As a new social worker (or rather, a new MSW/LMSW... I'd argue that most social workers have been such since their youth, they just didn't have the credentials yet), I'm also new to the experience of being an intern's supervisor.
When I began my current position, I requested and submitted intern request paperwork to several schools. I loved the idea of getting to assist others as they learn and grow in this profession. Due to unexpected circumstances, I ended up with 3 interns, none of whom I had more than a few days notice about before their first day. They're finishing now (after about 12 weeks), but I'm looking back and attempting to figure out how to better prepare future interns to succeed.
Much like one's first clients, I worry about first interns. I understand that, as humans, we all learn from experience, and through trial and error. As a social worker and a teacher of sorts, I wonder whether that's unfair to the first. I think about my own internship experiences and I recall worrying about whether I was ready to counsel, to treat, to even speak to a client.
It's a tricky thing, the way professions like ours work. On one hand, we always want the most experienced doctor/therapist/teacher, on the other, we understand that the cycle of allowing others to gain experience is part of life.
I sort of hoped, as I pondered while I wrote this, that I'd come to some grand conclusion of how to best prepare my future interns, how to miraculously obtain decades of supervision experience, or even how to reassure them that they're able to handle it all as they complete their internships. I still don't have any of those answers other than that, perhaps part of the growth is in asking the questions.
Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog
The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.
- ▼ May (4)
- ► 2010 (63)
- ► 2009 (137)