Students make the choice to care

Anglicare is hosting nine final-year Social Work students from UTAS. They are almost half way through their 14-week, practical placements.

The students are ‘shadowing’ practitioners across the addictions, mental health and children and family programs.

Alan is based in the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) team at Anglicare’s Glenorchy office.  He came to Anglicare knowing that it was the largest community service organisation in the State, with a reputation for excellence in program delivery.

“So far I’ve met clients of the Needle and Syringe Program and The Way Back Support Service, and next month I’m going on a Taz Kids camp.”

Based at Watchorn Street, Erin and Natalie have been learning from staff in programs like Taz Kids and family relationship counselling.

“This is the first proper practical placement we’ve been able to do because of COVID,” says Erin.

Supportive teams and widening horizons

Students say they are seeing Anglicare’s supportive team environment in action, and learning about the variety of roles needed in the sector.

Alex is a second-year Masters student spending time at Anglicare’s Burnie office, in the Supported Youth Program and Housing Connect service.  He describes the experience as “amazing … packed full with training, inductions, activities, resources and actual human interaction. What I find most interesting is the way that everyone supports each other to bring about the best outcomes for people engaging with the services,” he said.

Allison is a research student who is based in Devonport. She is working on a scoping review of trauma-informed practices: “Anglicare’s Child, family and young people team have made me feel very welcome,” she said. ” I am a student identifying with a physical disability and the team have been inclusive and adaptable. I have loved learning about the programs  and the referral system process.”

Anna studied psychology at University prior to social work. She is doing her placement at the Anglicare-managed Rocherlea Rehabilitation and Recovery Service. “Anglicare’s values of hope, compassion, justice and respect match my social work values,” she says. “My priority is mental health but I am open to different opportunities and willing to work in different areas to support people.”

Kara is also working in mental health recovery: “When I first began my placement I had a set idea of where I wanted to be. This placement has broadened my idea of what I can do so it has really helped me!”, she says.

Lynelle is sitting alongside the Communities for Children program team. “I am seeing collaboration being used on a regular basis. We learnt about collaboration at the University during the last semester. This placement is expanding my horizons as to what the possibilities are in relation to social work,” she says.

Mary has been placed with the Pathway Home team. She is learning how to assist parents to maintain connections with, or reunite with, their children who have been placed in out-of-home care: “These interactions have provided me with an understanding of the variety of individuals in our community who need assistance, and the positive impacts that we as professionals can have on the lives of others,” she says.

Sector in good hands

Anglicare’s Senior Practice Adviser Ben McGregor said the students brought energy and enthusiasm into the workplace.

“It’s refreshing to see our community programs in a new light,” he said.  “It allows us to explore what we do in further depth. This is useful for practitioners but most importantly, it benefits the individuals and families we support.

It’s also encouraging to see the high calibre of students coming through. Some of them may well be future employees, which bodes well for Anglicare and our sector as a whole.

“Clients have been very generous in allowing the students to sit in on the sessions they have with Anglicare team members, and we thank them for that,” said Ben.

 

Further information on the University of Tasmania’s Bachelor of Social Work degree is available here.

 

 Caption main pic above: Northern-based students (from left) Lynelle, Kara, Mary and Anna.

 

 

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