Posted in Just a Thought

Social Work Month: Toolkit Edition

March is social work month.  The theme this year is “Elevate.”  So, I considered some tips and tricks for students hoping to expand their knowledge and abilities.  So, in the spirit of elevating and promoting the sharing of resources, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my tools.  I have gathered a few tips and tricks from other social workers, and some of the information is just what I needed.  Other times, I pass it on.  So, I hope that if the information is not beneficial to you, share it with someone who might benefit from it.  First, let’s put these tools into their appropriate pocket.  Social work practice requires a sprinkle of patience, a lot of flexibility, a little creativity, topped with empathy.  I truly believe, this is a career field that demands a special super power. 

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

As social workers, we are always engaged in some type of intervention, treatment, assessment, or research.  If you are not a person that enjoys writing, social work may not be the best field for you.  On top of the required writing, there is an equal (or greater) amount of reading required to remain up-to-date.  Through one of my many searches, I ran across a wonderful site, Social Work Tech

Ignacio Pacheco is a social worker that is also technically inclined.  He developed a website complete with different exercises and tools you may consider incorporating into practice with individuals, groups, and families.  The site is set up to allow you to download and reproduce them.  However, be the ethical social worker and give him credit for his creations.  Even if you are unable to utilize them, maybe they will assist you in getting your creative juices flowing.  I have his website bookmarked to my home screen for easy access.  He makes the list of people I would love to meet.  By the way, he also has a YouTube channel. Check it out, and subscribe, like, and share.

I encourage all social workers to adventure outside of their corner of the world to gather tools from international social workers.  Many times, we become so focused on our own communities that we forget that social workers all over the world face the same barriers with clients.  While some challenges are different depending on the location, some of the same needs arise.  One such site for resources is MacMillan International Higher Education.  Here they have developed the Social Work Toolkit.  There is a lot of information, and instead of spoiling it for you, I suggest you click here if you’re interested.

I know we always have too many tasks and not enough hours in the day.  Still, I suggest adding a couple of helpful books to your social work library.

  1. Psych Meds Made Simple by Ashley L. Peterson. Also check out her blog Mentalhealth@home
  2. The latest version of The Social Work Dictionary by Robert L. Barker
  3. The Social Workers’ Toolbox: Sustainable Multimethod Social Work by Herman de Monnink (available on Kindle)
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Social Work Survival Tips:

  1. Self-care- You can’t help anyone if you don’t take time to regroup and refresh.
  2. Keep Learning-Every client, group, or community is different.  Be open to learn from others.
  3. Self-reflection- Take the time to evaluate your practice, your biases, and process your own feelings.  Vicarious trauma is a real thing.
  4. Connect with other social workers, psychologists, nurses, counselors, teachers, any network of partners that you can learn and grow with.
  5. There is no one best method, every situation is different.
  6. Ask questions, that is the best way to find answers.

As I compile and organize more of my tools, I will share them.  Some days will be great and others may have you questioning what you were thinking.  Just breath and know what you do makes a difference.  As always…

Keep on pushing (Still don’t own the rights),

Visionary Trailblazin’

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Posted in Just a Thought

Second Wind

Hello friends,

I have been battling my own set of weird cooties, and I am feeling much better. It is tough for me to lie down and accept that, sometimes, even Superwoman needs a break. I worked on aligning priorities, but I also took an opportunity to get the rest that my body needed to recharge to aid in turning visions into realities. I am working on remembering that everything will not happen at once. So, I am pacing myself. I will forever be a work in progress, and I accept that.

So, now, I am sharing a link to a wonderful collaboration. I made my first post today. I felt so accomplished to add something to the team effort. Our effort is a collaborative partnership, geared towards sharing what we know with each other and the world. We are also supporting each other by sharing our resources, knowledge, and ideas to promote living our best lives and being our best selves. Not everyone wants to grow with you, and that is okay. I am learning to be grateful for the lessons I have learned, and the experiences I have shared.

To share:

  1. My best friend’s birthday is Wednesday, March 6th. We are on opposite sides of the country, but we remain close. She continues to support and push me, while I continue to support and push her. So, yep, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sunflower!
  2. Please check out Mentalhealth@home ‘s (Ashley) book Psych Meds Made Easy.  Support and share 🙂 
  3. Check out the Best Life Collaborative. Follow, share, and send us positive vibes.
  4. Check out my first collaborative post
  5. As always…

Keep pushing (I don’t own the rights to this),

Visionary Trailblazin’

Posted in Just a Thought

Challenge Accepted

Well hello, friends,

I have been out of commission for a little over a week now, and it made me think about at-risk youth.  Many people shy away from the children and young adults labeled “troubled” or unreachable.  Now, I will say this, some kids really know how to test anyone’s patience.  At the same time, if you have only learned one way of doing something, and you have not had the opportunity to be exposed to something else, you tend to stick to what works.  How many ways and times can you be told you’re not good enough, something is wrong with you, you’re ugly, or you’re just not?  It takes a special type of person to peel back each layer of pain, trauma, hurt, low self-esteem, and anger.  Even after getting to the root of the problem, there is still the need to, not only cultivate a positive relationship but now, you must get to work on helping them recognize their talents. Yep, even “those kids” have talents.  I recently took a step back in time and visited one of the Youth Challenge Academies.  It was an amazing experience, and my heart swelled with pride.  There is something to be said about the children who find you years later to tell you what an impact you had on their lives.  It made me consider becoming a mentor for children in the program.  The location of the program may be a tad too far of a drive for me to return to full-time work, but I love volunteering.  What better way to give back and prepare for the future? 

The National Guard Youth ChalleNGe programs provide many students with amazing second-chance.  For some Cadets, it is a first chance to realize that they are capable of amazing things.  While the program is quasi-military, no one is pushing joining the military.  Now, some cadets graduate and join a branch of military service, others also continue to study trades, pursue advanced education, or join the workforce.  It would be great for every student enrolled to reach their potential.  Unfortunately, all students do not go on to graduate.  The good thing is cadets are exposed to 8 core components that they can carry with them for life.  If you know students, at-risk youth, or a 16-18-year-old teen needing an extra push.  Check out the websites below.  Every child is reachable, you may need to modify your methods.

https://www.jointservicessupport.org/ngycp/virginia/virginia-commonwealth-challenge-youth-academy

Keep on pushing,

Visionary Trailblazin’