USC School of Social Work-Statement of Purpose
Please submit a Statement of Purpose that encapsulates your motivation in seeking an MSW. Your statement should demonstrate an ability to synthesize your professional/personal experiences and desire to enter the field of social work. This statement will be used to assess your creativity, critical thinking, self-awareness and writing skills. Please note your Statement of Purpose must be five double-spaced pages in length, with 1-inch margins, and 12-point Times New Roman font that addresses all three topics below. You must upload the Statement of Purpose to the Supporting Documents section of the online Graduate Admissions Application.
Describe your understanding of the social work profession and its core values. How have you incorporated social work values in your human service experiences and interactions with others?
What significant relationships and life experiences have you had in giving or receiving help that have motivated you to enter the field of social work?
What personal qualities equip you for the social work profession? Discuss your experiences and feelings about working with populations different from your own.
The USC School of Social Work is dedicated to providing excellent graduate education for people destined to create social change. What social welfare areas interest you and why? What social problem most concerns you that might be addressed with an MSW?
Please discuss your career goals. What do you expect to be doing in five years and 10 years? How will your chosen department and practice area help you reach your personal/professional goals and future contributions as a social worker? Include why the USC School of Social Work is a good fit for your goals.
(Optional) Please address any special academic or other considerations that you would like the committee to take into account in the review of your application
USC School of Social Work-Statement of Purpose
I am applying for admission to the Masters in Social Work. I intend to study Children, Youth & Families, and Military Social Work as a supplemented program. My application is based on my passion in social work profession. The profession is focused on the well-being of individuals within a social context as well as that of the entire society. Social work pays special attention to helping people who are vulnerable, oppressed and those living in poverty are empowered and meet their needs. It is important to be keen on the environmental forces that generate, support and address the issues of life. As a social worker, I believe I will be entitled to promote social justice and social change on the behalf of the people (National Association of Social Workers (NASW), 2008).
Social workers have to be sensitive to ethnic and cultural differences and work hard to bring an end to discrimination, poverty, oppression and other forms of social injustice. Social work is founded on certain core values, which have been embraced by social workers all through the history of the profession. The social values include service, integrity, social justice, competence, dignity and worth of the person, and importance of human relationships. The complete observance of the core values reflects the uniqueness of the profession of social work (NASW, 2008).
At the center of social work is service to humanity. It is important for every social worker to commit to serving individuals in the society as well as the entire society. I have observed service in all my previous occupations, ensuring all people receive high standards of service and putting the needs of my clients before my own. For instance, when I was working as a cashier and cook at Wife Saver Chicken and Seafood Restaurant, located in North Augusta, SC, I devoted myself to ensuring that all the customers received exceptional service and high quality foods. Military families are the hardest to care for, considering their line of work. They go through a lot of transitions and hardships. Therefore, it is essential to give them a dedicated service that will ensure that both the families and the individual soldiers have proper coping mechanisms, and have better health and improved well-being (NASW, 2008).
Integrity is also very essential to every social worker. Since the profession involves interaction with people with diverse cultures and beliefs, integrity can help in ensuring that all the people are treated with equality and their beliefs are not hurt in any way. The provision of education to adult populations is a task that requires a strict commitment to integrity and self-discipline.
Many children and youths, especially among the unfortunate and poor families, have undergone social injustice in one way or another. I believe the masters in social work program will equip me with proper skills for promoting social justice in my future occupations. In my previous and current relationship with people, I always try to ensure I interact with them in a socially just manner. Working as a Friendly House Early Childcare Specialist, I was able to learn about the social injustices that children are prone to, and learned ways in which social injustice to children can be minimized.
Working as a care giver for a family in Davenport IA, where I have to care for an elderly couple, I have learned to observe the highest standards of service. I also ensure that I conserve the dignity and self-worth of each one of them. I have taken my time to understand their values and respect their diversities, and the differences between their values and mine. Upholding the importance of human relations is key in giving care to elderly people, which has helped me in making this core value a central part of my interaction with people. I also have to deal with them with integrity, being honest, responsible and ethical at all times. The nature of my work requires me to be trustworthy and uphold the confidentiality of my clients.
It is my commitment to ensuring that I only practice in my area of expertise and refrain from misrepresenting my experience or skills. I also commit to research to ensure I improve my knowledge expertise. With this regard, I have undergone several army and military courses. Some of the courses I have attended for the improvement of my competence include Combat Life Savers Course, and the US Army Advanced Individual Training. These training opportunities exposed me to new and advanced ways of providing care and support to deserving military families.
My work with children aged between 3 and 4 has exposed me to some of the challenges faced by children. Working at the state wide funded preschool program as an assistant teacher, I have been able to learn about some of the behavioral issues, cognitive, physical and cognitive development issues. Giving care to the children with different kinds of problems has inspired me to pursue a course in social work. It is my desire to stand in the gap for the unfortunate children and other unfortunate people, especially the homeless and the poor.
Working as a private care giver to an elderly couple, I have been able to develop a passion in supporting families and helping them to experience emotional and physical well-being. I would like to pursue masters in social work so that I can further develop my skills and creativity in social work, thereby becoming a competent social worker.
I once observed a military family undergoing a thorough breakdown as a result of the death of the father, who was in the armed forces and died in the line of duty. The woman was completely shaken and got depressed. As a result of the depression, she started to drink alcohol and to use other strong drugs. The children were quite shaken by both the death of their father and their mother’s addiction. They stopped going to school since their mother used up all the money. They ended up becoming beggars in the streets, where they could get a little money, just enough to keep them alive. The incident inspired me to pursue a course that could empower me to be able to assist the military families and to teach them how to cope with disaster.
I am compassionate and always sympathize with a deserving case. Whenever I spot a case that deserves helping, I often take my time to learn about the problem and try to figure out how to handle it. I tend to value other people’s opinions rather than insist on my own points of view. This quality will be very useful in ensuring that I uphold service to humanity, which is a core value in social work.
My training in Bachelors in Child & Family Development at the American Military University set me on a path towards the profession of social work. I learned how children and families, especially those from poor neighborhoods undergo challenges that need support and advocacy. The certified nursing assistant license from the State of Illinois is fundamental in proving that I am qualified in the provision of care and support. The training that I received during the Combat Life Savers Course, I gained insight into the various ways in which the lives of military individuals can be saved quickly during and after battles. During all my years of study, I was included in the Dean’s List, which is a mark of excellence. I owe my excellence in academic work to my strict adherence to ensuring excellent quality.
Being a childcare specialist with the Friendly House Early Childcare, I learned how to promote social-emotional and cognitive development of children. Social work focuses on empowering the underprivileged members of the society, including taking care of their psychology and mentality. I believe that my experience having worked with the children has equipped me adequately for the profession. I also gained relevant experience while working as an Automated Logistical Specialist within the U.S. Army. While working in this position, I handled accounts and receipts, maintained stock records, material control, controlled bills and handled purchase requests. This job equipped me with skills in self-control, integrity and service to humanity. I believe that these traits are very necessary in becoming successful as a social worker.
I have also worked in
support of the Operation Enduring Freedom 09-10 where I learned how to handle
delicate and expensive equipment and received Army Commendation Medal at the
end. It also taught me how to work with and to serve populations that are not my
own. Working with other people who are not my own people exposed me to the
different sufferings that other people go through. I also observed how
different people approach their problems and handle them. I believe that
working with populations different from my own can help me improve my
competence in social work through exposing me to new challenges and techniques
of handling the challenges. I would like an opportunity to better my knowledge
in social work so that I can be of service to the society and the individuals
in the society.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). (2008). Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners