In my journey through the social care field, I encountered various challenges that left me feeling unheard and voiceless. From battling recurring laryngitis to experiencing the dismissal of my words in professional settings, I struggled to make my voice heard. However, as time passed and circumstances changed, I discovered the power of finding my voice, advocating for myself and others, and making a difference in the field of social care.
Laryngitis became a recurring issue in my life, leaving me without a voice for extended periods. Even though my job didn't require excessive talking, it was disheartening to realise that even a simple communication barrier could impede my effectiveness. Beyond physical limitations, I also faced an emotional challenge in social care, similar to many others working in the field. Early in my career, I often felt unheard and my opinions were easily dismissed during service users' medical appointments, team meetings, and case reviews. The voices of those in need, including myself, often seemed to be overshadowed by bureaucracy and hierarchy.
Working on the front line with challenging young people, I learned the importance of choosing my words carefully. Verbal tirades from deeply traumatised individuals required a measured response, sometimes leaving me silent to avoid exacerbating the situation. As I advanced into supervisory and managerial roles, the weight of responsibility increased. While my words carried more weight, I found myself conforming to the expectations of the system, often sacrificing my voice and failing to speak up when it truly mattered. This regret lingered with me, reminding me of the significance of finding my voice.
Empowerment through Independence
After completing my Master's Degree, I took the courageous step of working for myself. This newfound freedom allowed me to pursue my passion for helping others, but on my own terms. Despite not holding a leadership title, my opinions were valued by those who entrusted me to provide professional services. Mentors played a vital role in helping me regain confidence and find my voice. Teaching became another outlet where I felt valued, as my students recognised the knowledge and experience I brought to the classroom. Finally, I no longer needed to whisper.
Sharing My Voice
Fast forward several years and with the support of a fellow social care practitioner, I embarked on a new endeavor to share my voice with a wider audience. Together, we created The Social Care Podcast, providing a platform for others to discuss their work in the field. Often, the nature of our profession keeps us isolated, preventing us from hearing about the inspiring work being done by our peers. Through this podcast, we aim to shed light on the invaluable contributions of social care professionals and give them a voice they might not have otherwise.
Finding my voice in social care has been a transformative journey. From battling laryngitis to feeling unheard and eventually regaining confidence, I have learned the importance of speaking up and advocating for myself and others. Through my independent work and The Social Care Podcast, I have discovered the power of sharing stories, experiences, and ideas, fostering a sense of unity and collaboration within the social care community. As we continue to amplify the voices of those dedicated to making a difference, I hope to inspire change and create a more inclusive and empowered social care landscape.