Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Social Work Internship: Step One Complete!

Next Fall/Spring I will be partaking in a BIG part of my education and future career goals: interning in a social services agency!

Can we say HAPPY?

Can we say EXCITED?


I have to say I am a bit upset that they do not offer any type of work with refugee orgs. This is SOUTH FLORIDA - there is an abundance of refugees and immigrants here. Sheesh. Anywho, I do have other interests. I am very interested in assisting youth with independent living skills, creating and implementing prevention programming and empowering this population to become self-sufficient and successful. are my top selections from what is offered (although I have not yet submitted the application, this is something I need to think about...)

  1. An organization that provides independent living skills to foster care adolescents. This organization really stands out to me. Students work with program participants to guide and support them through a variety of independent living skills. Student will also work with various community agencies to fill the needs of all program participants. Each person is paired with a Life Coach and a Mentor. They assist with life skills, education, employment and obtaining quality housing, and actually involve them in leadership opportunities. I went to their website and they actually use technology in their programming, which is so rad. If a person obtains housing, it sounds as though they provide them with a computer so that the person can always be connected to their life coach and mentor, who do communicate with them through email and instant messaging. This does not replace the weekly face-to-face meetings but I definitely think it gives the youth some reassurance that they can reach their "life lines" if needed. Also, they provide some of the life skills training via the web, such as budgeting and time management.
  2. A prep-school that provides education from PreK-12. It sounds as though I would be working with groups doing life skills classes, crisis counseling, parent education, after school groups, case management, parent groups, student groups. I do not know why I am drawn to school-based social work, but I am. :)
  3. An Adoption Agency. I am not sure yet if I want to move this above the prep school to become my 2nd choice. People who know me well know how badly I wish to adopt a child one day and working within this area sounds so rewarding, as well as very depressing. (I guess all areas of social services have those 2 aspects to them though).
  4. A residential facility where abused and abandoned children are assured a home, a family environment and the services they need in order to heal and grow. They provide case management, life skills, tutoring / mentoring, mental health, and after care programs. I like that interns are able to build an internship to suit their interests and growth potential with a flexible environment that gives each individual their own unique opportunity to grow.
  5. A group counseling center that focuses on group counseling for all kinds of things - couples, parent-child / teen, schools, adults, etc. The thing that drew me to this organization is that groups are led by graduate students and are co-led by volunteer group leaders with graduate degrees.

    Anywho - more on this later. :D

Friday, January 9, 2009

Re-birthing Technique

You really do learn something new everyday. I must say, learning about the above was horrifying, to put it mildly. In my Social Work Research class, we started off the class identifying the exact reason why social workers should stay abreast of research in the field: because the interventions may just be downright crazy ridiculous!

I don't remember hearing about this, although that doesn't say much b/c I really don't pay attention to the news much. However, in 2000, the Rebithing technique was used on a 10-year old girl because she had an Attachment Disorder, where she was having problems 'attaching' to her new caregiver - most likely b/c of problems that happened when she was younger. Somehow, this 'rebirth' was supposed to help the young girl bond with her adoptive mother.

Anywho, the new caregiver somehow found the idiots that ran this circus show, and agreed to try this technique. The young girl laid in the fetal position and was wrapped in blankets to simulate the womb, then covered with pillows. The therapists (ha!) then pushed on the pillows to stimulate birthing contractions. In the first 16 minutes, the child said SIX TIMES that she was going to die. She begged to be let out because she was going to vomit. The therapists responded with "You want to die? Ok, then die. Go ahead, die right now." She was like that for 1 hour and 10 minutes! When they unwrapped her, she was unconscious in a pool of vomit and died a day later in the hospital.

Many things can be said about this, as I am sure all of you are thinking the same thoughts I am. However, this is why it is very important to stay on top of techniques that do and DO NOT work. In short, you can not believe everything you hear. If you want to be an effective social worker, you must take the time to be 100% sure that you methods are HELPING your clients, not hindering their progress - or worse, KILLING THEM.

This dude summed it up best: "I don't know anything about rebirthing," said Forrest Lien, Director of Clinical Services at the Attachment Center at Evergreen, a pioneer agency for treating children with attachment disorder. "We really only want to use techniques that have been used and are researched and have proven outcomes." DING DING DING! Good thinking, Forrest.