MSc in Social Work. So far I have been enjoying the course.

  11. Hi, I’m Keith. I have been a foster carer for the last 7 years and have really enjoyed the experience. Challenging at times, but really rewarding. I found it was really important to build relationships with the birth parents and spent a lot of time trying to do this. This usually started during the brief meetings at contact, where a firm handshake, a smile and a positive approach were often enough initially. Over the weeks I tried to build on this with some general conversation. Eventually, often in the waiting rooms outside a panel meeting, I often found myself counselling some of the parents, or just listening to their problems. It meant that when it came to Children’s panels and LAC reviews, things were more relaxed and less oppositional, allowing decisions to be made more positively and reducing the tension and suspicion that naturally were there initially. It also allowed me to gain some insight and to ask about what the children enjoyed and disliked, helping us to create a better experience for the children in our care.

  12. Hi My names Taaibah ( or Teebz for short) I came to the university of Dundee to study Social Work after completing four years of Sociology at undergraduate level, learning various sociological theories and applying these to institutions in society. I believed social change at the individual level is crucial for society to progress forward and this is what partly interested me in this course.

  13. Hi, My name is Nadiya and I was born and grew up in Ukraine (formal republic of Soviet Union). My first degree was in 2 subjects: Pre-school education (equivalent to nursery and primary 1 to 3 in the UK) and Cultural studies (specialist teacher/organizer of cultural events). I graduated in 1999 and had some working experience with children and teenagers in local youth clubs. Through my first degree I developed an interest in Child and Adult psychology and Sociology.
    I have lived in UK since 2001 (first six years in London, England and in Scotland since 2007).
    My interest and aspiration for Social Work developed naturally through working experience alongside Social Workers in Fife Local Authority during last 7 years, first in a role of Clerical Assistant and than Customer Service Advisor in Fife Health & Social Care and Children Services Contact Centre.
    I have some experience in caring for a terminally ill member of the family in Scotland and have good understanding and knowledge of services and processes involved in arranging and implementing formal and informal care support within local authorities.
    For a good number of years I was involved with Social Work service users through daily communications on the phone and I am looking forward to meeting people face to face and being directly involved in the process of arranging support services for them.

  14. I have just completed my honours degree in Environmental Science and Geography at Dundee University. The most enjoyable aspect of my degree was Human Geography. As part of my studies in Year 3 I worked in a group with Dundee Carers, Age Concern and Dundee Healthy Living Initiative. We investigated why there is such little uptake in Direct Payments (DPs) in the Dundee area and the barriers and enablers which deterred or encouraged this option of self-directed support. My dissertation in Year 4 explored the stigma, shame and social exclusion associated with poverty. My research project was the highlight of my degree. I investigated the impact that poverty has on the psychological wellbeing of individuals, with a specific focus on foodbank users in the City of Dundee. I continue to volunteer on a weekly basis at the foodbank as I believe it provides a valuable service. I want to contribute to society and have chosen the vocation of social work in the hope that I can make a positive change, no matter how insignificant that may be!

  15. Third attempt!! Hi my name is Keith. I have been a foster carer for 6 years, caring for a range of children, many with significant traumas. Key to our approach has been building bridges with the birth parents. Beginning with contacts, I always gave a firm handshake, introduced myself and maintained a positive body language and a smile. We would then meet the birth parents at LAC reviews, health service appointments and children’s panels. If we could build a positive relationship with the birth parents, it had a very positive effect on outcomes, allowing voluntary rather than compulsory care measures to continue, while reducing the tension in meetings and in discussions. I always made a point of sitting beside the birth parents in any formal meetings.

  16. Hi
    I worked, for a short period, with adults with learning disabilities and profound & multiple learning difficulties in their home environment. Some had their own tenancies others lived in shared accommodation in a care setting. When I go out on the 15hr placement I am going to take the opportunity to explore communication as I feel I lack skill and understanding in this area.

  17. Hello, I graduated 7 years ago with an honours degree in English Literature which I studied for here in Dundee. Since then I have worked supporting adults with Learning disabilities. I found my job really rewarding, something which I hope I will continue to find in future roles in Social Work.

  18. Hi, apart from working in a care home many years ago, I have little experience in working in disability and care. I chose to study social work as I felt I would like to do work that would be of some help ( however small ) to people in our community.

  19. Hi. I am Benedicta coming all the way from Ghana where I had my first degree in Business administration from the Central University College. This would be my very first time to experience the Social work community and all the knowledge and professional skills it comes with it. I am however hoping to learn a lot within a short time. Someday I would use my skills and knowledge acquired to transform the Social Work phase in my country where some of these systems in terms of legislation, policies, etc. are practicable inactive. I look forward to a total great experience. Thank you all.

  20. Hello,
    My name is Petro. My background is in Psychology and I graduated in 2013. I have worked in various positions in the social care sector and these experiences have greatly influenced my decision to study Social Work.
    I have some personal experience of disability and care. This has given me some insight to what support is available and the potential barriers and challenges that people can face day to day. This first-hand experience has also made me aware of the impact disability and caring, not only has directly on the individual affected, but also on those who act as carers.

  21. Hey all,

    My name’s Becca. I graduated in Criminological Studies in 2015, where I then got a job as a support practitioner in a mental health service. This covers not only mental health, however, but physical disabilities, learning disabilities and dementia, too. I also volunteered with Barnardos for a number of years, where I worked in play schemes which provided respite to carers of disabled children.

    I have known I wanted to be a social worker for a number of years now, the appeal beginning within the idea of community justice social work. My desire to progress into social work was further strengthened by working within the mental health services, where I began to see the the negative effects of politics and financial gain in the privatised sector, and the impact this had on the supported individuals. This made me realise that people need support and a voice for their needs, and someone on their side to help, which motivated me further to pursue social work as a career.

    Looking forward to working with you all more.

  22. Hello,
    My name is Reena, a Ghanaian. I have a background in Sociology, I graduated from the University of Ghana. My desire and personal experience motivated me to take a course in Social Work. I intend to use my skills in the field of Social Work to address pressing issues related to child care and survival, child education and fight for human rights especially for women and children in developing countries especially Ghana.
    I look forward to a successful stay and study with you all.

  23. Hello,
    My name is Reena, a Ghanaian. I have a background in Sociology, I graduated from the University of Ghana. My desire and personal experience motivated me to take a course in Social Work. I intend to use my skills in the field of Social Work to address pressing issues related to child care and survival , child education and fight for human rights especially for women and children in developing countries especially Ghana.
    I look forward to a successful stay and study with you all.
    Thank You.

  24. Hi, my name is Prisca. My undergraduate degree is in Anthropology. Growing up in rural Zimbabwe I witnessed first-hand the negative impact of poverty on the lives of children, particularly girls who often had their education sacrificed and the future destroyed. I saw a lot of people suffering and struggling for social justice to end poverty and improve their livelihoods. This influenced my desire to learn and acquire the necessary skills to contribute meaningfully to improve people’s lives and to champion social justice. I believe that all members of the community have a collective responsibility to care for and support each member of the community for the wellbeing of the whole community. I currently work part time at a residential care home providing support and person-centred care to the elderly, some of whom have dementia.

  25. Hello,

    I’m Susana. I’m a Third Culture Adult and my experience of being an outsider throughout my adult life as taught me to see what unites us, upholding the intrinsic human values. With this in mind I have tried to reach out to people in my voluntary work in the Social Care area, which has been a passion and a constant in my life.

    I’ve worked in different areas from giving support to economic and political refugees from Vietname and Latin America newly arrived in Canada, to the more recent work with the Homeless in Madrid, and empowering young mothers and grandmothers in Fife, Scotland.
    At a personal level I have been a carer of family members going through life crisis and of my mom who has become physically disabled.

    I have developed an interest in the mental health care area with emphasis on alternatives to the current system, which relies mainly on medications, since counselling is expensive and the waiting lists are long.
    I’m looking forward to be exposed to different topics, discussing and learning with you all which for me is also a constant in life.

  26. A wee article about the use of technology in social care and how it can be of use.

  27. My name is Dawid. I am from Poland and my background is Sociology. I graduated in Middlesex University London.
    I am also Personal Trainer (Level 3) and Karate Instructor.
    My personal experience are connected with disability in sport where i was Promoting the Participation of Children and Young Adults with Disabilities in Sport.
    I worked as Sport instructor helping children and young adults with disabilities to improve their health , well-being and quality of life.
    I am looking forward to be part of this big group of people who want to improve the quality of people life.
    ( I am sorry for my English if there is any mistake) 😀

  28. Hi there, my name is Tapiwa and I am from Johannesburg, South Africa. I graduated with an Undergraduate degree in 2008 and an Honours degree in 2012. I have experience in the Marketing and Education sectors but non in disability and care, I do however realise the importance of meeting the needs of people with various forms of disability. My interest in Social Work stems from witnessing the vast effects of an ineffective social welfare system. I feel that it is imperative to have policies in place that ensure the proper planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of service delivery outcomes. Together with like-minded individuals, I hope to be part of the solution in helping to implement change and meeting the needs of service users. I look forward to working with you all:)

  29. Hello everyone, my name is Agnieszka. I’m from Poland but I have been living in Scotland for over ten years now.
    My first degree is in Law . I’ve been actively involved in voluntary work , where I supported adults and families with respect to a broad range of welfare rights problems
    I have a few years’ experience of working in the social care sector as a community alarm response worker. Throughout my work I have been involved in working with vulnerable adults in emergency and urgent situations.
    Throughout my education and working experience, I discovered that to empower people and effective social work aiding people to break through boundaries of social exclusion if appropriate assistances, guidance, advice, encouragement is provided. I have also learned that the one of the most rewarding part is satisfaction from being in the position to support people experiencing crisis in their lives and to see them achieving better outcomes for themselves.
    I’m looking forward to learn a lot and to get new experiences.

  30. Two audio clips, one about how Disability is making researchers to rethink Artificial Intelligence (AI):
    “How machine learning is failing people who don’t fit the norm.”

    The other clip about two brothers with Disabilities facing and overcoming the challenges of employment:


    “This summer, Sam Williams, a 23-year-old who lives with a developmental disability, decided it was time to try and find a full-time job.

    “I just thought it’s time to get out and explore the new world,” said Williams, “to try and find the job I’ve been looking for.”

    Williams, who lives in Springwater, Ont., looked to his 25-year-old brother Luke for inspiration. Luke has a physical disability but that didn’t stop him from landing a position as a production assistant with CBC.” (CBC: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation)

  31. Hi , My name is Gill . I graduated in 2011 with a Psychology degree. Since graduating I have worked in a Challenging behaviour unit for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs. I worked as a Support worker for 3 years and then as an Activity Coordinator for the past 3 years and still do so part time alongside the course. I have thought about wanting to study Social Work for a few years now, I enjoy working in the care sector. I am interested in people and equality, so it seemed like the right career choice. I am so far loving the course and i am enjoying getting to know everyone and their interesting backgrounds. I think the next 2 years will fly by, but I am looking forward to the challenge!

  32. Hi, my name is Sophie Antony. As a young person I always have had a wish to learn something through which I could make a difference to other people’s lives. Things changed completely, with birth of my most beautiful daughter; an young adult with additional needs who is my mentor; my great source of inspiration and guide; through her I have assimilated many things in life which I was never aware of. I put myself into her shoes and looked around through her eyes; grasped how difficult it is when a person is limited. We take many things for granted. For us it is easy to do things, but the person who is differently able, it is a complete challenge to accomplish even a very simple task of a daily living. I learnt and still learning, I very much understand the emotions, care and concerns and have a great empathy for those who are sailing in the same boat, like me.

  33. Hi, my name is Sophie. As a young person I always have had a wish to learn something where I could make a difference in people’s lives. Things changed completely with the birth of my most beautiful daughter who is my mentor; my great source of inspiration and guide; through her I have assimilated many things in life which I was never aware of. I put myself into her shoes and looked around through her eyes; grasped how difficult it is when a person is limited. We take many things for granted. For us it is easy to do things, but the person who is differently able, it is a complete challenge to accomplish even a very simple task of daily living.
    I learnt many thing still learning. I understand the care, concern and have great deal of empathy for people who are sailing in the same boat, like me.
    Thank you !

  34. Hello! I am Katerina, also known as Kate and I came from Greece. As far as I can remember myself I always wanted to do something to help other people. My interest derives from my innate motivation and the carer’s role I had in my own family as my mother suffers from schizophrenia.
    I fulfilled my dream and graduated from Psychology field in 2015. Since then I was trying to find the most suitable masters degree for me and the truth is I had no idea what social work. After my graduation I volunteer in a non profit organization which provides social work services to homeless people and every vulnerable person/group. I had the opportunity to meet social work in depth through collaboration with social workers and my one year volunteer work in the organization. I was also given the chance to work for one year as a social worker i and office manager in the same organization. Working with every vulnerable group that I could meet during the street work I understand that I am really passionate about social work, building relationships with those in need, protect and promote their rights.
    My experience in disability is a 6 month volunteer work as a counselor psychologist with children, young people and families facing autism and mental deficiencies but still I believe that I have lots to learn about disability care.
    Thank you!

  35. Hello everyone!
    I am Shomika, originally from India.
    I graduated from Rome in Bachelors in Social Working on 2016 October. During these three years, I completed two placements. Firstly, I assisted in a family counselling clinic, which introduced me to an unfamiliar setting dealing with cases regarding abortions and domestic violence. Secondly, with a philosophy of self-improvement and altruism, I worked in a rehab centre, where I assisted the elderly who were injured or had undergone different surgeries. Both placements continued my pursuit of selflessness but also developed my ability to listen and understand others. Occasionally I met frustrated individuals who would aspirate and mumble comments, but each experience reminded me to maintain a calm approach in order to increase rapport with them, Hence I have decided to satisfy my curiosity about a holistic philosophy that emphasizes empathy.

    I have learned the discipline of providing service to others through my voluntary work in orphanages and schools in different parts of India. As I actively engaged with underprivileged children by either educating them or partaking in a playful activity, I acknowledged their smiles of appreciation. In a world of takers, I have learned that my role will forever remain as a giver.
    Throughout my under graduation, I was independent and supported myself financially by working as a carer for the elderly in their homes. Later, I moved to England and worked as a healthcare assistant in a nursing home located in Wigan until the Masters didn’t start.

  36. Hi,
    I’m Ibuchim (Ib) from Nigeria. I had my first degree in pharmacy, so I’m a Pharmacist back in Nigeria. I have had some experience with regards to disability and care during a placement i did where i worked with people with disabilities, their various challenges and how to enable them with their daily activities. My interest in Social care was birthed when i went on a trip with an NGO to the northern part of Nigeria, and i saw how people lived in abject poverty, and how they struggled for survival, at that point i realized that our social care system in my Country is so poor, and i wanted to do more to enable people in my Country. I believe that i will gain a lot of experience from here to enable me be a good social worker.

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