The wheels on the double decker bus go round and round….

Greetings, Cody here speaking to you all the way from England; but, I’m only a hop skip and jump away from home where I am a Junior studying Social Work!  I’m overly excited to be on this journey, and it’s also very much so an experience of a lifetime! I decided to take this journey to England because I wanted to learn more about England’s social services and how their systems are run. Also, of course, I wanted to get a feel of how England’s life is and what type of shopping centers they have! 🙂

Ello there!  My name is Whitney and I am a junior social work student.  I decided to take this class and come across the pond to expand my horizons.  I thought that it would be interesting to learn about another country’s social services, and how things are run over here.  So far, it has been a great experience and really opened my eyes up to another part of the world’s way of life!

Hello mate! My name is Ashley and I am currently a junior social work major. I wanted to come to England because I am very interested in international social work as a career.  I wanted to learn about the policies and the way services are provided in another country. I also wanted to study abroad, because I love to travel and learn about different cultures.

We continue our journey in Kent County by visiting two additional agencies: Kent County Council, Safeguarding Adults; and Department of Opportunity Services. Kent County Council, Safeguarding Adults is an agency in Whitstable that focuses on adult protective services and homebased long-term care. One thing that we found interesting was that service users have the option of choosing the services that they like. Instead of the government paying for the services and choosing what services people have to use, here, service users are given the money in direct payments to choose their own services. One form of a direct payment that they are given is a “Kent Card,” which is a card that a set amount of money is loaded into so that they use for a wide range of services, from medicine to social activities. One thing we noticed about this approach is that they are more empowered as a human being because they are trusted to make their own decisions and use their card how they want. Department of Opportunity Services is the other agency that we visited which is an adult learning center for people with disabilities. We also saw the empowerment theme in this agency with the products that were made to sell by the individuals such as furniture, corner cabinets, jams, and clay pottery.  This is an opportunity for them to be hands on and see something made from start to finish. They are also encouraged to give 100% effort and use creativity. They are finishing “hubs” which will integrate them into the city and encourage social interactions with other residents of the city. In regard to the US and how it compares, they also try to get the service users out into the community.

Along with the agencies, we have done some traveling around Kent County. On Saturday, we traveled to Dover to see the castle. After being there about an hour, we were met with hurricane force winds and were forced to evacuate. While we were there though, we learned about the hundreds of years of history. We also were able to take a tour of the war-time tunnels where they had a hospital. Along with the tunnels, the whole castle is said to be haunted! Spooky! They do ghost tours, but due to the evacuation of the castle we were unable to attend. Despite the winds, we three went back Sunday afternoon to see what we were unable to the previous day. Once we arrived the winds had died down so we were able to tour the inside of the castle, climb to the very top of the castle and in the distance we could see France! We made sure to catch a cab so we would have plenty of time to make it to the bus stop to catch our bus home…but that didn’t work out as we planned. We read the schedule wrong. After looking around confused for a few minutes, a nice girl asked us where we needed to go. She told us that we needed to ride the bus for two hours unless we wanted to wait at the bus stop a long time, so we rode it. On our exciting two-hour bus ride, we got to see Deal’s pier twice and Dover once again on our way back to Canterbury. Despite our mishaps, along this journey we have learned that the people are friendly and helpful and that definitely the motto of this trip is to be flexible!

Good day M8! xxx

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