PGCE Upskilling: Do You Have What It Takes to Teach Students Aged 14+?
16 Sep 21
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Professor George E Holmes DL | President & Vice Chancellor
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Ellisse Vernon | BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
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Categories: Education and Teacher Training, Undergradute
Does working as a family support worker interest you? Here’s a glimpse at what working in this role could be like.
The University of Bolton’s BA Education & Learning course is a fantastic platform for a number of job roles, including careers as a family liaison officer.
If you’re wondering what to expect from this kind of role, here are some unfiltered truths that will help you understand what life as a family support worker could be like.
There are many challenges when working as a family liaison officer, which all make your workload unique. But it’s important to remember that your job is to support in any way you can, and simply by showing up, you are already making a difference in the world.
Every case you work on will be different, and you won’t know what’s around the corner. Some problems you may see with the families your work with could include anti-social behaviour, criminal activity (such as a parent in prison), bullying or abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, problems with finance and debt, marital separation or divorce, physical and mental health issues, and much more.
As a family support worker, you will work with people from all religions, backgrounds and social settings. So you’ll need to be able to communicate well, no matter who you’re talking to.
Sometimes, you’ll be working closely with a whole family, including extended family members. While other times, you may be focusing on one individual, or one single child. This means you’ll need excellent group communication skills, as well as the ability to work on a one-to-one basis.
You may not be liked straight away
Working in family liaison requires a lot of patience, and a high level of people skills. You may be not be openly accepted at first, so gaining the trust of service users and creating a bond with them will be a fundamental step.
This is especially the case when parenting skills are put into question, or when certain family members are resistant to help. There may also be some challenges early on if a child is scared or is unwilling to talk about family issues.
Some cases will cause heartbreak
Not every case is going to be straightforward, and you may be called in to support parents and their children through a range of social or personal issues. These could be simple problems, or more complex ones that have rooted from things such as domestic abuse or violence.
Whatever the case may be, keeping a cool head is very important. It’s normal to feel emotional, but your training will provide you with the tools to stay strong even when faced with the most heart-wrenching stories.
You’ll help to keep families together
One of your main responsibilities will be to provide support and education to keep families together. But it’s also important to know that this isn’t always going to be possible. Preparing yourself for all outcomes is necessary, as there may be some situations that are too toxic or broken for you to fix alone.
Remember that a family may not be ready to engage with you, and therefore not all interactions will have a positive outcome either.
Despite this, working as a family liaison officer is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. And with the right training, you’ll be able to help families in overcoming a wide range of challenges and difficult situations.
Does this sound like the right career path for you? At the University of Bolton, we’ve been a Top 6 UK University for Teaching Quality in The Times Good University Guide* for three years running, so there’s nowhere better to study!
To find out more about applying to start in September 2021, see our BA Education & Learning course page for details.
Or if you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on +44 (0)1204 903 394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, 2020 and 2019
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