For the last two Fridays I have been going to my agency for shadowing. The experience has been great so far, and has proven to be a very useful tool both to break the ice and to start experimenting with all our training learning points. So far I’m very pleased with my co-workers and especially thankful for the supervisor I got; she has been very open, supportive and straight with me since the very beginning. The first day we met she manifested that she wasn’t too happy with not having been a part of the selection process. She likes to carefully review and interview the people that will join her unit and felt that the decision was somewhat taken out of her hands, but luckily for me after reviewing my application, yet again, a couple of conversations and an informal interview, she sincerely assured me that she felt I was a good match for her team. Thank God!
As far as the actual shadowings go, I was able to do several home visits on both days. Each day I went with a different colleague and both their styles and attitudes towards the job and clients were unique and educational. Going on the home visits gave me the opportunity to put a face to our clients, to understand whom I will be working with and to begin breaking down the anxiety that was building up. After each visit, the one thing that kept popping into my mind was the realization that these were just people; parents and children struggling to hold-on to their families. I felt immediate empathy and concern, as well as a strong urge to simply ask them how they were doing. At times I felt conflicted as I saw a few things that could have been approached in a different way; the Children’s Corps way! But I soon realized that understanding my agency’s culture and doing it my agency’s way is also part of this learning process, and navigating the two is just the first step in asserting my self as a good case worker.