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Social work April Sheppeard

Move forward by giving back


Ask any social worker what drew them to their career and it’s likely you’ll hear about their passion to alleviate disadvantage. But mostly you’ll be told it’s all about making a difference – which leads to a kind of job satisfaction that can be hard to come by. 

April Sheppeard, a 24-year-old single mum in her second year of study, has her eye on a career in child protection – for three main reasons.

1. Hard work, big rewards

While social work is never easy and sometimes good results only come at the end of a long battle, having the power to truly make a difference in someone’s life is what drives many to this profession. For April, her determined pursuit of a social work degree comes from her own experience with children’s services. 

As a ward of the state through her younger years, April endured a series of traumatic experiences, moving through foster homes and refuges for most of her life. The gaps in the social services system, which she feels let her down, inspired April to pursue a career in child protection. 

“I know from personal experience that the department of Family and Community Services can sometimes make very poor judgments about child placements,” she said. “I want to be there for young people and make a difference.”

Social work ACU

2. It never ends (in a good way)

Building a comprehensive knowledge of social work theories and practices is a lifelong pursuit and your learning and growth won’t come to a halt once you cross the graduation stage. Instead, April said there was always more to learn and further skills and abilities to develop, which is a great incentive.

3. It’s your move

While April is on track to secure a role in child protection, that doesn’t mean the students sitting next to her in class are following the same path. Social work is a broad degree with many career options. 

Social work graduates are qualified to pursue jobs in family work, youth and child welfare services, medical and health services, disability services, psychiatric and general mental health, community services, aged care, income support, mediation, academia, and research. Working as a social work practitioner who is making a difference is the ideal outcome for our graduates, but how you put this into practice is entirely up to you.

April Sheppeard is completing a Bachelor of Social Work at ACU.

Find out if social work at ACU is for you. 

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Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright @ Australian Catholic University 1998-2018 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G