At just 23 years old I rocked up at the University of Bristol to begin my Social Work training.
Twelve months after graduating with a degree in Sociology, I knew social work was my calling.
17 years later, is it still my calling?
Well, I'm surprised to hear myself say "yes". When I consider all the lows, there have still been plenty of highs. I've post qualified, dabbled at Management, been involved in more changes than Superman, and worked for 10 different Local Authorities in England and Wales, but there is never any doubt I will continue to return to this mistakenly controversial Profession.
Times are tough at the moment. Budget cuts, pay freezes, all round low morale with even staff turning on staff through utter frustration at policies, procedures and damned bureaucracy making you wonder why the hell you bother, but despite all this I still don that name badge four days a week and hopefully make a difference to people's lives. On a grand scale it might not make an impact, but on a day to day for the adults I work with it's huge, and it's that sense of satisfaction that keeps me from hanging up that name badge for good.
So why have I chosen to write this post now after 15 years qualified? Well, because no one in my office knows I write books, and people who know me as writing books do not know I am a social worker, and because someone in the office said to me today "you're an Aries? You don't look like an Aries, you're too quiet", and a wry smile formed on my lips and I thought of 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk' - maybe it's true...it is always the quiet ones!