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Potential Practicum Students – FAQs
What would I be doing at Wood’s Homes as a practicum student?
Wood’s Homes is a multi-service, non-profit children’s mental health centre based in Calgary. Our over 550 staff and volunteers help provide almost 40 programs and services for 20,000 children and their families each year in Calgary, Lethbridge, Canmore, Strathmore, Fort McMurray and Fort Smith, N.W.T. Programs range from Campus-Based Mental Health Programs, Community-based Therapeutic Services, In-Home Support and Foster Care, Crisis and Community Counselling Services, Street Services and more. Depending on your program requirements, practicum students work directly with youth in on-campus programs during the day and evening, with families in their homes or conduct sessions with individuals and couples in a counselling centre. Go to www.woodshomes.ca for a detailed description of Wood’s Homes programs.
What are the clients like that come to Wood’s Homes?
Children and adults who come to the doors of Wood’s Homes come with past experiences of trauma, abuse, abandonment, neglect, domestic violence, etc. They often come with disabilities that hamper good thinking processes and an inability to regulate their emotions as well. You will experience the pain and upset these clients feel and it will often be scary. Threats, spitting, hitting, damaging property, swearing, running away, lashing out are only a few examples of how these feelings are manifested. It is the job of all students to understand that this is not workplace violence – it is pain being expressed by seriously troubled children. It is our job to accept it, listen to it, protect it and manage these behaviours and the feelings beneath them with respect, kindness, forgiveness and safety for both yourself and the client. Wood’s Homes follows a family-center approach to treatment and support. Family members are also considered clients. At Wood’s Homes - We Never Say No. We Never Give Up. We Never Turn Anyone Away.
What would be my hours at Wood’s Homes as a practicum student?
Your hours as a practicum student would depend upon the program in which you are placed. Many of the opportunities to interact with children, youth and their families occur during the afternoons, evenings and weekends. You will be exposed to a variety of shifts depending on the hours of operation of the program in which you are placed.
Would I work alone at Wood’s Homes as a practicum student?
No. As a practicum student, you would never be asked to be alone with a client at Wood’s Homes.
What kind of training would I receive at Wood’s Homes as a practicum student?
Internal training is available throughout the agency each year. You are encouraged to take advantage of these opportunities wherever possible and when schedules allow. Wood’s Homes does not typically pay for external training of students.
Would I be matched up with a supervisor with the same kind of education?
The matching of students with supervisors will conform with the standards and requirements of your particular educational institution. Wood’s Homes employs social workers, psychologists, child and youth care workers, nurses, marriage and family therapists, counsellors, etc.
What kind of supervision would I have at Wood’s Homes as a practicum student?
Supervision at Wood’s Homes is a supportive, educational and administrative process performed by a supervisor with knowledge and skill in areas beneficial to the supervisee and conducted in a variety of ways that serves to enhance supervisee growth and change and ultimately contributes to excellent care for all clients and a strong organizational culture. You would receive daily support and supervision and also meet with your supervisor for one-on-one meetings no less than 2 hours per month.
What does Wood’s Homes expect of me as a practicum student?
All students must ensure they are knowledgeable about all Wood’s Homes policies, procedures and philosophies and are able to comply with them as they relate to client care and treatment. All students are expected to adhere to a standard of professionalism in dress, written and spoken communication and demeanor. This standard pays attention to the therapeutic needs of clients, aligns with the values of Wood’s Homes, its commitment to provide quality service and be perceived as an organization that sets and achieves high standards.
What would happen if my supervisor and I don’t get along?
This can happen. If you have concerns or questions, Wood’s Homes asks you to be proactive. First speak to your immediate supervisor about any concerns you have. You are encouraged to talk to your school liaison for support in speaking to your supervisor directly. If you feel that the problem is not concluded you would have the opportunity to present the matter to successively higher levels of supervision.
Does Wood’s Homes hire practicum students when the practicum is completed?
Yes. Practicum students are encouraged to apply for employment positions available at Wood’s Homes. Speak to your Practicum Supervisor prior to your placement ending, to identify suitable open positions and to learn about the application process. In 2017, Wood’s Homes hired 60% of the students who applied for employment.