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From Student to Social Worker

From Student to Social Worker

We've posted before about our Social Work Student Placements and how helpful they are to the work we do.  Maeve recently left us after her placement and we asked her to share her thoughts and experiences with us here.  We love sharing our experience and work with students and are really happy when it works out well.  Tell us in the comments section what you think about student placements.  Over to Maeve...


"Having just come from a placement in Women’s Aid the previous year, I was disappointed to find out I would be working in another women and childrens centre. I wanted to be in a frontline statutory child protection team. I arrogantly believed there was nothing left for me to learn here…


With little time to wallow I hit the ground running. I was shocked to find my cases were interesting and complicated and challenging. Everyday was different here. One day I’d be attending a core group or a review and the next going to the beach with a family or dressing a girl for prom.


I found with everyday it was easier to get up when my alarm went. This informal, pragmatic atmosphere meant I got to build real relationships with the women who accessed this service. I wasn’t a social worker knocking on their door demanding they let me in, I was someone they chose to talk to. Someone they trusted, and respected.


What we did made a difference. We made a difference and I felt more like a social worker than ever.


The staff used to joke that Venus was a web. That once you came you couldn’t leave and it was true. I could have climbed into that web and stayed in my Venus cocoon forever. In comparison Social Work seemed bogged down with bureaucracy and red tape. It was all case management, no one on one. All time constraints and no “tell me your story”. All separation and no connection.


And the staff, of which none were qualified social workers, could talk me under the table when it came to child protection plans and legislation. They were intelligent, competent professionals with one common agenda: social justice.


The last four months have been exciting and educational and everything in between. I grew professionally and personally and for the first time feel ready to call myself a social worker. I don’t know what my career or future has in store for me but with a foundation built on Venus, nothing can shake me.


All my love,



We would like to thank Maeve sincerely for her time with us, the dedication she showed above and beyond what was asked of her and the fun she brought with her.  We wish Maeve the best of luck for her bright future and hope to see her soon.