Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So, I have a social work student...

This is Sophie Cat. See her stare? She is saying "help my girl" (Oliver Lockhart just keeps walking across the keyboard erasing things). So, why do I need help? Well, my social work student arrived yesterday. My very first one. I had done lots of thinking, reflection, and preparation, gone to workshops, done all the paperwork, but now she's here. Now I'm panicking. I am so worried I am going to screw this poor girl up. My biggest problem though, especially this week and next, is figuring out how to balance taking care of my case load and my documentation (which as you know, I'm constantly behind in) and still finding time to do a good job with her. I don't want her to be as bored as I was the first month at my first practicum.

So, for those of you who've been there, cause all us social workers have, what was good about your field instructor? What was bad about your field instructor? If you are still in practicum, what's good, what's bad? If you've had a student, how did you find the balance? Any advice for a first time supervisor?

So yeah. That's what's going in my life. More later though.

The Dreamer.


mswsarah said...

I think the best thing is to make sure she gets good supervision an hour a week from you. That was lacking in my first placement. Ten minutes is not sufficient to help a person new to the field. I am currently going into my second placement and am hoping for opportunities for more training, more observation time, and more clients. If you are too busy at times to show her the ropes, kindly ask a willing colleague if they would mind having her observe with clients, trainings, meetings, ect. The first few weeks should be all about observation and be willing to have her input on what she would like out of the internship as well. You will do fine!

Sgt. Social Worker said...

this might be a little too late, but be prepared for her, orientation planned, work station set up etc. I've been in my first field placement almost a week and I have no computer, orientation has been haphazard at best and while I have a desk it has no supplies on/around it.

antiSWer said...

Oh, I have so many things. I agree with mswsarah about the supervision. Make sure it's a regular, scheduled time and is done even if there's "nothing to talk about". There's ALWAYS something to talk about. And let them direct the session as much as possible. Don't give them stupid tasks that don't contribute to learning...don't use them as a secretary. Let them sit in with you with clients as much as possible, if they want that. ASK them if they want that. And yes, get them their own computer and phone access, if at all possible. If it's not, make a system where they can get their messages in some simple way. At the very least, give them some space to put some papers overnight where they have access to it.

Oh, and I think most importantly, if YOU need supervision about your student, make sure you have something in place. Especially since it's your first time.

Good luck!

Cheryl said...

Sgt Social worker, I was really enjoying reading your blog the other day. If you see this can you please add me