Social work student placements - helping to raise advocacy awareness
When thinking about what placements to undertake during a social work degree or Masters, advocacy is probably not something that immediately springs to mind. However, as this blog from Chris, one of our recent social work students shows, such a placement can give a new perspective.
“My experience of undertaking a social work placement with The Advocacy People was extremely positive, and one that I would recommend other Social Work students to actively pursue. I feel that the foundations for this were formed prior to my office start date for my placement, as I was in regular contact via email with the Team Manager and met with them via Teams.
This allowed me to ask any questions about the placement that I had, as well as provide the opportunity for the Team Manager to share things that would be beneficial to research and read about prior to starting.
Once on placement, I had a comprehensive four-week induction plan that provided opportunities for me to find out about different roles, regular supervision and access to training modules.
During my placement, I benefitted from having a proactive buddy from within the team. This was useful as at times on placement you can become overwhelmed balancing placement activities, alongside University requirements. My buddy always found time within their schedule to regularly email and check in and would be proactive in booking regular meetings.
Not only did this placement provide me with first-hand experience of advocacy which was enhanced through the various opportunities to work across the various remits, it allowed me to reflect upon the values and ethics of social work from a differing perspective.
At times the similarities and differences between social work and advocacy principles and ethos was challenging but The Advocacy People set up a student social work group where I could reflect on this with other social work students on placements across the organisation. I believe this enhanced my experiences on placement.
I feel that throughout my placement, I was provided with exceptional support and honestly felt that I could contact the Team Manager, Supervising Advocate or any other team member at any time for support or guidance. My supervision was always prioritised, with a clear focus on providing me with opportunities to not only fulfil the requirements of the University, but to provide me with opportunities that would enhance my practice.
A massive thank you to the Cornwall Team for making me feel welcome throughout and supporting me on my social work journey.”