Leadership in establishing first-ever social work student placement at regional public library of NSW

Activity: Academic engagement & professional developmentMajor contributions to the field of practice

Description

Leadership, Supervision and consultancy to the social work workplace learning(WPL)office by establishing first-ever social work student placement at a regional public library.-Wagga Wagga City Library.

In the last twelve months, I provided assistance and consultancy to the social work WPL office by providing leadership in the development and implementation of effective industry engagement practices. Earlier in 2021, I took the initiative to establish collaboration between the University and the industry partner Wagga Wagga City Library (WWCL). During a research project meeting with the Manager, WWCL, I recognised that the library staff don’t always have the time or resources required to build the relationship and provide skill-based services to patrons experiencing challenges due to social, psychological and financial issues. With further consultation and careful discussion with the Manager, WWCL, I agreed that a two-way flow of ideas through piloting a social work student work placement could be a way to undertake research and assess the needs of the library staff. After negotiation and communication about the start-up, I discussed this opportunity with the workplace learning academic lead and the workplace learning coordinator. I designed the research project plan and agreed to supervise the students. As a result, I established the first-ever Australian initiative of introducing social work student placements in a regional public library. The manager, WWCL, is committed to facilitating social work student work placement. In these measures, I demonstrated my leadership abilities by representing the University in developing sustainable relationships with placement providers for applied research and student placement, enhancing the relationship with the WWCL, which their staff highly appreciated. “I have met with my senior staff, and we are very excited about the placement. We have read through the Draft Plan. We are just looking forward to this wonderful opportunity” (Unsolicited feedback, Ms Caire Campbell, Manager WWCL). The first-ever social work placement in a regional public library was successfully completed by Ms Sophia Tulk. From 13 September 2021 to 24 December 2021. The second social work student for this ongoing WPL opportunity has been identified and will commence from late January 2022 or early February 2022
Period13 Sep 202124 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Social Work
  • Field education
  • public libraries
  • Regional
  • NSW