Social Worker Academy

Today was my first day of Social Worker Academy – the statewide training that is required of all new social workers hired by the state. The good news: it wasn’t as bad as I had been warned it would be. The bad news: it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. Of course, I knew that it wasn’t going to be. I would love it to be an in-depth, challenging exercise combining the day-to-day of what our jobs will entail with the philosophical debates of what our roles should be and why. Some day I will create this fantasy social work laboratory somewhere. Hmmm.

Anyway, back to the present day. Some initial thoughts:

  • it was interesting meeting lots of people from all over the state.
  • I was surprised at how many people were older – they are grandparents older – who are starting this job.
  • I was not surprised that there was only one man in our group (but that the 2 heads of our training were male).
  • I am not used to having a 1.25 hours for lunch. And I probably never will after this training.
  • Almost my entire unit has their MSW, so I was a little surprised at how few people at this training did – I think it was 9 of 34 (although there were some other random master’s degrees).
  • People from the rural parts of the state are quite different, in a number of ways.
  • I wish there was an expedited version of this training.

So the way this works is that I have 2 weeks of this, then have 2 weeks back at my office, and then go back for 2 more weeks. We aren’t supposed to have cases yet, but I do, so I am doing a little bit of juggling. Which actually isn’t too bad (yet). I got a bit of work done today, put out a few fires, and kept things under control a bit (so far). And it was nice to have something to multitask during the training because my mind needed the exercise. It might have put me to sleep just having the presentation to think about. But, listening to the speaker and thinking about the casework was actually a good balance that I think kept me on target.

Tomorrow I am actually skipping the afternoon session to have a home visit with Blue, which should be very interesting. And then I am having another home visit with one of my new cases, because, I might as well do them on the same afternoon.

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