Update: Being a Student at Gateway
You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while! It has been hectic being a full-time student and working on placement hours. The blog submissions fell to the wayside…oops!! I will need to work on Evaluation Criteria A.2. as an area to improve upon! (Taking initiative to carry out assigned and unassigned tasks responsibly and satisfactorily.)
The last month with Gateway has been great. The staff has been the highlight of the whole experience thus far. We all chat over lunch, and there are lots of laughs!
I have continued to attend ISP meetings with Betty and Yonique, and I am finding that with each session, I get more and more comfortable with the process. One meeting comes to mind, where I felt comfortable to ask questions and speak up on topics. Afterward, a fellow Social Work student who was also at the meeting, said to me: “With the skills you’ve displayed here today, I can tell you will be a great social worker.” Boy did that feel good to get such good feedback from a peer! This meeting meets the Evaluation Criteria B.4. which states; a student is demonstrating the ability to help people to tell their stories. Working towards an empathic understanding of clients’ situations and the economic, social, and political structures in which these people live.
I also have been working on doing “cold calls” to past participants with Gateway, by doing an evaluation survey. This survey is to gather feedback regarding Individual Support Plan meetings and Transition Plan meetings. I have had the opportunity to speak with over thirty families that have participated with these meetings. In hearing their stories, frustrations, and praises there was lots of learning for me. I was able to identify gaps in services throughout the disability sector, used active listening skills and empathetic skills, all while gathering constructive feedback that I could relay back to the team to utilize in future meetings. This meets a lot of Evaluation Criteria for placement for example:
Demonstrating the ability to obtain information from a number of different sources and translate that information into a meaningful assessment.
Demonstrating the ability to facilitate compelling interviews, demonstrating a beginning ability to effectively evaluate an agency program/service and identify gaps in the service(s)
Showing the following principles in her/his practice: Respect, Non-judgemental attitude, Individualization, Confidentiality, Empathic understanding
Demonstrating the ability to help people to tell their stories. Working towards an empathic understanding of clients’ situations and the economic, social, and political structures in which these people live.
If you get the chance to do a similar process, I encourage you to do so. Phoning up complete strangers and asking them personal questions, can be anxiety-inducing (let me tell you!) But it gave me real-time, practical practice at utilizing all the skills they’ve been teaching us in class, as well as learning about what its like to navigate a complicated and overwhelming system like the Disability Services System.
I have been up to lots of projects, so more posts to come! Sorry for my absence! I will be reflecting on how I can better complete blog posts on time. LOL #socialworkstudentlife