So if you follow me on Twitter these days, you've probably heard about my latest work debacle. (Otherwise, everything continues to be super-great, no complaints :).
Recently, I was offered a volunteer who is now with me for the majority of the week.
It's been an interesting transition, because I've never actually worked much with volunteers before.
This one also is with me so much, it's basically their job minus the pay.
They have a lot of education under their belt (in a helping profession, but not social work).
Overall, just their presence is helpful for me, because they are extra support and I can take a pee break now if I need to LOL.
Lately things have been getting weird though for a variety of reasons.
At times I think my peeps (and even some of the students in the other disciplines/ client family) confuse them with being a patient themselves since they have a noticeable disability.
Also, because of their education/credentials, there has been some role confusion with how they should introduce themselves/interact with the clients.
Since my program is small, and I don't have a ton of paperwork or anything, and I already have another volunteer who files my stuff, there's really not a whole lot I NEED them to do for me.
There is a ton of down time where they are really just sitting around, blending in with the group.
Due to that, I think things have gotten a little tense lately and it's been bothering me. A lot.
We must have ended up being mind-readers though, because I had been planning to address these things this week with the volunteer, but they came to me yesterday and we ended up having a great conversation. I feel a clearer role and boundaries have now been set.
I have decided to let them come up with some group ideas of their own, which we can lead together.
I have asked them to notify me immediately about any boundary issues, or anything in general that is bothering them. (And they actually requested more supervision since they are new to the helping professions and my client population).
On another related note, my supervisor also gave me the green light to begin exploring obtaining a social work intern of my own. I have contacted my grad school and have been emailing with the Director of Field Instruction..........just waiting to talk to her on the phone now about where to go from here.
Have you ever run into similar issues with volunteers?
What are some things you have them assist you with?
Have you ever done field instruction?
I love hearing from you guys about this social work stuff!
Happy almost Friday friends!!