An Introduction to Use of Self in Field Placement

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Contribution to Books

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As the child welfare field coordinator at Lewis Clark State College, I have the honor of attending an annual child welfare conference where many of my students present their research on issues that affect child welfare in the State of Idaho. One of my duties at this conference is to introduce our institution's student presenters, which includes a quick description of their internship placements and a few positive notes on what I have enjoyed about supervising their field placements during the previous year. As I introduced one of my students this year, I praised the student regarding her unique ability to use her personality and sense of humor to set families at ease and to build relationships and rapport with clients. Because this student came from a lower socioeconomic background in which she had to face many obstacles in her own life before returning to college and getting her BSW, she was able to draw from her own feelings and experiences to develop empathy and understanding for clients and the situations they found themselves in. The student was employing "use of self' in her social work field placement.

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