Clients expect and deserve competent social workers, and ethical social work practice requires that the best interests of vulnerable clients take center stage. Your competence as a practicum student has developed over time when classroom knowledge and practicum experiences have been integrated through real social work experiences. As you end your MSW education and begin a social work career, it is important to think ahead about how evaluation, including self-evaluation, can be incorporated into your professional practice. (Adapted from Garthwait, 2014, p. 189) Reflection is critical in order to learn from our experiences. The everyday demands of field education involve a range of experiences—some interesting and exciting; and others stressful or even dull. Often, because of the day-to-day demands we may not recognize the value of the experience. Experiential learning requires that we intentionally devote time and energy to “thinking about” what we are engaged in doing. In completing this paper, you should ask the question, “What specific events or situations of this field education experience have contributed to my learning and professional development?” Assignment Instructions: Address the following three parts of this assignment as follows: (1) Describe in some detail a critical experience or incident, and the impact (learning) the experience had on you as an aspiring social worker. That is, for the critical incident: “put into words” the significance of the incident; key learning outcomes acquired as a result of the incident; self-insights you gained with respect to your own sense of professional identity (2) Detailed description of the overall field experience on key learning specific to social work: values (e.g. personal and social work values, principles, ethics and ethical dilemmas, strengths, empowerment, cultural competency, etc.); knowledge (e.g. policy, theory, research, practice, context, client systems, organizational dynamics, etc.); and skills (e.g. engagement, assessment, intervention, evaluation, verbal and non-verbal communication, analytic skills, etc.) (3) What did the experience teach you about yourself? Looking back, in 20-20 hindsight, provide an explanation of how incidents like the one you encountered created awareness of qualities that are needed to thrive as well as overcome challenges; and produced changes on your part (behavioral, attitudinal, self-awareness, values clarification, etc.) or prompted you to think about changes that may be important for you to become an effective, culturally competent practitioner. From this, use your current understanding to evaluate what will be important as you move forward in a social work career, i.e. factors related to future supervisor and/or employment setting. Notes Use APA writing style incorporating: cover page introductory paragraph concluding summary use headings to separate sections of the assignment reference page APA style literary citations Use References to support your narrative. Use first person narrative as this is a reflection of your personal experience.
CRITICAL INCIDENT PAPER