By Day 3
Post a blog post that includes:
- An explanation of the social work practice skills you have gained by participating in your field education experience
By Day 4
Respond to the blog post of three colleagues in one or more of the following ways:
- Validate an idea in your colleague’s post with your own experience.
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Expand on your colleague’s post.
Colleague 1: Amber M
The social work practice skill I have used is boundaries and selfcare. I work at my placement which can be a good thing and a bad thing. I already know the patients and did not need any official orientation to the field placement, but I was constantly bombarded with responsibilities that were from my job. I also had to focus on my scholastic goals and set boundaries with the type of work I did. I was there to learn not be the help because they were short staffed which happened a lot during my first quarter. I work in a high stress environment and coming to work everyday no matter what scope of practice I was in started to wear on me. The placement is going under an ownership change which caused major shifts in my career and in the department of my placement, the changes and stress of school and work was getting to me. It was hard to adjust, which made me have to me must concentrate on self-care. I started getting burned out and was disgruntled and upset. But it all stemmed from the lack of selfcare. Going forward I will also be aware of the relationships I have with my coworkers and supervisors outside of work because I noticed when the therapists on the team would not perform according to the standard, my supervisor would not reprimand them and which affected the department as a whole. I am aware the dual relationships can be problematic, if personal problems may arise or if receiving constructive criticism(Garthwait,2017p37).
Garthwait, C. L. (2016). Social work practicum: a guide and workbook for students. Pearson.
Colleague 2: Stacia
I have been in the social worker field for the last ten years. From working with social workers at DSS, to case management to again working with social workers in a psychiatric and jail facility. To my knowledge, I thought I was using all the social worker’s skills there was. Social worker skills are so much more than just showing empathy to clients and providing a listening ear. While working with domestic violence victims, you not only have to listen actively, but you also have to be willing to adapt to the circumstances and pay attention to silence. Henry (2020) discussed one of the things that makes a good practitioner is being able to “read the room” and being able to respond at the moment or when the time is right (p. 3). With domestic violence victims, their needs are always different. I have learned to think critically, be more patient and understanding, advocate and be an excellent listener and time management. During intakes, we follow a series of assessment paperwork. However, I tend to ask a question and allow the client to talk more, and before you know it, we are in a three-hour intake assessment meeting. One social worker skill I am grateful for my supervisor helping me implement is self-care. I have always been a ‘complete notes, speak with clients after hours’ kind of worker. I have learned that problems will exist tomorrow and that our job is to help if we can with imminent issues and then move forward or going home and resting our minds. I have learned so much that I feel I can implement in the future and will be able to take with me to future jobs and internships.
Henry, L. (2020). Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work, 5th Edition,
(Transforming Social Work Practice Series). Scottish Journal of Residential Child
Care, 19(3), 1–4.
Colleague 3: Jacqueline
An Explanation of the Social Work Practice Skills You Have Gained by Participating in Your Field Education Experience
Having the opportunity to conduct my field hours at The Methodist Home has been priceless to gaining social work practice skills. I have worked in the social services arena for about four years at the domestic violence shelter and thought I knew all there was to know about social work services. Boy was I wrong. Having the opportunity to intern at the group home has opened my eyes to a whole other perspective of social work and the values and dynamics involved. I learned so much invaluable information during this time and feel so much more prepared to enter this field.
I have learned an abundance of skills working with the faculty and youth at the group home. I have also had the pleasure of working under a field instructor that is extremely knowledgeable as it pertains to social work and holds me to a high standard. Having an effective field instructor is important to the field experience. Some of the behaviors that I have tried my best to exhibit, and that field instructors are impressed by, are dependability, being punctual, the ability to handle conflicts, organization, self-awareness, and receptivity to learn (Garthwait, 2017). These qualities will last throughout my career as a social worker and I have learned to hold them to a higher regard working with this agency. I have also had the ability to gain social work skill including effective communication, active listening, time management, and self awareness. Working with adolescents with behavioral issues is, and has always been a passion of mine, and doing so has taught me how to communicate effectively and listen actively in a way I have never had to do before. In addition, I had to learn how to run a 24/7 dv shelter, intern and complete the tasks for two classes simultaneously which required more time management skills than I have ever been challenged to have in the past. I have also gained self-awareness by realizing how my own experiences and perceptions influence my ability to work with this demographic. I realized that I need to do a lot more work in my ow therapy to avoid triggers and underlying issues coming up while working with them. It has definitely been a priceless experience that I could not have gained without getting out there and doing it in my field experience.
Garthwait, C. L. (2017). The social work practicum: A guide and workbook for students (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.