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Sample Personal Statement for the BSW Degree, Undergraduate Social Work

My long-term career goal is to become the finest Social Worker possible. Thus, I am applying to the distinguished BSW Program at XXXX University. Your program is my first choice because of its sheer excellence. I was raised by a family that went through repeated periods of crisis during my childhood and adolescence as a result of issues that took me some time and effort to resolve. The traumatic experiences that I endured as a young person helped to strengthen me for the long term, however, and to point me in the direction of the most fulfilling career that I can possibly imagine, being a social worker. After first earning the BSW, I hope to go on to earn the MSW. Throughout both programs, as much as possible, I look forward to focusing my research projects and practice on the elderly, as well as family services and children with disabilities since I am seeking a very long and fulfilling career in Social with experience in a variety of areas.

My passion for caring for the elderly began with taking care of my ill grandmother and eventually my mother as well. I spent years caring for my mother, a dialysis patient, and I learned a great deal about how to treat and comfort dialysis patients. There is a need for social workers in this area and I count myself especially fortunate to have made a friend of my mother’s social worker. I have studied intensively on my own how so many of our elderly people have been left behind or marginalized, often as a result, at least in part, of language barriers. A Latina who grew up speaking Spanish in the home, I am sympathetic to the plight of many who still struggle as I did as an adolescent, making the great effort that is necessary to learn to speak and write English well, and this will help me to be compassionate, and to empathize as well as communicate in both languages. In this way, I can help my clients to make use of available resources to the fullest extent possible.

I especially look forward to advocating for victims of domestic violence as a social worker in the decades to come, doing all I can to helping to liberate women in particular from abusive relationships. I was once a victim of domestic violence, and I know how difficult it can be to free oneself from an abusive relationship. I will always be indebted to the  social worker that helped me to get out of my difficult situation with an abusive partner. She believed in me, treated me with respect and dignity and did not judge me. Rather, she inspired and empowered me to secure the resources needed for me and my kids to be safe. She was and will always be one of my principal inspirations in wanting to become a social worker.

As a career social worker, I want to treat all my clients with respect, dignity, helping them to achieve an enhanced sense of self-worth. It was through her that I learned how demanding but also how rewarding the career of social worker is. My own social worker helped me to understand that being a social worker is a selfless career the primary reward of which is seeing one’s client safes, healthy, happy, and successful in at what they set their mind to accomplish. My parents though me that we didn’t come into this world just to be part of it but to make a difference by helping those in need, without judging them or being self-interested. I have been volunteering in several social-work-related positions over the last couple of years and I most enjoy helping people of diverse backgrounds and walks of life, providing them with resources according to their needs.

I have completed the prerequisites courses for application to a BASW. I have also taken several classes in Social Work and have been familiarizing myself intensively with the ethical codes of responsibility that serve to guide our profession. I have also carefully cultivated friendships with people who are social workers and in this way have learned a great deal about the profession, the demands, responsibilities and rewards associated with the field. Lately, I have been reading a book by Lenna Dominelli, “Introducing Social Work.” Reading her work helped me to more fully appreciate how much I love the idea of becoming a social worker, for so many reasons, most of all the fulfillment that comes from helping others, frankly, honestly, and giving one’s all to make that all-important, positive difference in someone’s life.

I am currently serving as an AmeriCorps Student Ambassador through Riverside City College and I I volunteer in the area of Health and Psychological services. In this position, I encounter students from many different cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. The job entails to engaging in one-on-one conversations with students regarding their experiences and issues with health services and mental health counseling. I frequently connect with county public benefit coordinators, Cal-Fresh, for example, assisting students with applications. I coordinate, plan, develop content, and/or schedule guest speakers to deliver presentations, workshops or seminars. I engage with partners throughout the community to bring more resources to colleges. As part of my training, I have attended a variety of lectures on courses including Safe Talk and Seeking Success, helping me to better understand the challenges faced by students in crisis. This opportunity has greatly improved my organizational skills and has giving me the opportunity to put into practice what I have learned about the ethical principles of social work.

In addition to my volunteer work for AmeriCorps, I am also the event coordinator for Alpha Gamma Sigma; and our mission is to give back to the community. We volunteer at operation safe house, magnolia rehab, habitat for humanity, and many other places. By volunteering not only give us the opportunity to give back to the community but it also gives us the opportunity to help people from all kinds of background. I am also a member of the Humanities Club at Moreno Valley College. On veteran’s day we prepared a BBQ, on Mother’s Day we baked a dinner and gave gifts. On Thanksgiving we collected donations to prepare food baskets in collaboration with various local agencies and deliver them to families in need. I love volunteering and helping others. The very best gift that one can receive is to see someone’s grateful smile. We must learn what it is like to walk in someone else shoes to be able to help them achieve a purposeful, meaningful, and rewarding life.

I’m no stranger to demanding schedules and deadlines since my experience working as a quality control lead helped me to organize, time manage, and multitask quite effectively. I was expected of to have 99% of counts completed by the end of the shift, I was also responsible to systematically clean thousands of non-existing products per bin, furthermore I was responsible to submit daily reports of the work of the people that I was supervising. In this position I became adept at resolving  issues through communication; thinking on my feet enabled me to diffuse tricky situations and resolve disagreements to everyone’s satisfaction. I’m a strong believer in equality and the importance of diversity in the workplace. Working while studying has taught me discipline, sacrifice, and strict prioritization of my time.

I am frugal and have money saved for my education. My central focus now is earning the BASW and this is my number 1 priority. I intend to work only insofar as it is comfortable to do so after enrolling in your program and will dedicate all of my time 24-7 if necessary to excel and give my all. I am keenly looking forward to making myself available for all field practicums in the senior year, again, my top priority. I am thankful that I have the support of all my family to achieve my career goal of becoming a professional social worker. This will be a triumph for my family as well.

I could not be more highly motivated to better the lives and prospects of elderly individuals and their families, especially those of scant resources. I have gained many valuable insights from my past experiences with inspirational moments that have fed my passion for progress and human uplifting. I enjoy very much developing strategies for my own realization of my full potential and I want to help others to do so as well. Thank you for considering my application.


Degree sought, field, or place of origin!

MSW Personal, Volunteer Big Sister

As a volunteer ‘Big Sister’, I was assigned to assist a child called Angel and was very excited at the prospect of cooperating with her grandparents to help her achieve her potential. Unfortunately, Angel’s well-being was not the first priority in her grandparents’ lives and they were not very engaged or committed to the process intended to help Angel, for example they would often appear late for meetings or fail to attend at all. I felt frustrated and was tempted to confront the grandparents about their failure to positively engage in the process but I realized that this could well result in the end of my involvement with a child who was beginning to ‘come out of her shell’ and to trust and confide in me and who clearly enjoyed our time together.

I exercised patience and spent time explaining the purpose of the process and the potential benefits of my involvement with Angel. I attempted to engage the grandparents in explaining potential benefits and involving them in the planning process. As they recognized positive changes in Angel and that my commitment to her was genuine and sincere, they slowly ‘came around’. Eventually they became much more engaged in the process and late or non-attendances at meetings became much less of a problem. Our positive relationship continues and Angel is benefitting greatly from my involvement with her. I don’t always agree with the grandparents’ decisions concerning Angel but, when this occurs, I take a gentle and patient approach in providing my opinions, recognizing always that theirs is the ‘last word’ in the matter.

This lesson in establishing and maintaining positive relationships with parents/caregivers has been directly applied since. In my collaboration with a clinician who is treating a middle school student who has Downs Syndrome, I sought her parents’ trust and engagement as my first priority. I gathered a great deal of information from them about all aspects of their daughter’s life, which demonstrated my respect for their opinions and my own commitment and interest in helping their child. I also communicated our plans and sought their understanding and approval of them and provided detailed ‘debriefs’ following treatment. This has resulted in excellent relations and a readiness on the parents’ part to offer opinion and seek information which is for the benefit of all, not least the sweet girl at the center of all our concerns.

Great Accomplishments in Social Work

Both societal and professional trends have transformed social work since the turn of the century. In this article, social workers around the USA reflect on some of the most important trends.

Mental Health/Substance Abuse Parity

Many years of bipartisan efforts by legislators, including the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, resulted in the passage of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008.

The law, which took effect in 2010, requires large companies to provide insurance coverage for mental health services to offer the same level of coverage for these services, including copays, deductibles, and treatment limits, as are offered for medical services. State legislation to ensure parity has become more common since 2000, although how parity is accomplished varies.

“Parity makes mental health and substance abuse services more accessible and affordable for many individuals and families who might have otherwise struggled financially to pay for services or would not seek them,” says Laura W. Groshong, LICSW, from the Clinical Social Work Association.

The long battle for parity also demonstrated the power of advocacy groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to raise public awareness of behavioral health issues, she says.

Social Work with Older Adults

The number of Americans aged 65 and older increased from 35 million in 2000 to more than 40 million a decade later, according to the federal Administration on Aging. The demand for social workers to provide services to older adults has grown significantly.

The number of older people seeking social work services has increased, and several trends have affected how services to these clients are delivered, says Patricia L. Moore, ACSW, LCSW, assistant vice president of business development for Comprehensive Care Management, a New York-based long-term care organization.

These trends include a shift in care away from the nuclear family to society at large, a move away from institutional care to community-based care, and a growing understanding of the importance of cultural competency in serving older immigrants—very positive changes, wouldn’t you agree?

School Violence and Bullying

The Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 brought the issue of school safety to the forefront of the public consciousness, but what is not often realized is that violent crime in schools has declined significantly since the mid-1990s (the media can create amazing illusions!).

So why does the public perceive school violence as a growing problem, you might ask?

Much of it does have everything to do with increased media coverage of school shootings and incidents of bullying, says Ron Avi Astor, PhD, the Richard M. and Ann L. Thor Professor in Urban Social Development at the University of Southern California.

That’s not necessarily bad, of course, because it boosts public support for increased resources for school safety, including school social workers.

Astor hopes social workers’ role in ensuring school safety will evolve from trying to eliminate violence to making schools warm, caring environments. “That should be our real goal,” he says—and social workers should be the ones leading everyone else to create them, wouldn’t you agree.

One way that social workers have been trying to create compassionate school environments is in preventing bullying targeted at lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youths. This bullying has gained national attention in the wake of several instances of gay teens driven to commit suicide.

Not all cases of bullying against LGBT youths result in suicide, but the media attention has made the public more aware of the long-term impact of such victimization, says Caitlin Ryan, PhD, ACSW, from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University.

Around the same time these cases were being targeted by the media, the project released a study showing links between violence and bullying against LGBT youths and the risk of depression, suicide, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases.

“It’s not just an event that occurs in one point in a person’s life,” says Ryan. “As time goes on and we can show more of the costs, it will be harder for jurisdictions to justify not addressing it.”

Children’s Mental Health

Diagnosing mental health problems in children—particularly autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and bipolar disorder—has become more common, as has the use of medication in their treatment. Whether this trend marks a much-needed recognition of children’s mental health needs or an epidemic of over diagnosis is certainly up for debate.

There are various reasons DSM diagnoses are being used more frequently for children, says Denise Duval, PhD, LCSW, from Child Therapy Chicago, a practice serving children and young adults.

Among these reasons are increased awareness of how mental health problems affect children, managed care policies, and parents’ need to explain their children’s behaviors. “Parents want an answer. They want a label. They want to know what it is,” says Duval.

She goes on to say that in response to these trends, social workers must stay true to the profession’s focus on looking at the underlying issues that influence children’s behaviors. “The biggest thing is not to forget to understand the people and the families and the nuances that form who the kids are,” says Duval.

Web-Based Social Work Education

In one decade, the Internet has grown from a curiosity to something that is part of daily life for many North Americans. Social work schools have taken notice, and a growing number are offering classes online and making online education an integral part of their programs.

Web-based social work education is growing in popularity. New technology makes it easier to connect students, particularly students in rural areas who otherwise would not have access to social work programs, says Mary Jo Garcia Biggs, PhD, LCSW, an associate professor and MSW distance education coordinator at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Online education also allows students who cannot afford to quit their jobs to take classes that are held during the day.

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Statements of Excellence in Social Work

Sample 1st 2 Paragraphs for the MSW, Sexual, Domestic Abuse

Now 42 years old, I have only remembered for a little more than a decade the gruesome details of the abuse to which I was subjected as a child at the hands of my biological father: physical, emotional, sexual; constant and always violent it continued for many years. By the time I reached my late 20s, the memories came flooding back in and it took me years to turn tragedy into triumph: to understand, reflect, and heal.

Thus far I have enjoyed success as a certified massage professional after earning my BA in Art, with an emphasis in painting and printmaking, from California State University, Chico in 2000. In 2002, I received my certificate from the Dahan Institute of Massage Studies in Las Vegas NV. This past January of 2016, I began serving as a volunteer working with girls who have been victims of sexual trafficking. My passion for healing, my own difficult history, and my recent experience of helping young women and girls that have been victimized, raped, battered and sold, fills me to the extent that I never thought possible: mission, vocation, and redemption. Thus, I feel that I have much to give to an MSW program so that I can contribute most fully to this work of protection and redemption.

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