Meet Hannah, a dedicated student studying for her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work at Coventry University. As part of her degree Hannah will undertake a number of placements with organisations to support her learning and development. Hannah started her 70-day placement with Valley House in September , 2023, and will be with us until January next year. . Although Hannah has prior experience in the world of retail, this marks her very first experience working with individuals facing domestic abuse.
The Transition to Placement
When a student embarks on their placement at Valley House, they are provided with a comprehensive two-week induction timetable. This period allows them to meet and shadow experienced staff members, enabling them to understand the ethos and operational way we work.. Students are actively encouraged to participate in all our in-house training which enhances their knowledge when it comes to supporting service users. Two essential training components include safeguarding and understanding domestic abuse..
Getting Hands-On Experience
Initially, students like Hannah begin by co-case working with support workers. As they become more proficient and confident, they eventually transition to handling cases independently. During their placement, students are involved in various activities such as conducting wellbeing checks, one-on-one casework sessions, providing support for groups and events, attending team meetings, handovers, and other multi-agency professional meetings..
Equal Treatment and Responsibility
Valley House ensures that students are treated as integral members of their team. As a result, they have access to the case management system and are expected to diligently document all case notes and their interactions with service users. Regular Personal Development Reviews (PDR) and supervision sessions are a standard part of the placement. These sessions offer students the opportunity to discuss their cases, work-related challenges, and any barriers they may face while on placement.
Observation and Reflection
One of the expectations for students during their placement includes conducting two observations and engaging in professional recording reflections. Students are required to plan, prepare, and deliver a chosen topic or piece of work to the service they are working in, in Hannah’s case our Domestic Abuse Service. . These observations are assessed by either their practice educator , with valuable feedback from staff and service users being relayed to the students’ tutors.
Pathways to Employment
Valley House recognises talent and commitment. For students who excel during their placement and demonstrate significant progress, the organisation offers employment opportunities. We have a track record of welcoming back successful students as bank workers, giving them additional opportunities to gain valuable hands-on work experience.
Hannah’s journey into social work at Coventry University, with the opportunity to undertake placements, is a testament to the university’s commitment to providing a nurturing and immersive learning experience. Her placement at Valley House not only allows her to learn the ropes but also gives her the opportunity to see whether this is an area she would like to specialise in.