Student Testimonial 8
After completing my degree in Social Work in Chile, I worked in the Child Protection System for approximately five years. First, I worked in residences for children whose rights had been violated. Then, I made social expert reports for the Family Court and the Prosecutors’ Office in cases of children affected by sexual abuse, violence and parental neglect. Additionally, I studied three diplomas in: Gender Theories, Intervention in Child Sexual Abuse, and Children and Public Policy.
While I was working, I had to deal with a lot of complex issues, and I realized that I needed more tools to address them. Furthermore, I realized that there are some gaps in my degree that need to be addressed in order to improve the quality of services for children. Most of the professionals supporting children and families in the Child Protection System are social workers, but they do not necessarily have the training and preparation for that. That is the reason why I decided to pursue an academic career. Obtaining a master was my first step. I set a goal to study a master related to children issues in one of the best universities in the world. Thus, I decided to apply for scholarships and learn English.
This master in Childhood Studies gave me the opportunity to strengthen my knowledge in children rights. What is remarkable about the program is the opportunity to learn about strategies and techniques for research with children. This point is highly innovative in my country. Moreover, the master allowed me to learn about how other countries are tackling childhood issues, in addition to learn from the experience of my classmates. Having classmates from different countries was a unique and unforgettable experience.
Studying in another language was challenging, but I received the support of the University, teachers and classmates. For English speakers it may seem strange what I am going to say, but studying in English opened doors to a new world for me. Thousands of papers are written in English every day. All I read and heard in classes gave me a new perspective to work and research with children. Finally, I would like to highlight both the facilities of the University, as the Library, and the beautiful city.
While I was finishing my master I received the offer to work in two Chilean universities as a teacher. The day after I submitted my dissertation I started to work. I was also accepted to do a home-based internship in CRIN (Child Rights International Network). Additionally, my dissertation was part of a Chilean project, which aims to design and validate a psychosocial model of intervention for children of primary school. My dissertation has been considered by the team that is supporting the next President of Chile about children issues. This team is interested in extending my dissertation project to more students. I was invited to write an article about the topic of my dissertation in both a book and a journal aimed at local governments. My next step is to apply to a PhD, in addition to contribute, as I learnt in my master, to a shift from children services to children’s spaces.