So many of you contact me asking for advice for starting your placement. Whether it is your first or second social work placement, there will be nerves and excitement.
Here are my 3 top tips for getting started:
I know it's boring. I know that you know already. But this is a reminder. If you leave everything to the last minute you will end up with more stress.
Keep a track of the tasks you are doing either daily or weekly. Start a document with each domain of the Professional Capabilities Framework so that you add tasks and activities to this as you do them. It means that at the end of your placement you aren't struggling to match up what you have been doing with your PCF requirements.
You will thank me by the end of placement.
I know you are keen to throw yourself into work but social work is about relationships. Get to know the people on your team. Make time to talk - and not just conversation about social work.
Integrating into a team is a social work skill. When you are employed your team will be your support network and it is the same as a student. Of course you have your practice educator to support you but it is important that you get experience shadowing other practitioners to and this is going to be easier if you have the basis of a working relationship.
Find a focus out of placement
I can already hear the faint sound of protest... 'how could I possibly have time for anything else?'
I know that when you are on a social work course it can be all consuming. Placement, reflections, direct observations, essays and more. Social Work can fast take over every minute of every day.
It is more important than ever to find something else to focus on so you have a reason to step away. This isn't just for your wellbeing now, but a habit to build before you enter into your career.
I have a mini podcast series focused on your first 4 weeks in placement or your new job.
Listen here to settle your nerves, build your skills and get practical tips for placement
Do you struggle with imposter syndrome? Would you like to feel confident on placement?
Confidence in Social Work is an online masterclass pre recorded so you can access as and when you need. Practical skills for finding calm, managing conflict and using scripts plus a 10 minute mindfulness download. Take a look here to find your confidence today.
I have 2 reserved student spaces on my next group programme. If you want to know more about this send me a message here