As a prospective community service worker, I had several goals in mind which I wanted to accomplish at the end of the session. Throughout the session, I found the course very relevant and interesting. Through the units, I was able to gain knowledge relevant in handling my duties as a community service worker with ease. I learned and acquired skills that I never had at the beginning of the session. The methods used in learning the skills were very interesting and enabled me acquire skills relevant to my field. Some of the methods of learning used include reading through the learning materials provided by my tutor, watching a TED talk as well as watching videos on You Tube on the subject (Danielson, 2011). My main goals at the beginning of the session were;
At the beginning of the session, I set a goal to acquire questioning skills which I was to achieve by week five of the session. Among the questioning skills I was able to acquire is the use of Socratic questions, questioning the various view points and perspectives as well as how to ask questions about the question. Nonetheless, I did not get the concept on how to ask questions that probe the assumptions held by the client. To understand this concept properly, I read more and attend seminars on community service practitioners. Through my further personal studies, I have managed to acquire other essential concepts such as how to use questions about a question.
As a community work I realized I had to give and get feedback from my clients on regular basis. As a result, my goal at the beginning of the session was to acquire skills on giving and receiving feedback. I set out to achieve this goal by the fifth week of the session (Baldwin, 2016). During this period, I was able to learn how to probe assumptions, probing rationale, reasons and evidence. During my studies in this concept, I found difficulties understanding concepts on agreeing with the client’s opinion even if it seems wrong. To understand the reason why I should agree with the client, I enrolled for a short course in Community Service Studies.
To be an effective community service worker, I had to develop necessary networks hence this was one of my goals. By week ten, I had to be a member of three organizations dealing with community service in Australia. I became a member of the Australian Guidance and Counselling association as well as the Australian Counselling association by week ten of the session. I learned that effective community service entails going out and interacting with relevant organizations with the aim of gaining on field experience. Moreover, through my interaction with the relevant bodies, I was able to study the rules that guide the operations of a community service worker as well as the rules that guide the client-community service worker relationships. Membership to the community service organizations also enabled me to acquire professional training through workshops, conferences, mentoring programs, seminars as well as through professional supervision.
Community service comes with a lot of stress and burnout (Yang, 2009). To be able to manage this stress, it was within my goals to acquire self-care skills. By week 14, I had acquired self-care skills such as General Adoption Syndrome that helped me handle and manage stress and burnout. I managed to acquire skills on stress management by going through the various stages of the General adaptation syndrome. However, I found it difficult understanding the phase on how to recognize stress (Moon, 2013). To enhance my knowledge in this concept, I have attended seminars of professional community service workers where I was able to learn that in order to recognize stress, one should watch out on their emotional changes.
My clients; one, a victim of home breakdown who is seeking assistance on how to move on with life. I am supposed to help this client find accommodation as well as welfare payment from the Australian government. The second is depressed due to the loss of a husband and as a result is engaged in drug abuse. This client seeks assistance on how to quit drug addiction. The third seeks positive parenting skills having a child who is always biting, hitting, saying no and having tantrums. Using the skills learnt throughout the session, I was able to offer valuable assistance to my clients who managed to come back to give feedback on how effective they found my community service skills to be.
Thank you for the assistance. Through the assistance, I was able to get accommodation as well as furniture for my new apartment. Your skills are excellent and were of good and helped me completely solve my problem.
Your reference to the Australian Guidance and Counselling Association enabled me get professional assistance that has seen me quit drug addiction. Your questioning skills are excellent. I was able to share out information I thought I would never share with anybody. Nonetheless, you need to improve on your feedback giving skills.
Through your assistance, my child has adopted positive behaviour. Your guidance saw me allocate more time towards being with my child which has helped improve the relationship between us. Moreover, your reference to other professional bodies such as the Australian Guiding and Counselling Association saw me get assistance that has improved the state of my child. Thank you.
From my client’s feedback, my community service skills are good. However, there are areas as pointed out by my clients which I need to improve on. I plan to undertake a short course on community service skills to enhance my knowledge in this field.
Baldwin, M. (2016). Social work, critical reflection and the learning organization. Routledge.
Danielson, C. (2011). Enhancing professional practice: A framework for teaching. ASCD.
Moon, J. A. (2013). Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice. Routledge.
Saleebey, D. (2012). The strengths perspective in social work practice. Pearson Higher Ed.
Wesley, P. W., & Buysse, V. (2001). Communities of Practice Expanding Professional Roles to Promote Reflection and Shared Inquiry. Topics in early childhood special education, 21(2), 114-123.
Yang, S. H. (2009). Using blogs to enhance critical reflection and community of practice. Educational Technology & Society, 12(2), 11-21.
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