Thursday, October 31, 2013


My friend I wrote about earlier on my blog decided to take the job.

Now I need to write them a letter of recommendation.

Anyone have some good formats for that?

I'm very excited for them. They actually got in touch with someone who works(ed) for the agency who confirmed it's not as bad as they were making it in their head :).

Dealing with difficult providers

I'm sure I've written about this topic before, but it's 5:30 in the morning and I've barely finished my first cup of coffee so I'm too tired & lazy to go back and look. Plus, this is a recurrent frustration I believe for most of us who are around the social work field long-term.

So yeah...........about them difficult providers.

I have a long history of similar exchanges with a certain agency who has been challenging at best to work with. I tend to think all things common sense go out the window with them and many of their staff.

In any event, I've been requesting paperwork for one of our shared clients for awhile from them to no avail and pretty much hit the roof yesterday when I got the finalized version back totally mincing my words about a client and downplaying major health and safety concerns that put them at risk under my watch.

After another participant recently had a serious incident for the same exact thing I've been requesting of them, I continued to see red.

I admit I did send them an email that was a tad bit snarky about their lack of follow up.

Which probably is not super professional.

And lead to the supervisor immediately being snarky right back, and especially defensive about their employee.

I did feel a little bad afterwards and responded as such.

At the same time though, I am thinking I shouldn't feel bad, especially if they are not documenting appropriately for the needs of the client.

I AM going to try calling them today with hopes of clearing the air (if they will pick up my calls).

How do/did you deal with similar? How do you keep it together when people you have to work with are in a much different place than you?

I do keep a paper trail, but I also want to keep my professionalism in check as well.

On my ride home from work last night, one of my ideas was to give it a day before I respond to something that immediately pisses me off like that......

Again, sorry for being so vague about the issue but I do try to keep things somewhat anonymous on here for obvious reasons.

Hope all things social work are going well for you guys this week.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's Halloween

It's Halloween. A lot of creatures will visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills.

The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues.

The child who does not say "trick or treat" or "thank you" might be shy or non-verbal.

The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have an allergy.

The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have a sensory processing disorder or autism.

Be nice. Be patient. It's everyone's Halloween.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Asking for a friend...........

Would you take a job your gut is saying will be awful, so you can gain experience and make connections?

I know someone who has NO professional work experience and was finally offered a job. Their job search has been LONG and they have not received any significant interviews/offers until this one.

For them, it's with a very scary population and also the work environment does not seem great from what they described, for a whole variety of reasons (between the way the place looks when you first walk in to very unrealistic program expectations). The agency has also gotten some bad reviews from people who know them who work in our field.

Personally, I can definitely see the pros and cons of doing both, and advised them of such.

I also told them since they have no other offers on the line, they have the leisure to at least try the job out-----they could always quit and NOT list them on their resume if things are really THAT bad.

However, this person is VERY concerned about their physical safety (which may or may not be a real issue) and I advised them to have a meeting with their potential employer first and ask a lot of questions about this subject before accepting (or NOT accepting). The safety reason is probably THE biggest factor in their decision making.

Have you ever been faced with a similar problem? What did you end up doing? What would you advise my friend to do?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Have my test date

Not going to say when, but I just wanted to quickly share that it's official---I signed up yesterday for my LMSW exam.

I got a bit overwhelmed at yoga last night when I was supposed to be keeping my mind open and clear from thoughts, thinking about all the studying time I have ahead of me. And of course it doesn't feel like it will be enough.

I plan to sit down today and write out my schedule for study time (recommended is 100 hours/2 hours daily).

Any other tips? I am primarily sticking to the LMSW Boot camp strategy for studying, but could still use all the support and advice out there from those of you who have been there.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

LMSW Bootcamp class was fabulous

I am so happy I went to this class.

I had purchased the book in advance, however, going to the class and actually learning out loud the material that is in the book really put my mind 100% more at ease to sit for the exam.

There were actually several people who flew in from out of state to attend.

The class also teaches the same material that is on the LCSW exam.

If you are a social worker in need of taking your license exam, I cannot recommend this class enough.

Check them out here.

P.S. When I arrived home last night from class, my letter from the state was in the mailbox, approving me to move forward with registering for the exam. Things are getting real around here!!!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Quick update

Just wanted to jump on real quick since I'm about to head off to my LMSW Boot Camp class, to update that things are significantly better with my student. Our meeting went very well. They have become a great deal more at ease and engaged with the clients. Even one of my difficult peeps took an immediate liking to the student and they spent most of yesterday chatting it up like old friends (for lack of a better term).

I know it's still only the beginning, but I have a lot more hope now that it's going to work out.

Most of the projects I have been giving them are to help open their eyes to how what we do is in fact "social work" and that so much of what we do is NOT 1:1 sit down on my couch psychotherapy-----although the skills we use are very, very close.

Have you run into similar issues with students thinking social work was just "therapy"?

What are some assignments that you've given them to broaden their lines of thinking?

Have you found they learned to love the work?

Happy Saturday all and send me good vibes that this class this morning is interesting and goes by quick!!

P.S. It was suggested in my SIFI class that we keep a journal of sorts outlining our experiences with the student so I thought this would be a great way to share with all of you what it's like. Obviously I am going to have to leave out a lot of details for confidentiality purposes.