Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Another one?

My school reached out to me yesterday that they are desperately trying to find a placement for another student. This person has been waiting all semester to start at a certain place and it's been one roadblock after another with that agency's particular "system". I don't understand how it takes so long, but have heard stories from fellow SIFI classmates of the same thing......several of them are only now having their interns start.

The Director of Field Placement told me that my current student actually recommended me and my agency (happy dance!!!), and that when my student talks about us, a lot of the other people in the class feel like it sounds like a really cool place (it is!!!). This new person heard about us this way and advocated coming on board.

In any event, I told the school I needed to speak with my supervisor first, and of course interview the student to ensure it would be a good fit. I also explained that it could be a month at best for the potential student to actually start so they will have A LOT of hours to make up.

In addition, I decided to meet with my current student as well to hear their thoughts again about how they feel things are going and if they would be open to having another student come in. They actually know this person obviously and stated they feel it would be a good match.

My concerns I guess are of course, more work for me and I also want to ensure that there is going to be enough for them to do. We are a very small program and primarily do group work all day long.

I was given some background info already about the potential student and they do sound very different from my current one, so it could also be quite positive on that note (again, sorry for the vagueness). There are still several issues I am having with my current student so having another person in their shoes there, I am hoping could help with these concerns.

What are your thoughts of taking another student on, those of you who have experience with field instruction?

Or even those of you who are students? I welcome your feedback too :).

My first placement I was with 3 other interns and just having their support/presence made a huge difference for me. I could see it being very isolating otherwise............


  1. No experience with providing field instruction, but I just graduated with the MSW last year. My first year placement had two interns, and while I adored my fellow intern, there was NOT enough for us to do. While I had some very positive experiences, I would have loved more to do, even if it was research / policy / etc. (I know different programs have it set up differently - I was in the clinical concentration). My second year I interned at a very busy children's community outpatient mental health clinic and had two other interns. We were so busy, but having them there meant even more to me than having a fellow intern the first year. There was more to process and it turned into a lovely, supportive friendship. I don't know if this helps or not, but your heart to balance your own needs with the needs of the students will equal a positive experience for all in the end. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for your feedback. I actually spoke to one of my colleagues yesterday who suggested adding a research/policy component to give the students some more "busy" work. Especially if I take on the 2nd student, I am sure they will need to be there up to 5 days a week to make up for missed time.