Social Work Internships

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What to Do When you have Nothing to do!

What to do when you have NOTHING to DO at your AGENCY!

Sometimes a student will make the statement” I have nothing to do!” ” My supervisor did not tell me what to do.” If that in fact does happen to  you – keep in mind there is always something to do.  The following list of structured learning activities will ensure that if you have “down” time you will be able to make the most of your practicum/internship learning opportunity.  Failure on the part of the student to take an initiative will have an impact on a students final grades and their progress.

  1. Develop a list of questions with your Field Instructor as you begin a windshield survey of the community, examining the needs and concerns your agency is addressing by speaking with clients in the waiting room, staff members, or through your interaction with referral agencies.  Submit a 2-4 page written report of your questions and answers.
  2. Shadow a social worker or other key staff member during their workday at the agency, in their interaction with clients, at meetings and presentations, as well as in working on projects you will be assigned to. Discuss with your Field Instructor your observations and questions, and submit a 2-4page written report of your observations.
  3. Gain insight into the client’s experience of your agency’s services by walking through each program or unit of the agency, from the point of referral to completing the program services. Consider the questions, concerns and needs a client may have at each stage of this process. You may also want to briefly talk with clients or referral agencies to get their impressions. Submit a 2-4 page written report of your observations.
  4. Attend Inter-Disciplinary Team Meetings, Case Conferences, Board Meetings, or Task Force Meetings along with your Supervisor or Field Instructor. By using group process recording to examine what is taking place at these meetings, you can gain insight into how social workers function in the agency and strategies for facilitating a meeting successfully. Submit a 2-4 page written report using the outline for “Group Process Recording”.
  5. Observe the Intake process, examining and discussing with your Field Instructor how clients are referred to the agency, the range of concerns presented, how decisions are made related to opening or referring a case, as well as what other resources in the community are utilized. If you will be offering Intakes as part of your practicum, arrange to have a staff member or Supervisor observe you during an Intake and offer you feedback on your interviewing style. Submit a 2-4 page written report of your observations.
  6. Using a case review form provided by the agency, review selected case files provided by your Supervisor.  Often done with the intent of organizing case records or updating data base information, the review of selected case files can teach you a great deal about the agency’s reporting requirements, how services are provided and offer you a profile of clients served. Submit a 2-4 page written report of your observations.
  7. Orientation in many agencies includes being assigned a project of your own. Examples of tasks in the early weeks of your project include informing other service providers of a new service offered, making calls as part of a needs assessment or program evaluation, examining a gap in service delivery or researching potential grant funding sources. Submit a 2-4 page written report of activities.
  8. Familiarize yourself with the significant legislation and funding which impacts your agency, as well as the ethical and practice issues that they present. Begin a file of professional journal articles related to issues and concerns you will encounter in your practicum experience. Explore the internet for related sites of interest to bookmark and reference. Submit a 2-4 page written report AND INCLUDE ALL articles and sources of information in annotated bibliography format.

Additional activities may include any or all of the following:

a) Shadow a caseworker/social worker at least twice each week, and document your  activity on your weekly time sheet

b) Shadow at least one time with a caseworker/social worker from each different program offered by your agency (minimum of 3 different staff  persons

c)  Read at least 1 case file each week

d) Observe and/or assist in conducting one intra-agency meeting

e) Observe and assist in conducting one inter-agency meeting

f)  Attend at least two case staffings

g) Make at least one home visit/ school visit/ hospital visit/ or nursing home visit

h) Liaison with several community agencies re: client needs (may be by telephone)

i) Liaison with several community agencies re: client needs (may be by telephone)

j) Visit at least three community agencies involved with your client population

k) Attend at least one court hearing or county commission meeting

l) Complete a problem solving process with at least one client

(week 3-7)

(assess, plan, intervene, evaluate)

m) Complete a problem solving process with at least one client

(week 7-14) (assess, plan, intervene, evaluate)

n) Write one or more comprehensive assessments

o)  Make a formal presentation at a unit meeting or case staffing

p) Maintain a professional calendar of appointments, deadlines, etc

q) Submit a weekly activity/time sheet to your field instructor, each week, and retain  a copy for your internship records

r) Meet record/documentation guidelines required by the agency , or as      directed by field instructor if requested prior to agency deadline

s) Document all case-related contacts in narrative form, consistent with agency  Practice

t) Complete a case record review

u) Assist in case closure or case transfer (including completing necessary  paperwork)


Written by tusksowk

April 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm

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