Newly Qualified Social Worker, Daniela, shares her experiences as a student and NQSW

What course did you study?

MSc Brighton - 2 years and 2 placements

What teams did you have placements in?

My first placement was in the Early Help Short Term Team and my second was in the Family Support Team in Eastbourne.

How did the Hub model support your practice and learning whilst on placement?

On my first placement I was a bit apprehensive it felt like too much supervision but actually from the start I really enjoyed them. The hub offered me a different type of reflection compared the one to ones with my Practice Educator or Practice Supervisor. I not only had the opportunity to talk about my cases and the different issues that I encountered with my cases but also listened to my colleagues opinions and found out about their work.

I absolutely believe the student hub prepared me for practice. The student hub was based on applying theory to practice; we'd talk about theory and apply it to our cases - it was a really good experience. Talking about my cases and my feelings triggered by the difficult situations in families I worked with offered me the opportunity to really understand my feelings and find different solutions to apply to my cases.

What do you think are the strengths/benefits of the hub model?

One of the great benefits was meeting with my colleagues from both the University of Brighton and Sussex - it was a good experience to share different courses/modules we had completed and work techniques.

In the student hub sessions I learnt how to actively listen; I had been aware of the concept but not been able to apply the skill -  this now really helps in my practice.

What top tip would you give to social work students about to enter their first placement? What is the most important thing you learned?

Take full of advantage of your placement it will teach you to be emotionally intelligent so that you can reflect on your work and life. It will be difficult but the rewards make it well worth it.

How did you find the recruitment process?

I really enjoyed the interviews with care leavers; it gave me an opportunity to have a chat and find out how they perceived the social workers and how they like to be treated. The interview with the professionals was more nerve racking but I felt prepared.

What have been the highlights of your NQSW role so far?

I enjoy my supervision and the action learning sets; these are similar to the student hubs but add a little more as the groups are mixed Adults and Children's social workers. Its great to share experiences and see what issues adults social workers have to face. Its also good to know that I have a protected case load as an NQSW so I feel a sense of safety.

If you could sum up your first few months as a NQSW in a few words what would they be?

Reflection, reflection, reflection.

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