4th Week at Gateway

Last week so much happened! The Transitions workshop wrapped up with a session about PDD funding, AISH and other systems parents will need to navigate with their loved ones. I found myself really feeling for these families because they are forced to face their own mortality in a way that is so profound. While we all try to plan our wills, with thoughts about what we can leave our children, parents with children who live with disabilities have to plan for who will take care of their adult children when they have passed on. I can’t even begin to imagine the difficulty and anxiety they must feel when having to discuss that topic.


When you are a Social Work Diploma student, you have to relate your experiences within your placement to evaluation criteria. My experiences with the Transitions workshop apply to the following:


  1. Student demonstrates awareness of ethical issues and behavior and demonstrates appropriate use of relationship principles and skills through…
  2. Demonstrating the following principles in her/his practice:
  3. Respect
  4. Non-judgemental attitude
  5. Individualization
  6. Confidentiality
  7. Empathic understanding
  8. Student demonstrates social work practice knowledge and skills through…
  9. Demonstrating integration of knowledge about family processes, life stages, and developmental tasks and issues.


My observations at the transition workshops fit in nicely with this criteria.


Mid week I had the opportunity to be a part of the family management team’s strategic planning meeting. I learned about the history of how Gateway came to be from one of the earliest members still involved. We talked about what Gateway is currently doing and what else it might do in the future. Getting to be a part of the team to brainstorm, discuss and learn was a great process.


Valentine’s day was my first supervision meeting with my coordinator and Sahana. After which we had a potluck lunch! Everyone brought in yummy food and many people went out of their way to make allergen free foods. Which I thought was super thoughtful!


After lunch I was able to attend my first ‘Individual Support Plan’ meeting with Yonique! It was interesting to finally observe the process that I had been reading about all month. I have a better understanding of what occurs at ISP meetings and how they gather the information that Gateway needs to complete the goals. I noticed the parents we met with, seemed frustrated with the system, and that a new caseworker was present. The constant re-sharing of their stories seems to exhaust all parents, and it was obvious that day.


I wonder what can be done to help families through that process.


Until next week!