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Reflective Practice study

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Reflective Practice Review This is an account of my practice as a student social worker on placement with the children and family department of Perth council. I work directly with the family placement unit which has responsibility for recruiting foster carers as well as providing the necessary support that they need. I started this placement with relatively very little knowledge of fostering and permanence planning, attachment theories and the role of foster carers. During my first two weeks of practice I shadowed couple of my colleagues on their routine carer supervision. On one occasion, my attention drawn to a two year old toddler who has been fostered by a couple for the past five months and seemed well looked after and attached to his foster parents who gave him all their attention and, they too have become attached and attuned to the toddler. However the couple become upset when they heard that plan were being made for the child to move onto adoption in a single family together with his two older brothers. ...read more.


In my continued search for more knowledge, I learned from Walker (2008) that during the carer recruitment process, the social worker should seek to assess three qualities: 1-the ability to manage a wide range of feelings, both in oneself and in others; 2- the resolution of past losses and traumas and 3- the acquisition of reflective function. He believes that those are the characteristics of someone who has an autonomous state of mind, meaning someone who has a history of secure attachment with primary caregivers or who has resolved any childhood issues. Schofield and Beek (2006) suggested that attachment theory provides a scientifically rigorous and yet practical framework for making sense of children's challenging behaviours and for supporting caregivers in caring for such children. And they propose that carers develop 'the capacity to reflect on complex and often confusing behaviour and then tune in accurately to underlying thoughts and feelings'. This means that carers should be able to see beyond the immediate behaviour to think about what might lie behind and motivate it. ...read more.


Prior to meeting with the service user I had some apprehension in terms of approaching the service user's mother because she did not appear to want me there at the start. And her gender raise my awareness/consciousness of her age and ability to understand my role; especially at a time when she is in a state of trauma, loss and a change in her micro-environment (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) and struggling to cope with her trauma and the change in her life. However, going along with a female worker proved to be reassuring for the family and specifically the service user. I was satisfied that the initial communication concerns raised have been a positive learning experience after all. I established good rapport and gained trust was established resulting in me getting another appointment. In fact, once I learned about the concerns raised by the family I was able to prepare my first visit by taking on board the advice by Hepworth and Larsen (1990) of empathic communication when working with children and families. I made a good use myself and other colleagues in establishing good rapport and winning the trust of the services users. ...read more.

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A good reflective account of the writer

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 28/06/2013

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