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Self Evaluation in Social Work

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    According to Business dictionary dot com (n.d) self-evaluation is the ability to look at one`s progress, development and learning in an effort to determine what has improved and what areas still need improvement. Self-evaluation is essential in social work as it captures both the positives and the negatives while identifying biases, strengths and limitations.

    Having enrolled in Practicum 4 gives me a sense of accomplishment as I got a glimpse of the finishing line. When I viewed the course outline I realised being at the same agency I am required to complete the same activities that were completed in the previous semester was a bit disheartening as I was worried I already wrote what I knew about the agency. However, after started writing the paper I realised I am more advanced and relate differently, I am not at the same level, therefore, I am expressing myself differently and developed different perspectives on the situation.

    This paper is based on my experience as a social work practicum student overall, with much emphasis on my experiences at the St James Probation office in Jamaica. Throughout this paper emphasis will be placed on my professional development, as well as, demonstration of my critical reflection and interpersonal skills.

    I have to come to realize that who I am as an individual will not only result in how I conduct my myself but will also demonstrate how I interact with my Supervisor and colleagues and the clients at large, furthermore, it will also demonstrate in my approach to the formation of working relationships. Reflecting on my past practicum experiences I realised that overtime I have matured in the field of social work and is now is steadily on my way to an efficient Social Worker. I realised I am exploring my experiences in a different way, and critically reflecting upon them. I must concur that the Probation Office in Montego Bay is a major contributor to my professional development as the Probation Officers helped to mold me into the person I am today during my practicum experiences.

    My practicum field experiences over the past four years intended to build upon practice and previous experiences, as well as to demonstrate the theoretical aspects of the Social work program. It also provides opportunities to strengthen skills, knowledge, and understanding of current values and principles within the field. Hence, placements were sought in agencies which offer diverse practice at the micro, mezzo and the macro level (e.g., working with individuals, groups, families, community and organization). Exposure to different clientele made me realised that the field practicum is not just a work experience; it provided the opportunity to be reflective, and to apply theory to practice in an evaluative and disciplined manner. Wrenn & Wrenn (2009) emphasized the importance of students in professional programs to be able to put into practice what they have learnt in the classroom. The duo further stressed I must admit that I have personally experienced many challenging issues. For example on completion of the first practicum I was confused much more than before I started, despite the fact that I was accommodated for by some persons I was sidelined by others and felt as if I was there to take someone’s job. Therefore, while I was faced with the issue of struggling to settle into a new environment I was also trying to fit it. Notwithstanding, I took comfort in the fact that these challenges were anticipated and were facilitated for in the classroom. Being in the field I was exposed to the importance of adhering to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics (2017), that speaks to diversities, this value emphasized that Social workers will be met with varying problems, people and personalities daily. I knew then that diversity is widespread and existed in diverse places even among our own. I must admit that instead of reporting the challenges to my supervisor, I took a humanly stance and reacted negatively by displaying the silent treatment, however, with introspection and critical thinking I realized the importance of not allowing emotions to get in the way, I also reflected that I am representing my institution, as well as, the profession. With my interpersonal skills and level of humility I overcame the challenges and achieved the goals that were required at that level. Overtime I have grown and now has the ability to maneuver similar challenges.

    I am now at the end of the journey and with the levels of crime within my community and the country at large, led me to develop a special interest in the Justice system, hence, my focus in completing practicum 3 and 4 at the Probation Office. My experiences at this agency exposes me to the different levels of social work within the justice system and the legal fraternity. Being at the agency for two consecutive semesters I am able to analyze a wide range of principles and practices of the organization through my observation and conversation with the clients and employees. I am also privileged to gain a wider perspective about different opinions and thoughts of the employees and clients by observing their various interactions This made me realise that leadership plays an important role in the development of an agency and has an impact on the attitudes of the workers. This view is corroborated by Northouse, (2016 pp 6) who purports that leadership is “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal”, therefore leadership has a direct effect upon the staff and the organizational success. Similarly Fiedler’s Contingency Model speaks to the ability of the leader to the given situation is a typical demonstration of the type of leadership shared at the agency. Northouse (2010) points out that contingency theory is concerned with styles and situations and that it was so named because it suggest that the effectiveness of a leader depends on how well the leadership styles fit the context. For example the agency is being faced with limited manpower and are experiencing strenuous conditions to meet the demands of the courts, however, under stressful conditions the leader managed to keep the situation under control and address the situations as they arose. Based on her competency her style of leadership demanded the respect and dedication of the staff as she is both task motivated since her primarily concern is achieving the goals of meeting the high demands of the court. Furthermore, she is highly relationship motivated resulting in her developing close interpersonal relationship with her staff, (Northouse 2010 pp 111).

    As it relates to my professional development, I am aware that this placement is the final preparation for the work world, therefore, I intend to develop a deeper awareness of my strengths and weaknesses so as to improve on them. I anticipate to build and maintain working relationship with my imminent superiors, colleagues and other members of staff on a whole. While I am cognizant that the interpersonal relationship goes two-ways, I am confident that my humility, politeness, honesty, and my responsible attitude can contribute to it.

    As I process my experiences over the past few months and indeed over the last three years I am already turning toward the future where I will have the opportunity to reflect, and apply my skill set in new and exciting ways. I am also looking forward to the journey where I will have the opportunity to put Social Work into practice. While I feel some sadness about my departure from the role of ‘student’, I look forward to embracing my next roles. I know I will continue to be a life-long learner, but I can acknowledge now that I have skills that I have developed that I can bring into my personal and professional life. I hope to offer my skill set fully to communities, and to continue developing opportunities for growth.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    Self Evaluation in Social Work. (2021, Dec 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/self-evaluation-in-social-work/

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