“Social Work is a Field of Opportunity”
by Elizabeth Trader, Licensed Independent Social Worker
I was asked by Michael Jones, Faculty at SDSU School of Social Work, to share my career story from SDSU to Iowa. I got my BSW and MSW from San Diego State University. My work background was in the area of developmental disabilities. After earning by BSW, I had the opportunity move and work downtown Washington D.C. for the Epilepsy Foundation for the National Capital Area coordinating their volunteer program. I returned to San Diego and joined San Diego Regional Center to work as a Service Coordinator arranging services for infants and toddlers, birth to 3 years old. During my work there, I had the opportunity to be a member of the interdisciplinary team to develop the format and process for Individual Family Service Plans.
In 1995, I responded to a chance to develop a program and provide service to military families overseas. I was hired as a Social Worker for the Army Overseas Early Intervention Program based in Germany. I had the opportunity to work in Germany for 4 years, obtain my clinical supervision hours and tested for my ACSW and LISW. Upon returning to the United States, I began work as a School Social Worker for the Iowa Early Access Program (birth to 3), and district Preschools and Elementary schools where I have been for the last 15 years.
I chose Social Work as a profession because I believe our training provides us with the tools to work with people in varied environments and to be a part of innovative programs. I would describe my experiences as a Social Worker as unique and by being open, it has provided me with many unexpected opportunities. Social Work can lead to many exciting places.
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