Type: Sociology
Pages: 8 | Words: 2273
Reading Time: 10 Minutes

Question 1

Please briefly explain your motivation for seeking a Master’s degree in social work. In your response, please explain what you anticipate changing as a result of a master’s degree in social work and discuss your vision of how you will use your degree. Also discuss paid or volunteer experiences that support your choice of social work as a career.


My main motivation to choose a master’s degree in social work is to serve the community. In spite of many better-paying career choices, I have settled for social work because it is my calling. I intend to use my knowledge in social work to improve my ability to interact with the community in the form of providing counseling to families, increasing the pool of social work professionals, and improving access to resources. I am also motivated by the desire to make a difference in the lives of people. I will use my advanced knowledge of social work to provide resources such as literacy training to the society. Additionally, a master’s degree will enable me to get a managerial job where I will have power and influence to provide society with basic necessities such as housing, food and education. The third motivation to take a master’s degree in social work is my passion for social justice. High salary that is commensurate with the acquisition of a master’s degree will help me get finance to uplift the living standards of the society by paying school fees for students from poor family backgrounds. Moreover, social work will help me to work with people who struggle for resources and rights such as immigrants, gays and the homeless. I will use my voice to champion their rights. The last motivation is sustainability. The communities always need social workers to serve as their advocates. Unlike other careers, social workers licensed in the United States can also be transferred from one state to another. The experience I gained in social work has equipped me with basic skills that have shaped me to be a good social worker. I also have the right attitude and self-motivation to do social work. Commencing and completing a master’s degree will be the icing on the cake.

My choice in social work is supported by a rich experience in helping people. When I was in high school, I was involved in a school organization that helped new students with low reading ability to improve their reading skills. When I was studying for my undergraduate degree, I was among the volunteers who helped disabled students such as the blind with reading their assignments and the physically challenged to do their cleaning and any other service. This experience have prepared me for what I will face in the course of practice. After completing my bachelor’s degree, I started working in a residential home that dealt with adults with learning disabilities. Some individuals at the workplace had challenging conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The environment exposed me to the role of a social worker. I attended a multi-disciplinary care facility where I helped people to identify their needs and future goals while promoting their rights and empowerment. I implemented care plans by teaching life skills such as developing independence, basic budgeting and resource management. I also provided continuous emotional support and learned valuable communication skills as I constantly interacted with clients on sensitive issues. In addition to honing my communication skills, I increased my awareness about the beliefs and values of others while gained respect for other people’s cultures, goals and preferences.

Question 2

Address a social and economic justice issue about which you are particularly concerned. What experiences or factors have shaped your interest in this social and economic justice issue.

The social justice issue of my great concern is racial and ethnic oppression. For a long time, people of goodwill have been struggling to transform the society towards racial, ethnic and gender equality. Social work practitioners have been at the forefront of agitating for policies that outlaw child labor and increase health facilities in areas inhabited by low-income families to improve their health. The vigor and determination of these groups inclined me to join organizations that seek to empower diverse groups.

The modern society faces a number of diversity challenges and social injustice. The families and children living in abject poverty face challenges of inadequacy of basic needs. Human services are inadequate for some marginalized parts of the nation. The number of incarcerated men of color is disproportional. Some groups mobilize to revoke the existing rights of immigrants, lesbian and gay people (Cosis-Brown, & Cocker, 2011). As a social work practitioner, I have a duty to sensitize the society to appreciate human diversity and the effect of social identities on accessibility to resources.

Several experiences have shaped my interest in social and economic injustice issues. The experiences indicate an acute shortage of social workers to stand up for the liberation of the oppressed. There were cases when Native American children studying in boarding schools were incarcerated (Humphrey, 2010). In spite of regulations stated in the Social Security Act, Mexican American families faced deportation. Women of color were also referred to doctors and were sterilized without their consent or knowledge (Rowse, 2013). When I was trying to enter a high school, I was denied admission because the management thought I could not fit in the social class of their clients. In the hospital, I was denied the services of private wing treatment because I did not have the required money. I seek to change the approach towards diversity to influence society to embrace social inclusion. Society should tolerate, accept and celebrate different groups in society and their divergent views.

Working towards social justice will involve honoring, respecting and recognizing the difference in our diversity. We should work in partnership with people who lead different ways of life from our own. I will seek to influence my colleagues to engage in self-assessment and raise their awareness of how social and economic differences can be used to help the underprivileged. Celebrating diversity will mean that we work as allies to advocate the rights of the oppressed members of society. We should advance the rights of the people who have different identities and backgrounds than we. I will use the knowledge I have gained of unjust practices in society to agitate for changes that will improve the situation of the affected individuals. I will cooperate with other like-minded individuals to create movements aimed at sensitizing improved access to health care, poverty reduction and elimination of discrimination that is based on social identity. I will use my position as a social worker to push for greater quality of life.

Question 3

Describe a personal challenge you have experienced in your life, and discuss how you handled that challenge.

The greatest personal challenge I have experienced in my life was working in a start-up understaffed institution. Despite having a huge workload, I was expected to relate well to patients. The resources were also limited, and the pay was meager. The life was strained as I did not have sufficient resources to make a decent living. Leading such a strained life, I was expected to interact happily with the patients. Though various tasks demanded my attention, I carefully planned and organized my resources and time to reduce the pressure at work. I used my time optimally to accomplish as much as I could. Sometimes, the pressure could reach intolerable levels but I was used to working under pressure. The challenge taught me several lessons. First, organization and proper planning can help a person achieve excellence even with limited resources. I developed the quality of resilience, which is important for a social work practitioner. In my future endeavors, I will remain calm and focused when doing my service even when I am faced with challenges.

Question 4

The concept of cultural pluralism emphasizes respect for diversity of values, heritage, customs, and lifestyles. If you have gaps in your exposure to diversity, what is your plan to broaden your experiences to work competently with each of these populations? a. Ethnicity (race, culture different from your own) b. Spiritual tradition (different from your own) c. Age d. Disability e. Socio-economic status f. Sexual orientation or expression.

In the institutions I have previously attended, I interacted extensively with people from different ethnic backgrounds. I learned the culture of people from different races and ethnic orientations. The interactions helped me to embrace the unity in our diversity. I gained an understanding that people from minority cultures typically face challenges due to stereotypes. I appreciate that I need to learn how to reject these myths and stereotypes and convert the bias to be a source of unity for all races. I will also seek to understand challenges that people from some cultures face and how I can use the knowledge of social work to respond to the challenges.

In my interaction with people from different religious backgrounds, I realized that the principles of all religion are unity for all people. People selectively misinterpret pieces of cultural teachings to spur religious animosity and perpetuate unwarranted discrimination among people of the same nation. The gap I will seek to fill is to research the viewpoint of different religions regarding service to humanity. The knowledge will improve my approach to eliminating social injustices in the community.

I also had an opportunity to interact with people of different ages, socio-cultural status, sexual orientation and the disabled. All these groups need social inclusion. They harbor individual strengths which need recognition and also face challenges which need to be addressed. The gap I realized is how to use the constitutional provisions to champion the rights of these groups and eliminate discrimination.

Question 5

Social work is a profession that has considerable emotional demands on the practitioner. How do you handle stress and what coping skills do you anticipate using as a competent practitioner?

I understand that stress is a part of social work. There are many causes of stress in this field. As a social worker, I will be expected to handle huge workloads and still observe a high level of personal accountability. Little control over the available resources and the flow of work is also a source of stress. I am also conscious that social workers are subjected to variable supervision and sometimes less support from colleagues. These circumstances exert considerable stress on a social worker. The main technique of handling stress I use is balancing personal and professional life. I anticipate using the following coping skills as a competent practitioner.

Taking time to relax. Whenever I feel exhausted or under immense pressure, I will develop the habit of sitting at my workplace, closing my eyes, taking a deep breath and breathing out repeatedly until my lungs become void.

Drinking a glass of water. About three-quarters of the brain are composed of water. The brain is the center of body functions, including memory. At the point I feel symptoms of stress such as a headache or difficulty in keeping focus, I will drink a glass of water.

Taking a five-minute walk, ideally outside. As I take a walk, I will observe fascinating things such as the birds, trees, traffic and nature. These will disconnect the mind from stressful routine tasks. The adventurous feeling of walking outside gives the mind a fresh feeling and reduces the stress level.

Appropriate facial expressions. Seeking to interact more with colleagues can boost mood. I will try to wear attractive facial expressions such as a smile to increase my association with my colleagues.

Taking time to understand myself better. I will seek to understand how my body reacts to stress. I will pay more attention to the communication of the body when I feel stress such as sweating or headache. In identifying the indicators of stress, I will devise the appropriate ways of dealing with stress.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle. I understand that a healthy lifestyle can help me to become stress-resistant. I will have a healthy menu, get enough sleep, do exercises, observe appointments with the doctor and avoid unhealthy habits such as smoking.

Question 6

Mrs. Johnson is an elderly woman receiving dialysis three times a week, whose husband of 50 years recently died. Before Mrs. Johnson’s death, the two were living in their home, where they had lived for decades. Mr. Johnson drove Mrs. Johnson to dialysis and everywhere she wanted to go. The couple had a very traditional marriage, with a specific division of labor. Mrs. Johnson was in charge of the home and all of the basic needs of the family. Mr. Johnson had the role of being the provider and protector of the family. After Mr. Johnson passed away, the charge nurse in the dialysis clinic approached the social worker saying that the social worker needed to find Mrs. Johnson a nursing home to move into, as she could not live alone, can’t pay her bills, and can’t drive. How would you respond to the nurse’s request?

My response will be to accept Mrs. Johnson into the care home. The medical personnel and professional social workers will provide her with the care she needs. Under our care, she will get appropriate help and care that will ensure her comfort. She will also access timely medication when she is sick. The organization has other people with similar challenges. Interaction with them will provide Mrs. Johnson with the comfort of friends similar to care she enjoyed with her husband. She will get an opportunity to communicate with other people and overcome her solitude. Therefore, she will be happy, less stressful and healthier.

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