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.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Future

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.

1 comment:

  1. Your line "<span>I'd argue that most social workers have been such since their youth, they just didn't have the credentials yet" speaks exactly to where my life is leading. I have been trying to search for a life long career, and Social Work has always been on the back of my mine. For as long as I can remember I have had the need to helped people in ways that was even beyond my capability, but who else was going to? I have decided to go back to school to achieve my BSW & MSW. I orignally went to school for Paralegal studies, and now feel like a zombie stuck just typing legal documents. </span>

    <span>What advice did you give your new interns? With clientel background, but nothing like social work, what should I expect? I know schooling will help in this aspect, but with your experience what should one expect?</span>