Saturday, September 12, 2009

Field Seminar

So, I must admit that I am BEYOND excited/nervous/curious/happy/anxious to start my internship next Wednesday. I had my first Field Seminar class and I really like the professor. I think he is going to be a good facilitator and really aid in my learning experience.

The Field Seminar class is not assignment-heavy - thankfully! We have to do 2 presentations: One on the agency (think marketing) and the other on a case we are helping w/ at agency. We have miscellaneous paperwork to do throughout the semester, such as mid-term reports and evals, etc. However, our biggest assignment is the Educational Learning Plan that we must create with our Field Instructor. This is our learning bible, of sorts. Of course, we need to think of all the things that we want to learn - it is our education, of course - but our Field Instructor will most definitely come up with all the things that we must learn at this stage in the game, I am sure.

The things I have down so far:

  • Develop knowledge of the child welfare system, including parental rights, statutes regarding adoption, the foster-care system, safe haven laws, and shelters for runaways, etc. How? Review any information pertinent to working within the child welfare system. Research resources, programs, and services provided to these populations. Attend trainings, programs and events.

  • Develop competence in the NASW code of ethics and values. How? Read the NASW Code of Ethics. Review agency policy and procedures manual, and any other pertinent information. Discuss experience with ethical dilemmas with field instructor and how they handled the situation(s).

  • Develop client interviewing and consulting skills. How? Observe 3 client sessions per week. Co-facilitate 2 client sessions per week.

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the dual responsibility of the child welfare case worker to protect children and to provide appropriate services to enable families to care for their children, including pre-placement preventive services. How?

  • Expand knowledge base regarding local, state and/or national-level policy or policy changes that affects the field agency’s clientele. How? Consult with field instructor regarding policy issues. Do research for information on policy and implication for client base. Consult staff member within agency who handles macro-level work.

  • Develop appropriate social work documentation skills. How? Review agency case notes for clients that are similar to the clients that I will be working with. Attend any training and review any material provided by agency on appropriate case note documentation procedures. Complete in Field Seminar class an oral bio-psycho-social presentation on a client I work with. Submit case notes to Field Instructor for feedback and make changes, as necessary.

  • Observe the legal side of the child welfare system. Accompany Field Instructor to court for such cases as termination of parental rights, etc. Review Florida statues regarding the adoption / foster care / family systems.

This is all I have so far. This isn’t easy to come up with!

Monday, September 7, 2009

International Literacy Day

Yes, Literacy. Something I think we all take for granted in the U.S. However, I had the opportunity to tutor reading skills to children at the Boys & Girls Club while I lived in Tampa. I was appalled at the skills these children DID NOT possess. While the U.S. may be on the forefront of industry and technology, our country still suffers from many of the same situations of the 3rd world countries. Literacy is only one of the many. Literacy is a HUMAN RIGHT! All human beings deserve to be able to read. Without this skill, a person can never truly be independent and care for him/herself.

According to the C.I.A., over two-thirds of the world's 785 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries: Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Of all the illiterate adults in the world, two-thirds are women!! Around the globe, 72.1 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. Many of these children are girls. These extremely low literacy rates are concentrated in three regions, the Arab states, South and West Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, where around one-third of the men and half of all women are illiterate (

September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. Celebrations take place around the world.