Allison Slaughter hesitated to become a social worker. She was drawn to social work courses as she worked on her bachelor’s degree in sociology however anxious she ‘d end up being overloaded with heartbreak for future clients if she pursued it as a profession.” Sometimes we need to utilize fear as a motivator,” she said. “I didn’t understand if I would take on a lot of emotional baggage. Making sure I didn’t take that home was something I was stressed over.”
Slaughter now anticipates to graduate this spring with a master’s degree in social work, thanks in big part to the field experiences incorporated into the UNLV School of Social Work’s programs.
The experiences help trainees identify early on whether or not they truly enjoy social work, said Marde Closson, the school’s field education director. The program runs like a task market with trainees applying for positions online through approved employers.
Social work isn’t really for everyone. The field, Closson said, typically requires empathy, patience, commitment, and an ability to separate oneself from the heavy emotional toll of some of the work.
Massacre stated her moment of clarity came a few months into a practicum experience at Behavioral Providers of Nevada, where she spent 300 hours in the fall assisting with and observing whatever from group therapy to psycho-education of kids.
” It’s my first time experiencing that private person-to-person interaction and having the ability to talk to someone about issues they may be experiencing in life,” she said. “It’s likewise my very first time working actively with kids. All these factors produced this ideal community of, ‘Oh my God, how did I not recognize this before?'”
A Benefit in the Job Market
Companies who handle social work students gain from the program by connecting with prospective staff members, training them to the business’s requirements, and potentially employing those students in the future.
At any offered time, the university has about 225 social work students, including both undergraduate and graduate, at practicum sites consisting of the Clark County School District, 7 Hills Health Center, Southern Nevada Grownup Mental Health Solutions, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and regional private practices.
Before students have actually even gotten their degrees, they are making an effect in the neighborhood, Closson stated. Bachelor’s trainees total 2 practicums their senior year, totaling 480 hours. Master’s trainees, relying on their status in the program, complete 225 hours or 300 hours per term. Integrated, UNLV students supply more than 100,000 hours of service each year to the neighborhood, nearly entirely complimentary of charge.
” You can study social work all you want to in the books, however up until you get into the field, you do not actually have a mutual understanding,” Closson stated. “This offers a safeguarded environment for that knowing. Students have the ability to observe, see how social work is practiced, and begin doing.”
Massacre concurred. “The benefit of having these field practicum workouts is that I’m putting all the knowledge I have into this,” she said. “I’m drawing the connections. I’m attempting to implement exactly what I see, and I’m so intellectually curious that I’m going to research even more.”
Massacre became the second UNLV trainee to be awarded the yearlong Council on Social Work Education’s Minority Fellowship Program-Youth. She received a monetary stipend and access to online resources targeted at working with children at danger for mental health or drug abuse issues. She’ll also go to a training seminar in Virginia along with other national recipients to increase her cultural proficiency when working with ethnic and racial minorities.
“I’m ecstatic,” Slaughter stated. “Whatever I wished to perform in my educational career is in this fellowship.”
In between Massacre’s practicum and the fellowship, she’ll be well prepared to serve Las Vegas’ high population of homeless youth and teenagers, Closson noted.
“Among the greatest needs we have in Las Vegas is supplying behavioral health services to youth in between 12 and 25 or 26,” she stated. “We believe that if we could provide services to those individuals when they’re young, it will assist avoid further issues and requires into adulthood.”