Deb recently completed her student placement with us at Westcare. The social work student from RMIT shared her experience in the Transitional Services unit with us.
"Westcare was a great experience for me as it allowed me to grow as an individual and learning practitioner. Entering Westcare on my first day was both exciting and terrifying. As it was my first placement I was not sure what to expect, as well as what was expected of me. Studying for three years without doing any direct work was challenging for me. I tried too hard to bring my knowledge to practical situations, rather than just being myself.
I did my three and a half months of placement in Transitional Services. This experience was one that challenged me on a daily basis
Within these two programs I was given different tasks.These tasks allowed me to see my strengths and my weaknesses, which has now helped me in my future endeavours. I was given the opportunity to help develop and participate in the FLIP life skills program. This program gave me a better insight into the young people at Westcare, allowing me to develop a good working relationship.
My personal development in the agency is one that has grown considerably since day one. Being my first placement I could only go off my knowledge from university. However the learning at university and practical learning at placement are two very different aspects. My confidence while being at Westcare has grown so much, that I can hardly believe some of the tasks I found myself completing and achieving. When I first started at placement I could hardly even speak. I found that I hid behind the Case Managers and rarely interacted with the young people. However as my placement progressed I was able to build my confidence up and start creating relationships and taking on different activities in the TSA Program. I feel that as a first placement Westcare was a great place to learn and develop. Their accepting nature and welcoming attitude makes everyone feel equal. They don’t show the power divide between workers and students and were constantly making me feel that I was one of them.
Doing my direct-practice placement at Westcare allowed me to grow in many different ways. I would definitely recommend Westcare for future student placements. It is a great atmosphere to work and learn in. I have been challenged and tested whilst on this placement, and have been given many opportunities to grow. It is truly an experience I will never forget and one that has helped me take a step back and figure out what kind of person I am."